The Reasoned Review

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It’s Getting Cold In Here….

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The Obama has just announced a “spending freeze” in order to throw a bone to the various “deficit hawks” now assailing his presidency. The idea, I guess, is that you put a moratorium on some of the more unpopular aspects of government spending – and this way voters don’t have that bad taste in their mouths when it comes time to vote in 2010. Let’s see what Mr. Obama wants to cut.

The Times:

The freeze would cover the agencies and programs for which Congress allocates specific budgets each year, including air traffic control, farm subsidies, education, nutrition and national parks.

But it would exempt security-related budgets for the Pentagon, foreign aid, the Veterans Administration and homeland security, as well as the entitlement programs that make up the biggest and fastest-growing part of the federal budget: Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

Here’s a handy graph to get that into context:

Right. So you see those three massive lines near the bottom? The ones that pretty much overshadow all the rest? Yeah, those are exempt from Mr. Obama’s “spending freeze”. Look at tiny little “Department of Education” vs. the massive “Department of Defense!” The poor thing.

Glenn Greenwald has a fantastic essay on ‘The sanctity of military spending‘, and I agree with all of his points. “Defense” spending is the one form of expenditure for which it can be said that it benefits no one. Not the professed beneficiaries – those impoverished desert-dwellers who we continually pound with our bombs – not the American citizens, who are made demonstrably less safe by our government’s various adventures… well, I guess only the war-profiteers, the Cheneys and Rumsfelds, the United Atomics and Blackwaters can really be said to benefit. So I guess that makes it worth it.

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Written by pavanvan

January 27, 2010 at 10:02 am

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