Thursday, September 23, 2010

don't take The Pledge

The House Republican leadership has released  a document setting forth their goals and plans if they regain the majority in this year's elections. It's full of hot button phrases ["job-killing tax hikes" "the red tape factory in Washington"] and hard-to-disagree-with statements. [Does anyone want to let terrorists come to America?]

I was struck by what it says regarding national security and congressional reform.

The Republican leaders pledge to "provide the resources,authority, and support our deployed military requires, fully fund missile defense, and enforce sanctions against Iran." I shouldn't be surprised, but missile defense is already getting $10 billion per year with little yet to show for it. They also pledge to freeze hiring and cap spending at 2008 levels for non-security discretionary accounts. What's that? It's everything except the Pentagon, Department of Homeland Security, and Veterans Affairs. In other words, our international programs including military aid to Israel, Afghanistan, and other important countries, will be frozen or cut. The FBI can't hire more people, and federal prisons will have to stop expanding. But the TSA can buy more full-body scanners and hire more baggage checkers because they are "security."

What's interesting on congressional reform is that THEY DON'T PLEDGE TO STOP EARMARKS. They say all bills have to contain a citation to the constitutional authority for the measure and they promise not to bundle controversial bills with "must pass" measures and they will allow amendments to cut spending, but don't mention allowing increases or transfers. Seems like pretty weak tea.

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