Why defense contractors are on the catfood commission is a question for another day, but for now, ponder this:
Though most of the commission's work occurs behind closed doors in small working groups, early reports indicate that the GOP's unwillingness to support any significant tax increases are pushing the group toward proposed entitlement slashes and larger budget cuts.
And while Americans might expect that the commission would look at all spending, some members are seemingly using their positions to advance professional interests. A source familiar with the proceedings of the working group on discretionary spending tells TPM that some commissioners, including one military contractor, would prefer to save money by freezing military pay and scaling back benefits, rather than by eliminating waste in defense contracting.
The source said that different members of the commission come down on different sides of the issue. The discussion group is led by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), whose primary aim is trimming fat on the contractor side, but, according to the source, David Cote, the Honeywell CEO who was appointed to the panel by President Obama, is pushing to find savings elsewhere.
"Coburn raised concerns about all of the cost overruns and redundant weapons system," the source told TPM. "Cote made excuses for it all."
According to the source, Cote and other members, including the commission's co-chair Alan Simpson, are focusing instead on "freezing military pay, making military people pay for their health care."
Yep, in the middle of two wars, in which our soldiers and their families have been stretched beyond their limits with multiple deployments, cut their pay and scale back their benefits. Make them pay for their own health care. All so the likes of Blackwater--and Honeywell--can continue to suck at the public teat.
The GOP's unwillingness to support any significant tax increases should be cause to dissolve the whole damned debacle as irresponsible and unrealistic. Any recommendation that the men and women in our military be asked to sacrifice even more should be enough to kill it.