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Or, more precisely, "DEE-fense DEE-fense, That's What Counts!"

As Christian Dem points out, Republicans in Congress are finally getting around to checking election results and acknowledging that the fellow running on a policy of raising the marginal rates of the highest earners won.

After a month of Five Stages of Losing, they have finally stumbled into the neighborhood of Acceptance. Their epiphany, however, has been short-lived and they've quickly worked themselves into a redux of the Denial and Bargaining stages.

Republicans now believe that their capitulation on tax rates means that everything else they want is now on the table--gutting Medicare, destroying Social Security, defunding health and education programs--the whole New Deal enchilada.

"We gave you your rates, boy, now get out of the way while we dismantle the government."

With one, glaring, exception: defense.

I have yet to hear a single Republican acknowledge that the five-sided fatso across the Potomac could stand to lose a few pounds, that both the Cold War and the New Crusades are over and that there really is something called a "peace dividend."

To be fair, our president doesn't talk much about it, either.

For me, the most appealing part of the Fictional Cliff nonsense is that the sequestration cuts, which neither side ever intended to take place, fall equally on defense and domestic spending, a parity which will never come out of any "grand bargain" negotiated between congressional 'Pubs and the White House. That blind ax has been our best chance to actually trim our 58%-of-the-world war juggernaut.

As Republicans and Democrats inch closer to the same general time zone in these discussions, we'll be yelling louder and louder venerable phrases like "Hands off Medicare!" and "It's MY Social Security!" All to the good.

But there is a cheer I fervently hope will not be lost in the shouting as we pick up the tempo of our cliff dance:

"What About the Damned Pentagon?!!"


Post scriptum: Yes, I know that real cuts in defense spending mean real job losses and hard impacts on support services. My own main money gig as a sub sub sub sub contractor for DOD has been frozen solid ever since this game of chicken was announced--despite the fact that the money for our main project was already paid years ago.

I know the hits involved. I'm already taking mine. One less unneeded bomber or golf-and-stripper weekend for the top brass isn't going to hurt me any more.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Please, if you must yell, (17+ / 0-)

    yell something productive.

    Pardon our dust. Sig line under renovation.

    by Crashing Vor on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:08:03 AM PST

  •  Unemployment benefit letters (4+ / 0-)

    were sent out this week. Many of us will get hit hard too. I am bracing for the impact by rebudgeting my businesses.

    I've noticed that Insurance and Mortgage locking down on payments to contractors started a month ago. It's tight out there for whatever reason.

    I know I am not sounding productive, but my paranoia has racheted up a notch.

    And I agree that the defense megalith needs some chiseling too.

    After all is said and done, a lot more is said than done.

    by Brahman Colorado on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:38:41 AM PST

  •  Congress is trying to ration dollars. (3+ / 0-)

    I suspect that rationing affects dollars the same as it does any other commodity.  People start hoarding more than some of them do anyway,

    Why does Congress want to ration dollars? Well, because it makes them feel powerful to deprive us and to punish the majority for voting wrong.  Also, there is still some hope among their wealthy friends, that if they reduce the supply, money will become more valuable and their bonds will magically start earning the dividend rates they were accustomed to until about the year 2000. I'm sure they think either the Clinton surplus or 9/11 or Obama are responsible for the fact that the Federal Reserve has given up trying to regulate the economy by jiggling interest rates and it just charging banks a nominal processing fee. In other words, the change in how our money is doled out is just a coincidence and there is no way they're going to get back to 8%.

    Will higher tax rates prompt less hoarding? Perhaps.  Will they generate more revenue in the short run? Unlikely. People who don't have taxable income don't care what the rate is. Will higher rates on the wealthy make the middle class feel better? Perhaps. Will they get money moving at a faster clip? Probably not.

    So, I think we should just leave the rates in place and save us the time of making stupid changes.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 08:08:17 AM PST

  •  Don't mess with the Pentagon (3+ / 0-)

    It's one of Indra's Sacred Cows.

    Congress' too.

    The dire straits facing America are not due poor people having too much money

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 10:13:12 AM PST

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