As I was half watching last night's local news, talk breathlessly about the fiscal cliff, and the game of chicken being played by both sides. Something popped into my head. BRAC.
BRAC as in the Base Realignment and Closure committee. The committee was created after the Cold War to determine which US Bases were surplus to the military's requirements.
Closing a military base doesn't go over well with the locals(i.e. voters) as the community will lose: money spent by the soldiers, earmarks, etc. So politicians were loath do that.
BRAC provided the political cover for both the Dems and GOP to close bases. As it took the process out of their hands. Both sides could say, "we tried, but the commission has the final say."
I am beginning to think the Fiscal Cliff was always meant to serve this purpose. As it does one thing that no one in Congress is willing to do: Cut the Military budget.
We all know the fiscal sanity is impossible without cutting the military budget. However it is near impossible to cut it, as everyone has their pet project and the defense lobby can strong arm most members.
By jumping off the Fiscal Cliff, both sides can say we tried but in the end we had to make the cuts as it was law in this case not the BRAC. There may be some trimming around the edges. For the most part, I think all the cuts, especially the military, will stay.