This is exactly what I hate about politics today. This is the quote from Boehner:
“But now the Democrats are playing politics. They don’t want to support a raise for our troops until they get more spending on their big government programs.”
I hope no one falls for the crap he’s spewing here. It really isn’t about me tending to lean Democratic or disliking military spending. What I hate here is that instead of saying that Democrats aren’t supporting their “larger Defense spending” he says that they aren’t supporting “a raise for our troops”. He’s saying it as if that’s the only issue here. That just pissed me off. Stop politicking and talk about the issue! Seriously, this is what’s wrong with politics today!!
Boehner narrows Defense spending down to one line item, one that he can get support from his base with. “Don’t you guys want to give our troops a raise?” It’s one of those things that people would feel awkward saying no to. But the increase in Defense spending isn’t about just giving our troops a raise. That isn’t the issue at all. The issue here is really about budget sequestration.
Budget Sequestration — I’ll be as succinct as I can
Back in 2011, a backup plan was created if Congress couldn’t agree on a budget called “budget sequesters”. The incentive to reach an agreement was that no one liked the sequester because it created cuts evenly across the board (Defense & Non-Defense). Since (as has been the case of late) Congress couldn’t agree, the budget sequester went into affect. This instituted caps on the budget, which reduced our budget over the next 10 years.
The caps can be exceeded, but it has to be agreed to & Democrats don’t want to increase the Defense budget without increases to the Non-defense discretionary budget. Republicans have also found a different loophole called the Overseas Contingency Operations fund (OCO), which weren’t included in the caps.
So, Republicans could technically increase the OCO (and Defense spending) without exceeding the caps. But even some Republicans don’t like this as well because the military does a lot of long-term planning and the OCO fund isn’t reliable year to year. However, Democrats are rejecting this saying they won’t support the increase to the OCO without corresponding increases to non-Defense spending.
So that’s where we are. Which has led to petty comments like the one Boehner retorted. It disgusts me. We the people need to figure out what it is that we want to spend our taxpayer money on, so politicians can just listen to us. Instead of finding the one program that we want to support, we also need to figure out how much we want to support all different kinds of programs. Hopefully my app Polinav could help us reach this someday.