The Republicans Love Big Government--But Only to Build a Police State

What do you suppose a country that is only willing to pay (top dollar) for a far flung military empire, domestic policing, prisons and border security look like? If the Republicans get their we're way, it looks like we're going to find out:

The House passed a defense budget Friday that exceeds the deal cut by Congress and President Barack Obama last summer, and that would have to be paid for with cash taken from poverty programs, health care and the federal workforce.

The National Defense Authorization Act permits $642 billion in defense spending next year. The White House has threatened to veto the bill, citing more than 30 changes to the budget it was seeking.

But the measure also adds $8 billion more than called for in the Budget Control Act that Congress agreed to last summer in exchange for raising the nation's debt limit.

"We increase the spending for defense due to the priorities that we feel are most important and the constitutional requirement we have to provide for the common defense," Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) said. "But we will cut in other areas of the budget so that we comply fully with the deficit reduction act."

Those other areas were spelled out in the broader budget plan passed last week. Written by House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), it would cut more than $80 billion in federal retirement benefits, nearly $50 billion from Medicaid programs and more than $36 billion from programs to feed the poor.

I've always thought of the Military Industrial Complex as welfare for white guys. This would back up that claim:

Among other unasked for changes, the bill keeps aging aircraft and ships the military wants to phase out, keeps the Army and Marines at larger force levels and orders construction of missile defenses.

They don't want it, they don't need it, but the Republican donors want the profits and their conservative base voters want the very well paying, extremely high benefits jobs.

They like to say they hate Big Government, but that's a lie. They love it. It's just that they want to funnel the money to their own constituencies --- and they want to build a police state that will keep everyone else in line in case they decide to do something about it.

It is true that many Democrats back all those programs too. But I think they do have more pressure coming from constituents to spend money on domestic items as well, so they're forced to at least pay them lip service and offer token support. It's not much, but it's where we are these days in terms of choices.

Hullabaloo / By Digby

Posted at May 18, 2012, 11:11am

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