Why Does Congress Fight Over Childcare But Not F-35s?

Yves here. Of course we know the answer to how Congress sets its priorities. No one wants to lose donations or cause their friends in Virginia to lose sleep wondering how they’ll pay for their kids’ college tuition. Even so, the New York Times has finally deigned to notice that the US is an outlier, in an obviously bad way, on childcare spending. Gee, one wonders why.

In fairness, this post gives useful detail on America’s over the top military spending and how it manages never to come up for debate. However, it unfortunately also takes up the balanced budget myth.

By Medea Benjamin, cofounder of CODEPINK for Peace and author of several books, including Inside Iran: The Real History and Politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Nicolas J. S. Davies is an independent journalist, a researcher with CODEPINK and the author of Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq

President Biden and the Democratic Congress are facing a crisis as the popular domestic agenda they ran on in the 2020 election is held hostage by two corporate Democratic Senators, fossil-fuel consigliere Joe Manchin and payday-lender favorite Kyrsten Sinema.

But the very week before the Dems’ $350 billion-per-year domestic package hit this wall of corporate money-bags, all but 38 House Democrats voted to hand over more than double that amount to the Pentagon. Senator Manchin has hypocritically described the domestic spending bill as “fiscal insanity,” but he has voted for a much larger Pentagon budget every year since 2016.

Real fiscal insanity is what Congress does year after year, taking most of its discretionary spending off the table and handing it over to the Pentagon before even considering the country’s urgent domestic needs. Maintaining this pattern, Congress just splashed out $12 billion for 85 more F-35 warplanes, 6 more than Trump bought last year, without debating the relative merits of buying more F-35s vs. investing $12 billion in education, healthcare, clean energy or fighting poverty.

The 2022 military spending bill (NDAA or National Defense Authorization Act) that passed the House on September 23 would hand a whopping $740 billion to the Pentagon and $38 billion to other departments (mainly the Department of Energy for nuclear weapons), for a total of $778 billion in military spending, a $37 billion increase over this year’s military budget. The Senate will soon debate its version of this bill—but don’t expect too much of a debate there either, as most senators are “yes men” when it comes to feeding the war machine.

Two House amendments to make modest cuts both failed: one by Rep. Sara Jacobs to strip $24 billion that was added to Biden’s budget request by the House Armed Services Committee; and another by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for an across-the-board10% cut(with exceptions for military pay and healthcare).

After adjusting for inflation, this enormous budget is comparable to the peak of Trump’s arms build-up in 2020, and is only 10% below th epost-WWII record set by Bush II in 2008 under cover of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It would give Joe Biden the dubious distinction of being the fourth post-Cold War U.S. president to militarily outspend every Cold War president, from Truman to Bush I.

In effect, Biden and Congress are locking in the $100 billion per year arms build-up that Trump justified with his absurd claims that Obama’s record military spending had somehow depleted the military.

As with Biden’s failure to quickly rejoin the JCPOA with Iran, the time to act on cutting the military budget and reinvesting in domestic priorities was in the first weeks and months of his administration. His inaction on these issues, like his deportation of thousands of desperate asylum seekers, suggests that he is happier to continue Trump’s ultra-hawkish policies than he will publicly admit.

In 2019, the Program for Public Consultation at the University of Maryland conducted a study in which it briefed ordinary Americans on the federal budget deficit and asked them how they would address it. The average respondent favored cutting the deficit by $376 billion, mainly by raising taxes on the wealthy and corporations, but also by cutting an average of $51 billion from the military budget.

Even Republicans favored cutting $14 billion, while Democrats supported a much larger $100 billion cut. That would be more than the10% cut in the failed Ocasio-Cortez Amendment, which garnered support from only 86 Democratic Reps and was opposed by 126 Dems and every Republican.

Most of the Democrats who voted for amendments to reduce spending still voted to pass the bloated final bill. Only 38 Democrats were willing to vote against a $778 billion military spending bill that, once Veterans Affairs and other related expenses are included, would continue to consume over 60% of discretionary spending.

“How’re you going to pay for it?” clearly applies only to “money for people,” never to “money for war.” Rational policy making would require exactly the opposite approach. Money invested in education, healthcare and green energy is an investment in the future, while money for war offers little or no return on investment except to weapons makers and Pentagon contractors, as was the case with the $2.26 trillion the United States wasted on death  and  destruction in Afghanistan.

A study by the Political Economy Research Center at the University of Massachusetts found that military spending creates fewer jobs than almost any other form of government spending. It found that $1 billion invested in the military yields an average of 11,200 jobs, while the same amount invested in other areas yields: 26,700 jobs when invested in education; 17,200 in healthcare; 16,800 in the green economy; or 15,100 jobs in cash stimulus or welfare payments.

It is tragic that the only form of Keynesian stimulus that is uncontested in Washington is the least productive for Americans, as well as the most destructive for the other countries where the weapons are used. These irrational priorities seem to make no political sense for Democratic Members of Congress, whose grassroots voters would cut military spending by an average of $100 billion per year based on the Maryland poll.

So why is Congress so out of touch with the foreign policy desires of their constituents? It is well-documented that Members of Congress have more close contact with well-heeled campaign contributors and corporate lobbyists than with the working people who elect them, and that the “unwarranted influence” of Eisenhower’s infamous Military-Industrial Complex has become more entrenched and more insidious than ever, just as he feared.

The Military-Industrial Complex exploits flaws in what is at best a weak, quasi-democratic political system to defy the will of the public and spend more public money on weapons and armed forces than the world’s next 13 military powers. This is especially tragic at a time when the wars of mass destruction that have served as a pretext for wasting these resources for 20 years may finally, thankfully, be coming to an end.

The five largest U.S. arms manufacturers (Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics) account for 40% of the arms industry’s federal campaign contributions, and they have collectively received $2.2 trillion in Pentagon contracts since 2001 in return for those contributions. Altogether, 54% of military spending ends up in the accounts of corporate military contractors, earning them $8 trillion since 2001.

The House and Senate Armed Services Committees sit at the very center of the Military-Industrial Complex, and their senior members are the largest recipients of arms industry cash in Congress. So it is a dereliction of duty for their colleagues to rubber-stamp military spending bills on their say-so without serious, independent scrutiny.

The corporate consolidation, dumbing down and corruption of U.S. media and the isolation of the Washington “bubble” from the real world also play a role in Congress’s foreign policy disconnect.

There is another, little-discussed reason for the disconnect between what the public wants and how Congress votes, and that can be found in afascinating 2004 study by the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations titled “The Hall of Mirrors: Perceptions and Misperceptions in the Congressional Foreign Policy Process.”

The “Hall of Mirrors” study surprisingly found a broad consensus between the foreign policy views of lawmakers and the public, but that “in many cases Congress has voted in ways that are inconsistent with these consensus positions.”

The authors made a counter-intuitive discovery about the views of congressional staffers. “Curiously, staffers whose views were at odds with the majority of their constituents showed a strong bias toward assuming, incorrectly, that their constituents agreed with them,” the study found, “while staffers whose views were actually in accord with their constituents more often than not assumed this was not the case.”

This was particularly striking in the case of Democratic staffers, who were often convinced that their own liberal views placed them in a minority of the public when, in fact, most of their constituents shared the same views. Since congressional staffers are the primary advisors to members of Congress on legislative matters, these misperceptions play a unique role in Congress’s anti-democratic foreign policy.

Overall, on nine important foreign policy issues, an average of only 38% of congressional staffers could correctly identify whether a majority of the public supported or opposed a range of different policies they were asked about.

On the other side of the equation, the study found that “Americans’ assumptions about how their own member votes appear to be frequently incorrect … [I]n the absence of information, it appears that Americans tend to assume, often incorrectly, that their member is voting in ways that are consistent with how they would like their member to vote.”

It is not always easy for a member of the public to find out whether their Representative votes as they would like or not. News reports rarely discuss or link to actual roll-call votes, even though the Internet and the CongressionalClerk’s officemake it easier than ever to do so.

Civil society and activist groups publish more detailed voting records. Govtrack.uslets constituents sign up for emailed notifications of every single roll-call vote in Congress.Progressive Punchtracks votes and rates Reps on how often they vote for “progressive” positions, while issues-related activist groups track and report on bills they support, as CODEPINK does atCODEPINK Congress. Open Secretsenables the public to track money in politics and see how beholden their Representatives are to different corporate sectors and interest groups.

When Members of Congress come to Washington with little or no foreign policy experience, as many do, they must take the trouble to study hard from a wide range of sources, to seek foreign policy advice from outside the corrupt Military-Industrial Complex, which has brought us only endless war, and to listen to their constituents.

TheHall of Mirrorsstudy should be required reading for congressional staffers, and they should reflect on how they are personally and collectively prone to the misperceptions it revealed.

Members of the public should beware of assuming that their Representatives vote the way they want them to, and instead make serious efforts to find out how they really vote. They should contact their offices regularly to make their voices heard, and work with issues-related civil society groups to hold them accountable for their votes on issues they care about.

Looking forward to next year’s and future military budget fights, we must build a strong popular movement that rejects the flagrantly anti-democratic decision to transition from a brutal and bloody, self-perpetuating “war on terror” to an equally unnecessary and wasteful but even more dangerous arms race with Russia and China.

As some in Congress continue to ask how we can afford to take care of our children or ensure future life on this planet, progressives in Congress must not only call for taxing the rich but cutting the Pentagon–and not just in tweets or rhetorical flourishes, but in real policy.

While it may be too late to reverse course this year, they must stake out a line in the sand for next year’s military budget that reflects what the public desires and the world so desperately needs: to roll back the destructive, gargantuan war machine and to invest in healthcare and a livable climate, not bombs and F-35s.

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36 comments

  1. g3

    https://truthout.org/articles/horror-beyond-description-noam-chomsky-on-the-latest-phase-of-the-war-on-terror/

    One informative discussion, in Business Week (Feb. 12, 1949), recognized that social spending could have the same “pump-priming” effect as military spending, but pointed out that for businessmen, “there’s a tremendous social and economic difference between welfare pump-priming and military pump-priming.” The latter “doesn’t really alter the structure of the economy.” For the businessman, it’s just another order. But welfare and public works spending “does alter the economy. It makes new channels of its own. It creates new institutions. It redistributes income.” And we can add more. Military spending scarcely involves the public, but social spending does, and has a democratizing effect. For reasons like these, military spending is much preferred.

    Reply
  2. Steve

    I am sympathetic to this line of thinking, but the assertiveness of Russia and China the last 10 years or so have me convinced that the only reason Russia hasn’t invaded the Baltics or all of the Ukraine and China hasn’t yet invaded Taiwan or started a war with India is because of the huge disparity in military capabilities. It may seem wasteful, but the higher probability of war that comes along with military parity has started to convince me that military spending is an investment in stability.

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    1. Felix_47

      To make that clear the US would have to categorically state that it does not believe in the one China policy which Nixon and all subsequent presidents agreed to. The US would have to state that an invasion of Taiwan is equivalent to an invasion of the US and we will use nuclear weapons to defend it. We would need to have the same policy that we have with Germany were Russia to invade Germany. We would have to be clear that we are ready to sacrifice American soldiers to defend Taiwan. You mention India and the Ukraine as well and we would need to be equally clear. We need to make it clear to China that we are prepared to sacrifice thousands if not hundreds of thousands of US soldiers in a conflict. If we do not then all the buildup in the world is just building a paper tiger. We are not going to help anyone confronting China at this point. The Chinese really believe they have a better political and social system.

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    2. lordkoos

      If you actually gave a sh!t about global stability you’d be more interested in fighting climate change than in continuing the bloated military budget.

      Russia’s military is based on a defensive posture, unlike the the USA, whose aim is to be able to project power anywhere on the planet. As of 2019 China’s military spending was $261 billion, Russia’s was $48 billion, while the US was $649 billion. Since WWII he most aggressive, destabilizing military actions in the world have been perpetrated by the US.

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      1. BurtBrussel

        I don’t necessarily agree with Russia having a defensive posture, they invaded the Crimea and have projected power into Syria. China’s military doesn’t have to compete for labor like the western powers do, they pay their personnel like crap so in terms of hardware they are getting closer to military parity then spending shows. They are exterminating ethnic minorities, they’ve invaded Tibet, and are dead set on invading Taiwan. The US military large is the only thing that’s kept Beijing from subjugating Taiwan.

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        1. Bart Hansen

          Russia was invited into Syria by Assad to fend off our jihadi proxies and to stabilize his country that we were ruining.

          Since the 18th Century Crimea was part of Russia, save for Kruschev giving it away for some reason in the 1950s. When Putin saw the writing on the wall around 2012 that a coup was being planned supported by Obama he set up a referendum in Crimea as to whether they wish to be reunified with Russia. Overwhelmingly, they voted for Russia. We and Ukraine planned to steal Russia’s warm water port.

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        2. Anthony Stegman

          There is zero evidence of China “exterminating” ethnic minorities. Forced assimilation perhaps, but mass murder? No evidence whatsoever. Contrast that to the history of the United States. I need say no more. Regarding Taiwan, China has a far more legitimate case to consider it a wayward province than the United States had with respect to the Hawaiian islands. On nearly every front the United States has no moral high ground. The hypocrisy of this nation is astounding.

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          1. BurtBrussel

            We can’t allow China to overthrow liberal democracies. The lesson from Germany and WW2 is you don’t let stronger countries acquire territory by force because they don’t stop. They’re doing much more than forcing assimilation, they’re performing forced sterilizations on the Uyghurs, raping the women, forced abortions, and putting them in concentration camps. The CCP is an evil authoritarian government and while far from perfect, the US is one of the few countries that can stand up to them.

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            1. The Rev Kev

              Would you be happier if the US outsourced all their torture programs, dronings, invasions, sanctions, etc. to the Chinese? That way, your version of America gets to be once more the good guy with a white hat and have its hands clean while China now gets to be the bad guy with a black hat and do all the dirty work on Washington’s behalf – for the right price. I would call that a win-win. But I think that a whole series of overthrown liberal democracies would not agree with me here.

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              1. Steve

                It’s really easy for people who haven’t had to witness how evil people can truly be to criticize the US, and there is a lot to criticize. But to use past transgressions as an excuse to abandon Taiwan or other democracies and allow them to be enslaved by their larger neighbors would be morally reprehensible. If we allowed past transgressions to prevent us from doing what is right, we wouldn’t have fought the civil war, intervened in WWI, or kept South Korea free. There is a reason Chamberlain is looked down upon with disdain. The US has done a lot of bad things, but that shouldn’t prevent us from doing the right thing going forward.

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                1. HH

                  A nation with hands as dirty as the U.S. is not very likely to do the “right things” going forward. Somehow the right things in our foreign policy always require huge expenditures to defense contractors, overthrowing governments, and killing people. Like the tobacco industry, the weapons makers profit from spreading death and misery all over the world. They were raking in huge profits as the U.S. ripped apart Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria.

                  The American amnesia machine is operating at maximum power to make the Afghanistan disaster go away, and naive posts like yours prove that it works. Afghanistan was just another little 20-year “transgression” that is in our past and shouldn’t prevent our next bloody foray.

                  All the neo-cons are still if privileged positions. George W. Bush has been rehabilitated as a respectable statesman, and the war-hawks are itching for a fight against China. As long as credulous citizens are willing to go along with the exceptional nation propaganda, the U.S. will continue on the road to ruin.

                  Reply
                  1. Steve

                    These comments have been interesting and I appreciate the debate, but I think we’re all getting off track from the article so I think it’s best we stop. As always, I find the comments thoughtful and insightful.

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                2. The Rev Kev

                  Never said for the US to abandon its allies but it would help if they treated them like allies and not vassals. That helps nobody and certainly not the US. An example here is how (in Links) the US is trying to shake-down a Taiwanese chip- manufacturer for extremely sensitive information on its supply chain in exchange for “protection”.

                  Want to know what the worse of it is from your comment? If Joshua Chamberlain alive today and was stationed in Afghanistan or Iraq, he probably would have been booted out the Army. Certainly such a man they would never, ever be allowed to become a General.

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                  1. Steve

                    I’m not referring to the civil war chamberlain, but Neville. And yes the US shouldn’t be shaking down foreign corporations.

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                    1. The Rev Kev

                      Neville was kinda boxed in because of the fact that there was no way that the British were prepared to go to war when he was in Munich. But does Washington know that it is not prepared for war with either China or Russia? And it is not just corporations that are being shaken down but entire countries.

                      I live in Oz and we have just agreed to pay at the very least $100 billion for nuclear subs that break the non-proliferation treaty and which we will not see the first one built for at least twenty or thirty years. And we have brought the F-35 which is the totally wrong fighter for our needs because of our size and position in Asia. But in both cases we were made an offer that we could not refuse.

    3. Adam Eran

      This is the same line of talk that got us mired in Vietnam. Why on earth are these places (Baltics, Taiwan) so important to the U.S? Can they not be replaced?

      g3’s comment above reminds us that our government spends all possible public policy effort to keep the current oligarchy in place. I’d suggest that oligarchy is the belligerent faction of our population. The U.S. had to employ modern marketing to make a peace-loving population into soldiers to fight the Germans in World War I. Call me a commie, but sorry, Steve, this just looks like more of the same, to me.

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    4. lyman alpha blob

      If Russia were to invade the Baltics, and I don’t know why they would, wouldn’t that be the Baltics’ problem and not ours?

      Plus, the US has its hands full invading and destabilizing any number of other countries on its own right now (and always). But that’s how the propaganda and gaslighting works – blame others for threatening to do what you are actually doing yourself.

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    5. Starry Gordon

      What use would Russia have for the Baltics, or the anti-Russian (western) parts of Ukraine? (No ‘the’, by the way.) I doubt if they feel the Teutonic Knights or the Mongols will be visiting any time soon. And in any case the Russians have done pretty well playing black in recent years, haven’t they?

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    6. Tom Bradford

      Steve sees it as “an investment in stability” but it’s really just an investment in a status quo which preserves you as the biggest bully in the school yard.

      For the rest of us kids in the school yard, we just have to try to get on with our lives around you as best we can. Your ability to give us a bloody nose means we have to be nice to you, even take away our toys if they’re not important enough to us to get a bloody nose over. In some ways having two bullies circling each other both being unwilling to put it to the test in a cold war is the best of stabilities for us as we’re not then likely to draw your attention for plucking or example-making a’la Iraq or Afghanistan, tho’ it can also create a perilous tightrope of neutrality or appeasement of both gangs to be walked with the ever-present worry of an explosive tomorrow.

      No, every playground has its bullies and if in ours it wasn’t presently the US it might still be Russia, or China, or India or whoever has the strength and weight to throw around. However the US with its grandiose preening, its delusions, its relatively harmless arrogance and its incompetence is actually a reasonably easy bully to mollify and fool, and the playground under it is a better place than some in history under more competent and centered bullies so I’m reasonably happy to play in my corner while the US beggars itself and rots from the inside in its efforts to maintain the status quo – er, stability.

      Reply
      1. Steve

        I used to have the same beliefs, but I spent time outside liberal democracies and have realized when theres a lot of parity among competing factions, violence will break out. Should we have let the Soviets run roughshod over western Europe after WW2 or let North Korea enslave South Korea? Like it or not, the US has preserved stability in Europe, kept South Korea a liberal democracy, and kept Taiwan free. Has the US abused it’s power as the lone superpower, definitely, but authoritarianism is an absolute evil and we have to stand up to it.

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        1. HH

          Are we standing up to absolute evil in Saudi Arabia, where the absolute monarchy imprisons and tortures women who want the right to drive cars? Hell no, because that’s where our cheap energy comes from. We have supported brutal tyrants all over the world while pretending to be great fighters for freedom, but our defense of freedom always seems to coincide with protecting the profits of our corporations.

          Americans see no contradiction whatever in berating our adversaries for suppressing freedom while installing and supporting dictators for economic convenience. This is the normalized hypocrisy that makes support for U.S. foreign policy a kind of collective insanity.

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        2. Soredemos

          Er, you are aware that South Korea was a military dictatorship until 1987, right? It became a democracy because of the will of the South Korean people, against the wishes of the US, which much prefers to have authoritarian regimes running its client states because they’re easier to deal with and control.

          To answer your question, yes, especially with the gift of hindsight, I absolutely would have let North Korea reunify the country. For the same reason I would have let the North Vietnamese have their whole country: because these were civil wars and fundamentally none of our business. The ‘choice’ in 1950 was between two dictatorships that had human rights records that were both equally bad.

          And before you attack me for condemning everyone on the peninsula to live as starving cultists like citizens of the modern North (supposedly) do, a huge part of the reason NK is so backwards stems from the US bombing it back to the stone age and murdering millions of its people. No devastation from the war, and no vindictive sanctions and international isolation for decades, and there’s no reason to assume a united Korea was doomed to devolve into the police state it currently is.

          I’ll also add that South Korea is also a miserable hellhole in many ways. Much of its truly worthwhile artistic output are explorations of what a horrible place it is. Do not idealize it. Conversely, it is very, very difficult to get any kind of clear picture of what North Korea is actually like through the fog of constant propaganda.

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    7. Kouros

      The reporting in the media, which one should take with a grain of salt, or pound, convinced you of these “facts”. Also, even nakedcapitalist folks have a bit of a bias in what they link related with Russia and China. just a bit…

      Reply
    8. Anthony Stegman

      Pray tell, where is all this stability brought about by massive military spending? The fact of the matter is simply this: The single biggest source of instability in the world is the United States, through a combination of global military aggression plus various economic sanctions that can rightly be seen as acts of war.

      Reply
  3. Questa Nota

    Theater about childcare or some other promoted topic is a sop to the masses and SOP for the non-masses.

    Look here at this shiny object, not over there at your worsening quality of life.

    Reply
  4. Questa Nota

    That Hall of Mirrors needs some ammonia and newsprint, or similar solutions, to defog and remove streaky distortions and fly specks. If said approach makes a few Congressional staffer eyes water, that may prompt them to ask themselves and their constituents why.

    In a pre-pandemic era it was easier to visit in person your elected officials or at least their staff stenographers mouthpieces either at a local office or at far remove in the state or national capital. Don’t be surprised when you find out how young the staffers are. It takes a certain youthful finesse, coordination and concentration to keep those balls in the air.

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  5. Wukchumni

    Haven’t had any F-35 overflights here in a few months, the last month being too smoky for them i’d imagine.

    Naval Air Station Lemoore seems like such a contradiction being oh so far from the ocean, but there’s also a artificial wave making place called the ‘Surf Ranch’ in Lemoore which brings the ocean to the CVBB, ha ha.

    We haven’t been at war with an adversary with an air force since the first month of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, so its hard to imagine why we need more fighter planes that don’t work all that well, when the real enemy is wildfires.

    For the cost of an F-35 we could have a couple of night flying Chinook firefighting helicopters instead, and in the new era of wildfires not going to bed at night like they used to back in the day say 5 years ago, we obviously need to beef up our firefighting game.

    I realize a lot of gold-plated titanium rice bowls are going to go empty by shunning the Edsel of the air, but priorities.

    Reply
    1. Pookah Harvey

      Cal Fire recently purchased 12 Sikorsky Fire Hawks at a cost of $26 million each to replace an equal number of older fire fighting Hueys. The Sikorskys’ advantages over the Hueys are numerous. They fly faster and farther, can carry more people and more water (1,000 gallons vs. 300) and can drop 1,000, 500 or 250 gallons at a time. They have two engines instead of one and can still fly if one gives out.
      The $12 billion that is scheduled to be spent on 85 F-35s (before cost overruns) could have bought 461 Sikorsky Fire Hawks.
      https://www.sbsun.com/2021/06/04/new-cal-fire-helicopter-already-showing-its-chops/

      Reply
  6. Otis B Driftwood

    My best friend growing up studied engineering in college and joined United Technologies after he graduated. He spent almost the entirety of his 30 year career working on the Joint Strike Fighter program, one the costliest and most useless military projects of our era. Retired now, with a nice boat and a home on the shore, I am sure he doesn’t give even a moment of thought about this. When he phoned to tell me he was retiring, his only concern was how he would cover his health insurance cost before he qualifies for Medicare.

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  7. Regulus regulus

    Well, if our institutions are only “quasi-democratic” than the arms manufacturers really have nothing to worry about. — The plowshare crowd must figure how to manufacture a legislative product which will require 50 semi-skilled (mostly) men from underdeveloped Congressional districts to service each widget on overseas bases, relieving the government of the obligation of finding those men work in the funhouse mirror American economy. This product should also have the side benefit of politically indoctrinating in favor of the establishment all those who come in contact with the item. The indoctrination should extend to the foreign power structures of friends and enemies alike, particularly enemies, who expend all excess bio-power matching our peculiar development as opposed to spending to subvert the US post-war order.

    My proposal: adapt and overcome. Propose increased childcare expenditures within the defense budget under “Emergency ‘Rosie the Riveter’ Addendum to Operation Hades’s Workshop”. Then whip up a mission statement: arsenal of democracy, home front job security, raising the next generation of warfighters, bingo, bango, bongo… You got yourself 20% more daycares than you asked for. Recognize the entire US government was a product of its time, created to prevent King George and Napoleon from pulling a Crimea on the Eastern seaboard.

    Reply
  8. Tim

    I’m reminded of a scene from the Wonder Years TV series where the son (Kevin) is narrating while his parents are trying to pick out wallpaper for the house.

    The mom picks something which the son likes, but the father doesn’t, then the dad picks something that the son likes but the mother hates, and in the end they agree on a wallpaper that nobody in their right mind would like.

    At the end of the day, the only thing Republicans and Democrats can agree on is screwing over the American public, despite their sales pitches to the contrary.

    Reply

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