Republicans finally were able to secure increases in military spending, which were desperately needed after being gutted during the Obama years in favor of spending to get more people on welfare, feed kids fat-free cheeseburgers, and so forth. But they could do so only by paying a hefty ransom to Democrats, who supposedly don’t control Congress but whose support is needed to get the bill through the Senate and who forced massive increases in domestic spending.
According to various reports, the deal increases Defense spending by $80 this year and $85 next year while raising domestic spending by $63 billion this year and $68 billion in 2019. Then there’s tens of billions in disaster aid to address hurricane damage in Florida, Texas, and Puerto Rico, $140 billion for emergency defense spending, $6 billion for the opioid crisis and mental health, $5.8 billion for child care and $4 billion for veterans hospitals. Details are sketchy, there may be more spending. Only about $100 billion would be offset.
All told, it’s something like $400 billion in unpaid-for spending over two years. Usually, things are described in terms of ten-year windows, so that’s like a $2-trillion spending increase. Couple that will the $1.5 trillion tax cut – which will only partially “pay for itself” – and you have stunning fiscal irresponsibility in an era when the economy is already growing and the debt totals out at $20 trillion. All for your kids and grandkids to pay off.
And this, of course, is before we attack North Korea or incur new disasters or even a major terrorist attack.
It would be easy for me to say I oppose the deal, and it would sure feel good, but I can’t, because we need the defense spending too badly. North Korea and Iran must be dealt with, the Islamists remain a threat, we’re at a stalemate in Afghanistan, and China and Russia are growing their militaries. We have to defend ourselves.
Americans have chosen to elect too many people who want too much welfare spending. In November, voters may put even more of them in office. Electing President Trump was supposed to be the cry for help against this sort of spending, deficit increase, and relentless expansion of the state. It doesn’t seem like he’s been particularly effective in preventing it.