Tag Archives: budget

An Interesting Vote

NPR had a very interesting report this evening.  The House of Representatives voted to stop a 465 million dollar a year program that builds an engine for the f-35 Joint Strike Fighter. This is not the primary engine, which is made by Pratt & Whitney. This is an alternative engine built by GE. Defense Secretary Robert Gates called it “the extra engine” in a Senate hearing. The Bush Administration wanted to kill the program. The Obama administration would also. The Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps agree. Most importantly the Defense Department says it’s unnecessary and the money could be used elsewhere. The House just did what they all recommended. Why is this an interesting story then? It seems pretty cut and dry.

The interesting part is the vote. It was 233 to 198. The majority of Republicans voted to sustain funding. They voted to keep a program that costs hundreds of millions of dollars a year when the people who benefit from that program want to get rid of it.  This is the party that is currently talking about the need for drastic budget cuts. This is the party claiming to be all about fiscal restraint. House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan proposed cutting billions of dollars from programs like HeadStart, and the funding for Pell Grants. Now his party votes to maintain funding for an “extra engine” for a fighter jet we probably don’t even need. Just last year after building 187 F-22 fighters the Defense Department decided they didn’t need them. They would rather put more time and money into the F-35. So now the question is will we need the F-35? Or after billions of dollars spent will they say we need to move on to the next generation? Defense spending has to be brought under control.

That is just a quick thought. I will talk a lot more about defense spending this weekend when I write my opinion on the upcoming budget battle. We will soon see if anyone in Congress is willing to tackle the deficit issue. Likely, we’ll see a bunch of people saying what they think is important to getting elected. Campaign season never really stops these days.

I Emerge From Hibernation

It’s been a couple of days since I posted anything. Providing one post everyday has proven more difficult than I imagined. As we here in the Midwest recover from a blizzard like none I have ever seen, it is important for bloggers, journalists, and citizens to get back in the game. Politics has not stood idly by. Republicans are proposing budget cuts and in the past week tried to redefine rape. North Africa is exploding in anti-government protests, healthcare is being debated again. The budget fight is brewing and eventually we’re going to have to talk about education. The point is this. It is time to speak up. It is time to make our voices heard. Whatever your viewpoint, ideology, or political slant, it is time to make our arguments, persuade our peers, and with a little luck we may just raise the level of public debate in this country. Wouldn’t that be something?