Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bombs or Buicks?

By Capt. Fogg

My hypocrisy detector burned out on overload ages ago, so I can't really tell whether the idea that preserving jobs at GM and Chrysler is an outrageous example of Democratic overspending while eliminating a smaller number of jobs producing weapons systems designed for all-out war with the Soviet Union is an equal and opposite outrage -- even though the overall military budget will increase by $20 billion and even though the plan to halt production of the F-22 super fighter and the C-17 cargo carrier come from George Bush's former secretary of Defense.

It's getting harder to be partisan when the perceived difference between spending and cutting, big and small government no longer relates to the actual budget -- unless, of course, you just cover your eyes and ears and pick a side.

Of course there's a difference between pouring money into consumer products, the use and maintenance of which creates further jobs and into products that create shock and awe and a lot of debris, but if there's any discussion of that, the noise of the turf wars between the military and private sectors may be drowning it out.

The defense industry is trying to hang on to its share of the gravy train, says The Washington Post today:

Why, they ask, would President Obama push hundreds of billions in stimulus spending to create jobs only to propose weapons cuts that would eliminate tens of thousands of them?

Maybe because building more jets not only takes money away from systems we need more of, like armored vehicles and armored soldiers, but because every Chevy built supports not manufacturers of the car; of tires and batteries and spark plugs and glass and paint and steel: it supports not only dealers, mechanics, salesmen, gas stations and all the businesses drivers patronize, but it supports every business that needs to transport people and goods and that means virtually all of them. More money travels more places, through more hands and at a higher velocity and that's exactly what we need to save our sabotaged economy.

But that's just my opinion which hardly counts because I can only vote and I only have one voice to complain with and I don't have the $175 million or so the defense industry spends on contributions and lobbying. I don't have Rupert Murdoch's billions behind me or a huge, underground staff of spammers and swift-boaters and seditious talk radio gasbags hoping to profit from further chaos and collapse.

Am I wrong to expect nothing but the worst?

(Cross-posted from Human Voices.)

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