Thursday, February 09, 2006

There's a great op-ed piece in the NYT today, "Jurassic Pork." I just had to paste an excerpt because it's written by a fellow at the Hoover Institution (yes, as in, Stanford's right-wing think tank), Kori Schake (a prof. at West Point). Her bio. also credits her as the director of "defense strategy and requirements at the National Security Council" 2002-5.

"THE military budget for the 2007 fiscal year clocks in at $439.3 billion. And that doesn't include the $120 billion that reflects the real cost of the war. We have a behemoth defense budget that inadequately addresses the top national security threats."

Schake goes on to say that she's convinced increasing the military budget so drastically was a mistake. As suggested by the title, she finds the priorities not in line with reality (not a huge surprise):

"Mr. Rumsfeld disparages his opponents as industrial age dinosaurs. Yet this is precisely the approach of this latest defense budget: it continues programs and practices that have been made obsolete by technology, innovation and field experience."

Basically, the administration that runs on fear (remember all the claims of "protecting Americans"?) is actually not even doing a very good job of addressing the threats to the US. This fits right in line with the Center for American Progress's giving the Bush administration a failing grade (D+) in homeland security.

So as billions of dollars go toward a defense budget that experts call "pork," everyday Americans are going without healthcare and seeing slashes in education spending. I think it's time to reprioritize, both in how the military spends its money, and in how we allocate funds.

[Thanks to Ken for the gender correction -- I'm afraid that after having a male roommate named Kory, I'm doomed to always picture a very, very tall blonde man when I hear that name.)


Anonymous said...

Kori is actually a she...not a he.


karuna said...

OMG, beck. I think for once we agree on politics. Since being in washington, I have totally realized the kind of horrible spending that occurs. You should check out a book by Tom Coburn called Breach of Trust. He's an incredible conservative dedicated to cutting pork spending. This includes the pointless projects that go to the defense dept. Unfortunately, no politician wants to be known as the one to cut defense spending but the truth is a lot of the money doesn't go to our troops or to necessary equipment but rather to pointless projects and simple bureaucracy. Oh how i could go on about how the Republicans needs to actually be conservatives and not big spenders...