N-N-N-Nancy and the jets
Posted by sanityinjection on August 10, 2009
Apparently Democratic legislators are returning home to their district to find constituents in a nasty mood. Let me be clear that I don’t approve of shouting down a speaker at an event – even if they are trying to foist socialized medicine on us, legislators should be accorded the respect of being allowed to speak their piece. American politics should not become a contest to see who can yell the loudest or physically intimidate their opponents (and that goes for unions too.)
But if Democrats are puzzled by the level of genuine voter anger, they needn’t look much further than the recent House vote to double the number of jet aircraft purchased by the military for the express purpose of ferrying Congressmen and Senators on their overseas trips.
Before I continue, I want to point out that I am not opposed to our legislators visiting with foreign leaders. If they’re going to cast critical votes on national security and foreign relations issues, having some direct experience is helpful. Nor am I opposed to replacing older aircraft with new ones – everything has to be replaced eventually.
No, the problem is that the Obama Administration requested $220 million to purchase four such jets – and the House decided to give them $550 million to buy eight of them. The Pentagon says it doesn’t need that many. I’m also trying to figure out why double the number of planes doesn’t cost double the money, which would be $440 million, but somehow requires an additional $110 million.
Do House Democrats think our nation is flush with spending cash or something? Have they not looked at the revenue estimates for FY10? This year’s House under Speaker Nancy Pelosi is acting like a gang of children let loose in a candy store.
As usual, there are some wiser heads in the Senate. In addition to the expected Republican opposition, one Democrat leading the charge against this spending spree is Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, who also was one of the few Dems that voted against extending “Cash for Clunkers”. I applaud McCaskill for demonstrating some fiscal responsibility that seems to be increasingly rare in her party. Obviously she is not confused about the message that the angry citizens showing up at public meetings are trying ot send. To paraphrase a certain professional wrestler, it’s clear McCaskill can smell what the bedrock Missouri voter is cookin’.