06.30.2010 0

Support the troops Pay Them

  • On: 07/26/2010 07:46:42
  • In: Uncategorized
  • By Rick Manning

    Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barack Obama are playing a game of chicken with the paychecks of our men and women who are in harm’s way defending our nation, and it needs to stop.

    Pelosi and her crew of future unemployed politicians failed to get the Senate to agree to their proposal to add $10 billion more in deficit exploding spending on behalf of local teacher unions into the defense bill. Amazingly, even with all of their sophisticated polling, Pelosi still hasn’t gotten the message that Americans are tired of politics as usual. Americans are tired of Congress larding on the pork and earmarks onto must pass legislation to fund our troops. Apparently, the reasons behind her Congress’ 11 percent approval rating are lost on Speaker Pelosi.

    The Senate is commended for partially getting the message in their rejection of Pelosi’s $10 billion teacher union bailout. But the Senate version is far from clean including such non-defense items as: agriculture subsidies, foreign aid, and reforestation spending.

    This isn’t just an academic exercise. Our fighting men and women are truly in jeopardy if this emergency appropriation is not passed by the end of July. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has identified the beginning of August as a drop dead timeline for getting the emergency appropriation passed before salaries may not get paid. In an early July article, Gates stated that “stupid” cuts will begin occurring by mid-July in order to keep the troops funded. Additionally, General David Petraeus has called the supplemental, “essential” for the conduct of this mission.

    In August, while Pelosi, Reid and Obama vacation away from Washington, our troops families will be going without paychecks, if the negligent trio don’t get off the dime and do their jobs.

    But it isn’t only about military pay checks, the supplemental also includes emergency money for purchasing a little necessity called ammunition.

    That’s right, Nancy Pelosi has been willing to risk letting our brave men and women in arms go without paychecks and ammunition in order to try to get a few coins into her union boss masters’ pockets.

    It is rare for Americans for Limited Government to call for government spending, but if our leaders believe that deploying our military and fighting wars is in our national interest, they have a basic responsibility to fund them, and not leave them unpaid and unarmed. To do otherwise is immoral.

    The deadline to do the right thing is rapidly approaching — August recess. Congress is scheduled to take their annual five week summer vacation beginning at the end of July. They have had this emergency supplemental in front of them since June, and yet once again have drawn out the process making it a last minute crisis rather than dealing with it responsibly.

    A reasonable person might ask why Pelosi and Reid put our troops at risk by continuing in their attempts to use the war as a means of passing other deficit exploding spending measures. The answer lies in arcane federal budgeting rules that allow “emergency spending” to not have to be offset with other cuts or tax increases.

    If $10 billion to bail out the education establishment can be shoved into an “emergency” appropriation, it is like if a husband put his purchases on an already overextended credit card. He doesn’t have to choose whether to buy the new dress suit or shoes, he gets to buy both, and in this case, send the bill to his kids to pay.

    The decision to borrow to pay for the costs of wars is supported by precedent as war bonds have been used extensively throughout our nation’s history.

    However, our nation can no longer afford the relatively new phenomena of turning the needs of our troops in the field into a special interest Christmas tree.

    In this year alone, Pelosi, Reid and Obama have rung up a projected $1.47 trillion in debt with their various spending schemes and faulty stimulus packages. Now, it is time that they stop playing politics, pay our troops through a clean war supplemental, and then cut up their credit cards.

    Our troops need to be funded, but future generations should not be saddled with paying for any more election year goodies for their political allies.

    Rick Manning is the Director of Communications for Americans for Limited Government.

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