While Congress and the White House throw trillions of dollars away on failed stimulus packages and massive overhauls of the health and energy sectors, one billion dollars in defense spending has drawn the first Obama veto threat. Jake Tapper reports that the inclusion of money for the F-22 and an alternative engine for its competitor F-35 fighters may get a presidential bounce for the entire defense budget:
Congress and the White House appear headed for a collision. The White House this week threatened to veto a defense bill if it includes military spending that Defense Secretary Gates outlined as wasteful and unnecessary. The House passed the $680 billion bill with those provisions Thursday, by a vote of 389-22.
Specifically, President Obama opposes the inclusion of $369 million in the bill for more F-22 fighter jets and $603 million for development and procurement of the alternative engine program for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program.
If the final bill presented to the president contains either of those provision, a White House statement released Wednesday threatened, “the president’s senior advisors would recommend a veto.”
Um, seriously? For the record, the combined total of these two programs amounts to:
- 0.13% of Porkulus
- 0.14% of the defense bill
- 0.0972% of what Obama claims ObamaCare will cost
- 0.075% of what the CBO claims ObamaCare will cost
- 0.024% of what ObamaCare will actually cost
Bear in mind that Porkulus (mostly) and ObamaCare (entirely) don’t concern themselves with responsibilities given to the federal government by the Constitution. National security, however, is the federal government’s primary responsibility. Robert Gibbs says that these and other projects in the defense appropriation are not “necessary spending,” which is why the bill will draw Obama’s first veto — as well as giving Obama an opportunity to posture at the expense of Congress.
If Obama wants to start saving billions of dollars, let’s cut the spending on programs which the federal government has no business funding in the first place, and then get rid of the pork-barrel projects in Porkulus that will damage our economy with burdensome debt. When we’re done shedding all of those, then we can start looking at national defense.