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The GOP Chooses the Pentagon Over Their Fellow Americans | The Nation

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Katrina vanden Heuvel

Katrina vanden Heuvel

Politics, current affairs and riffs and reflections on the news.

The GOP Chooses the Pentagon Over Their Fellow Americans

Editor’s Note: Each week we cross-post an excerpt from Katrina vanden Heuvel’s column at the WashingtonPost.com. Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.

House Republicans voted last week to break last summer’s deal to raise the debt ceiling and avoid default. “We are here to meet our legal and our moral obligations to lead,” Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said of the occasion, without a hint of irony.

The original debt deal required a bipartisan “supercommittee” to find at least $1.2 trillion in deficit savings, or “sequestration” would automatically be triggered—an across-the-board cut of that same amount, $1.2 trillion, in each party’s priority: domestic programs and defense. Even under that self-imposed sword of Damocles, Congress failed to do its job, setting the cuts in motion. But House Republicans argued that the requisite cuts to defense funding would harm national security. Take the money from food stamps and health care for the poor, they cried, as they cradled the defense industry in their arms. 

Never mind that the Republicans are, as Jon Stewart said, turning a “suicide pact” into a “murder pact.” Is this fear-mongering warranted? Will the looming cuts to the Pentagon’s budget really threaten our security?

Editor’s Note: Each week we cross-post an excerpt from Katrina vanden Heuvel’s column at the WashingtonPost.com. Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.

Correction: The original post dated May 22 incorrectly stated that the supercommittee was required to find $4 trillion in deficit savings. 

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