Friday, May 12, 2006

Saxby's Priorities

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) is proud of his fiscal record. Quote:

"...goal of cutting the deficit in half by 2009. The budget builds on last year's successful spending restraint by again holding the growth of overall discretionary spending below inflation...

...I cosponsored legislation to cap non-defense, non-trust-fund, discretionary spending..."

Doesn't this sound like a senator that would abhor any kind of wasteful government spending? But apparently, when it comes to the really big money, he's not such a cost-cutter after all...

But check out his voting record. True, he voted against certain “non-defense, discretionary spending” like

-increasing funding for veterans medical services ($1.5 bn, to be funded by closing corporate tax loopholes) and

-raising pell grant limits to $4500

-restoring cuts to job training programs (funded by closing corporate tax loopholes)

OK. We have this deficit, and even though the amounts he avoided spending were relatively small, he wants to cut the deficit.

But he did support the relatvely huge , ½ trillion dollar defense budget.

If he really cares about the deficit, why did he vote against accountability on how that huge amount of money is spent? We read about tanks, jets, and other weapons inventories disappearing (possibly into the hands of terrorists?). We read about billions of dollars unaccounted for in Iraq. Yet he votes against bills to to investigate contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan. And he votes against budget accountability for the wars.

Wouldn’t the ½ trillion defense budget provide a better opportunity for finding savings than preventing some low income young adults from getting an education?

Put it in perspective. If war contracting was made more efficient (less fraudulent?) by only 3/10ths of a percent, we’d have gotten the $1.5 billion that he took from veterans medical care. And we’d have gotten it by cutting waste instead of dishonoring this country’s soldiers.

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