Saturday, February 09, 2013
It’s the Washington Monument Ploy
For you youngsters, the “Washington Monument Ploy” is the threat of government officials that if they don’t get all the money they want, they will “have” to close the Washington Monument to save money. It’s been used so often that it’s become a standing joke.
The Obama administration is using a version of the Washington Monument Ploy to get its way on sequestration. Half of the money due to be sequestered is supposed to come from the Pentagon budget, the other half from domestic discretionary spending. Team Obama wants to raise taxes instead of cutting spending so it is trying to panic Republicans in congress with the threat that cutting the military budget by 5% we will “gut” the military. Obama Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has been all over the media predicting apocalypse for the armed services if the sequester goes through. Note that the other government agencies have been very quiet. The reason? Republicans, traditional supporters of the military are the focus of this effort to get them to panic. The Democrats can be counted on to vote for tax increases.
The latest version of this scam is the Navy delaying the refueling of the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln. Refueling a nuclear powered carrier is a 4 year process carried out after carrier is 25 years old and half of its useful life is over. The Navy budgeted $92 million for this in 2012. The Defense Department budget proposal for 2013 is over $613 billion. The Navy could refuel all its carriers once a year every year without making an appreciable dent in its budget. A few days ago it was announced that the scheduled deployment of the carrier Harry S. Truman to the Middle East would be delayed. All this, of course, was blamed on the sequester.
The Obama administration is playing games with the military in an effort to stampede Republicans, especially those in militarily sensitive states like Virginia, into caving on tax increases. I hope they stick to their guns, and don’t fall for this oldest of ploys.