In his speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars today, President Obama excoriated wasteful defense spending:
You’ve heard the stories, the indefensible no-bid contracts that cost taxpayers billions and make contractors rich, the special interests and their exotic projects that are years behind schedule and billions over budget, the entrenched lobbyists pushing weapons that even our military says it doesn’t want.
You could say the same about domestic spending, of course. But when the “stimulus” bill was proposed, Obama argued that it didn’t matter whether the spending was wasted. Or, rather, that there was no such thing as waste: “Spending equals stimulus!” he proclaimed. Apparently he has now found one area where waste is a bad thing.
The impulse in Washington to protect jobs back home building things we don’t need has a cost that we can’t afford.
So evidently jobs in the defense industry aren’t among those that Obama wants to “save or create.” But why not? If otherwise-aimless spending on domestic spending is good because it creates jobs, why isn’t defense spending good for the same reason?
And if Congress sends me a defense bill loaded with a bunch of pork, I will veto it.
Hey, I’m in favor of that. But what about all the other pork-laden bills that are coming across Obama’s desk? If pork is bad, why doesn’t he veto those too?
I agree with Obama that waste in defense spending is a bad thing. What is inexplicable is why Obama can’t understand that waste in every other sphere of federal responsibility is equally bad.