Dear Readers, I’d like to point your attention to a certain utterly false claim made by Doug Brady in his most recent article, Romney May Be The End Of The Line For The Republican Establishment, in the 3rd paragraph. Mr Brady claims that:
“Rasmussen next points out that there is little difference between Establishment Republicans and Establishment Democrats when it comes to crony capitalism. Democrats send billions of taxpayer provided dollars to their favored constituencies (Solyndra, public employee unions, etc.) and Republicans subsidize their own (farm bills, defense contractors, etc.).”
The boldfaced claim is utterly false. Republicans do not “subsidize” defense contractors; in the last 3.5 years alone, they have agreed to deep defense spending cuts. In 2009 and 2010, Republicans meekly agreed to kill over 50 crucial weapon programs, including the F-22, the Airborne Laser, the Kinetic Energy Interceptor, the Multiple Kill Vehicle, the CSAR and AF Silo helicopter replacements, the AC-X gunship, the Zumwalt class, and many others. In December 2010, 13 Republicans wrongly agreed to vote for the New START arms reduction treaty, another big defense cut. That misbegotten treaty obligates the US to unilaterally cut its nuclear arsenal while Russia is allowed to grow its own.
In 2011, Republicans voted to approve and implement Secretary Gates’ $178 bn Efficiencies Initiative.
And in August 2011, Republicans meekly agreed to Obama’s demand to include deep defense cuts in the debt ceiling deal, then voted for that bad deal. It includes $487 bn in first tier defense cuts and $550 bn as a sequester, a total of over $1 trillion in cuts.
Any claim that defense spending has been Republicans’ “favored constitutency” or that they have protected it from scrutiny is false.
Furthermore, defense contractors’ influence in Washington is tiny. The OpenSecrets website has a list of the country’s 100 biggest political donors, by total sum of donations made from 1989 to 2012. No defense company makes it even to the top 30 (or the top 32), let alone the top 10!
Lockheed Martin, the country’s largest defense contractor, is barely 33rd, at $22,398,020 – not exactly George Soros money. General Electric is 35th at $21,947,727. Other defense contractors are even further down the list: Boeing is 51st, with total political contributions at barely $17,884,942. Northrop Grumman is 58th, at $15,598,484. General Dynamics is 70th, at $13,894,518.
The 10 top contributors are: ActBlue (a pro-Democrat group) at $69,829,402; the American Fdn of State, County, and Municipal Employees at $61,440,473; AT&T at $49,435,290; the National Association of Realtors at $44,032,938; the NEA at $43,613,263; the SEIU at $41,809,666; Goldman Sachs at $39,830,663; the “American Association for Justice” at $36,480,728; the “Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers” at $35,994,170; and the American Federation of Teachers at $34,698,466.
Compared to these figures, the defense industry contributions’ are meagre. ActBlue, a pro-Democrat group, contributed almost as much to politicians as the top 4 defense contractors combined.
Furthermore, the following graph proves that the defense industry is one of the smallest donors to politicians and political groups, donating only small amounts of money, and far less than almost every other industry in the country. Unions are by far the biggest donor group.
Defense is not anyone’s sacred cow or favored constituency. It is the highest Constitutional DUTY of the federal government. Any true conservative would take that into account when evaluating other people’s budget proposals (or drafting his own).
And BTW, Sarah Palin has always spoke out strongly against defense cuts, including sequestration, most recently at this year’s CPAC. So, Mr Brady, is Mrs Palin one of those corrupt Republicans who supports subsidies to the Big Bad military-industrial complex? By your standard, she is.