Closeted Keynesians

The Republicans love job-killing spending cuts, unless those cuts and jobs happen to come out of the Military Industrial Complex that is.

With just a under a month until the deficit Super Committee must recommend policies that cut the 10 year deficit by $1.2 trillion, members of the Republican party — the same party that’s been on the war path for deep spending cuts, and that decries President Obama’s “failed stimulus” — are making uncharacteristic arguments against slashing spending. Trim too much, too quickly, they warn, and people will lose their jobs!

Call them Defense Keynesians — GOP members who represent defense interests, veterans, service members, contractors, and others whose livelihoods would be impacted by deep cuts to defense spending. They don’t want the Super Committee to cut much more, if any, from defense, and they certainly don’t want to pull the so-called “trigger” which would cut defense across the board by about $600 billion starting in 2013, if the panel gridlocks. [...]

“What’s more, cutting our military—either by eliminating programs or laying off soldiers—brings grave economic costs,” wrote Chairman Buck McKeon (R-CA) in a Wall Street Journal op-ed last week. “[I]f the super committee fails to reach an agreement, its automatic cuts would kill upwards of 800,000 active-duty, civilian and industrial American jobs. This would inflate our unemployment rate by a full percentage point, close shipyards and assembly lines, and damage the industrial base that our warfighters need to stay fully supplied and equipped.”

So if we cut spending, it might kill jobs? And that's a bad thing?

What a novel concept. It's almost like I've heard that somewhere before.

This is exactly why the automatic triggers, which are weighted heavily toward the Pentagon, were included in the debt-ceiling deal by the Democrats. Because it's common knowledge that the GOP is absolutely beholden to the defense industry, and if anything could convince them to waver on other parts of the agreement, it would be defense cuts.

The one and only John McCain has even proposed that he would be open to eliminating the triggers that require the deficit commission find another trillion dollars in savings if it meant the defense industry would not be harmed.

Game, set, and match. The Obama Administration has already won.