November 13, 2007

President Bush: No More Money for Education. But Money's No Object for Pentagon

While the president was busy shooting down a Congressional bill that would provide more money for education and healthcare, he signed on to Pentagon's huge increase in "non-war" spending.

The message is clear: spend more--as much as it takes--on the military, but let's keep as many Americans as possible in poverty, near poverty, and largely uneducated so they can see enlisting in the armed forces as a good option for them. It's a win-win situation. No?

Rep. David Obey, the Democratic chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, pounced immediately on Bush's veto.

"This is a bipartisan bill supported by over 50 Republicans," Obey said. "There has been virtually no criticism of its contents. It is clear the only reason the president vetoed this bill is pure politics."

Of course, it's a matter of priorities--something that we haven't really discussed as a country--when it comes to spending & borrowing. There is also a transfer of wealth during this administration, no less as a result of the decision to invade & occupy Iraq. This ill-advised war of choice will cost several trillion dollars [calculated for the direct outlays, the interest on the debt, wear & tear of equipment, and future healthcare benefits to injured veterans].
Education is perhaps the most important tool a person has to advance themselves. Call it a step into the equality of opportunity. Oh, and yes, more educated people are better equiped to understand and evaluate the arguments politicians like Bush make. Heck, we might even make better politics in the future. But, smarter politics depends on smarter people!