Congress Sacrifices the Constitution in Budget Blackmail

A recent tweet of President Trump’s states:

Got $1.6 Billion to start Wall on Southern Border, rest will be forthcoming. Most importantly, got $700 Billion to rebuild our Military, $716 Billion next year…most ever. Had to waste money on Dem giveaways in order to take care of military pay increase and new equipment.

Democrats in Congress are basically saying, “Either give us what we want in spending on non-military items, or you can’t have the military.”

It’s emotional and political blackmail. We might call it budget blackmail.

It’s sickening. Our Constitution mandates a national armed defense to protect the country. Reasonable people can debate how much that defense force should cost, and how it should be utilized. But the military is mandated by our Constitution, and members of Congress — in both parties — are obliged to honor that commitment. It’s not conditional upon unlimited spending on domestic items not mandated by the Constitution.

By telling Republicans, who still hold a majority in Congress, “You can’t have defense spending unless we get more money for things not mandated by the Constitution,” it’s nothing more than blackmail.

You can use your own judgment about who’s worse: The Democrats, for doing it, or the Republicans, for constantly caving into it.

President Trump says there’s no choice. But at what point does choice become operative? Will the Congress have to consist of 100 percent Republicans for us to finally cut or even curb the rate of spending on non-military items? Won’t the Paul Ryans and Mitch McConnells continue to spend like drunken sailors even then? Like the Democrats, they have made a career out of saying “yes” to connected interest groups who seek something for nothing. Corruption is corruption, whether there’s an “R” or “D” next to your name.

Aside from principled exceptions like Senator Rand Paul or the House Freedom Caucus, I rate each side equally bad. The Democrats hold America’s military hostage by shirking their obligation and saying, “If you don’t give us more for welfare, free services for illegal immigrants, free public education, free health care, free birth control, and free everything, then you can’t have the military.” Republicans claim to be victims of this blackmail when, in fact, they retain the option to call the Democrats on what they’re doing, only they don’t because many of them want much of the extra-Constitutional spending too.

It’s a sick, unprincipled, toxic and unsustainable dynamic we have in our government. President Trump has not done anything to stop it, either. At least he calls it what it is, but the fact remains: We cannot go on like this.

So where, when and how do you think it will all end?

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