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Republican Hypocrisy: Feed the Armed Forces, Starve the Kids

Last updated on 2013.07.17

Gordon Howie's propaganda machine gripes and moans (again, linklessly! Why does South Dakota's right-wing blogosphere have to suck so badly?) that healthcare is a privilege, not a right attested in the Declaration of Independence.

Maintaining a military presence in other sovereign nations isn't a right, either, but that doesn't stop the United States of America from stationing troops in (depending on how you count) over 600 bases in 130 other countries. Hmmm... how many foreign countries have troops on U.S. soil? (The U.N.'s black helicopters don't count.)

Other countries choose to spend more on protecting their citizens from daily threats like disease, injury, and economic insecurity. And don't forget: countries that have single-payer health insurance spend less on health care.

But here in America, we are determined to spend more money on our John Wayne fantasies of storming every beach and desert stronghold than on taking care of our neighbors. For example, check out the priorities of the latest budget proposal from the House Republicans. Rather than allow the $55 billion in military spending cuts called for by last summer's debt agreement, Rep. Kristi Noem's pals want to shift those cuts to "lower-priority spending." Greg Kaufmann at The Nation documents our "lower priorities":

But for House Republicans, their preferred alternative of cutting lower-priority spending means... a $36 billion cut in food stamps (SNAP), which largely helps the elderly, disabled people, children and the working poor. Two million people would lose their benefits entirely and 44 million would have their benefits reduced—the current average benefit is $4 per person per day. Two hundred and eighty thousand low-income children would also lose automatic access to free school breakfast and lunch. The bill also cuts the SNAP employment and training program by 72 percent, making it more difficult for jobless recipients to find work. It's important to note that SNAP kept 5 million people from poverty in 2010 and reduced poverty rates by 8 percent in 2009.

Cuts to lower-priority spending means... denying the Child Tax Credit to 5.5 million children—that's an average of $1,800 out of the pockets of working families earning sub-poverty wages. The Child Tax Credit lifted 1.3 million children out of poverty in 2009.

Cuts to lower-priority spending means... eliminating the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG), which 11 million children rely on—including 4 million children who receive child care assistance, 1.7 million receiving protective services and 451,000 children in foster care. It also funds meals on wheels programs, services that help protect over a half-million seniors from abuse, and community-based care that allows elderly and disabled people to remain in their homes rather than be placed in expensive institutions [Greg Kaufmann, "This Week in Poverty: Republicans Define 'Lower-Priority Spending'," The Nation, 2012.05.11].

House Republicans will pour money into breaking things and killing people overseas. But they don't see the value in spending money right here in America in ways that feed people, get them out of poverty, and save us money in the long run. Raising false spectres of "control and dominance," Republicans will sacrifice their neighbors and gut social programs to pay for very real American control and dominance of other sovereign nations.


  1. Michael Black 2012.05.14

    Washington has continued to spend money it doesn't have for generations. Your two choices are not acceptable: we need to support our troops overseas that are defending our country as well as providing for a safety net for our poor and elderly. We can cut costs, but at a certain point both will need our cash.

  2. Donald Pay 2012.05.14

    It's as if Adam Mayes is in charge of Republican policy. Adam Mayes is the murder/kidnapper who abducted two Tennessee girls and let them starve in the woods after killing the older daughter and the mother with his bare hands. Republicans hate women, and want kids to starve.

  3. Carter 2012.05.14

    Michael, how are troops stationed in, for example, Germany, Japan, and Boliva "defending out country"? I would argue that even having troops in the Arabian Peninsula is doing more harm than good, but I won't even ask you to defend that. Please, give me one good reason why Germany, Japan, or Bolivia are threats to us.

  4. Douglas Wiken 2012.05.14

    The primary threats to the US are from fossil fuel industry and unlimited illegal immigration.

  5. Stan Gibilisco 2012.05.14

    Republicans hate women, and want kids to starve.
    Democrats love totalitarianism, and want us all to be poor.
    Two equally silly statements ... but are they true, or not?

    Republicans hate the earth, and want us to suffocate in our own waste.
    Evangelicals would have us "be fruitful and multiply" ... to death.
    Gays want to destroy the family.
    Blacks rob and steal more than whites do.

    On and on. All equally mindless and stupid ideas, yet plenty of people can be found to support any one of them.

    Carter, we would not put troops in countries that are a threat to us, would we? American troops in, say, China? Iran? North Korea? Um, noooo. No, the rationale (I think) is that we need troops in places that are friendly to us, to serve as a deterrent to those who are not.

    Nevertheless, I agree that we could do with lots fewer troops overseas, especially when we can't even provide work, food and shelter for our own people.

  6. larry kurtz 2012.05.14

    "Republicans hate the earth, and want us to suffocate in our own waste." Yeah, what mindless drivel.

  7. Carter 2012.05.14

    Stan, no other country in the world has even a fraction of the number of military installations we have in foreign countries. The UK doesn't, and they're not being attacked. Germany doesn't, and they're not being attacked. Australia doesn't, and they're not being attacked.

    And yet we have this view that if we don't station troops all over, we will be attacked. The entire thing is a power play. We want people to be afraid of us, and respect us. We think just because we're the big guys, we get to run around telling everyone what to do.

    If anything, having military bases everywhere is making us less safe because it incites bad feelings.

  8. Rorschach 2012.05.14

    Republicans never tire of beating plowshares into swords. Heck, they want to start wars with Iran, Syria & North Korea. Blowing up other countries seems to be a higher priority for the modern GOP than building up our own country.

  9. D.E. Bishop 2012.05.14

    The Repub priorities tick me off so much!!! I had plenty of ranting to do, then I read the comments and saw yall had already said everything I was going to say! Well. . . damn!!!!!

  10. PrairieLady 2012.05.14

    I have never understood why we have bases in countries, who are not a threat to us. Way back when we did not have the technology to destroy “enemies” by sending WMD from the US, it made some sense, but it does not anymore. Most of the countries are not happy we are around, altho their economy would be a bit less? I don't know.
    Why are we feeding the world and taking care of countries who hate us? Why are we giving North Koreans food, so their government will not create nuclear bombs. Do those common citizens get the food, or does the government sell it, as in so many countries?
    Sorry, I do not believe we should be doing this....even way back in the 70's. If church groups want to do this...fine, but do not use my taxpayer dollars. Use that money to do something to help the people in the US.
    We have poverty here. We need to feed our people, as some go hungry. Education is the answer and that is cut constantly. It is not just giving money for welfare, but people who are receiving our taxpayer benefits need to become responsible and ACCOUNTABLE for their actions. (Sorry.... I have a big soap box I stand on, having been a social worker, a child care counselor in a residential treatment setting, and worked with the old CETA probram. Believe me, I am far from a bleeding heart about welfare, I had my belly full of..... )
    I do not have the answers, but our dollars should be spent here.
    Sorry, a bit off topic.

  11. PrairieLady 2012.05.14

    Sorry....that was a rant. Thanks for listening.

  12. D.E. Bishop 2012.05.14

    Apparently, PrairieLady, when you see people who are receiving benefits, you see people who need to get off their asses. Also apparently, you have good reason for that based on your former work.

    When I see people who are receiving benefits, I see my clients who are disabled, although some of them appear to be doing pretty well. I can see where others might think they are just shirkers.

    What we need is a way to get the ones off their asses who need to do just that, without throwing helpless, hurting people into the streets. The latter group would not last long, literally. Sue, Jeff, Barb, Sandy . . . They can't take care of themselves.

    I don't want to get the freeloaders badly enough to throw out the people in need. How do we take care of this issue?

    The Repub plan absolutely will not work. Taken to the degree they want to, immeasurable harm will be done to the hurting folks. Money for social services has been cut for decades now, as you would well know. The number of staff has been dramatically slashed, as you would also well know. (I know these things based in large part on my numerous friends who work in social services.) That massive cutting and slashing has made it too difficult for the workers to decently monitor their cases. Double staff, for starters, which will drop their caseloads by about half, and they will have some time to more closely investigate their clients.

    It's like what's happened to education. Cut, cut, cut staff, money, time, etc., then complain that the few left aren't doing their jobs.

  13. PrairieLady 2012.05.14

    @ DE For 7 years I managed a private homemaker program, who contracted with the state. I understand. Got any ideas? Adult Services and Aging needs an over haul. It has been about 8 years since I worked with them, but it was a "good ol' girls club" then. The social workers were too afraid to do anything. I got tired of the politics and found something else. That was the last time I was involved with any type of government program.
    They are understaffed, as you said, but there are alot of politics.

  14. grudznick 2012.05.14


    "Why DOES South Dakota’s right-wing blogosphere have to suck so badly?"

    I wish I knew how to blog, or that there were less insane bloggers out there. I'd show you. I'm just sayin.

  15. grudznick 2012.05.14

    Grammar nazis, I see the mistake.

  16. grudznick 2012.05.14

    It should be "Fewer insane bloggers." Fewer.

    "Less insane bloggers" insinuates that I mean not as insane as the current bloggers. I mean that we need fewer insane right wing bloggers and more ones that are not insane.

  17. Douglas Wiken 2012.05.14

    Blogging is not too hard, and you can even edit your own stuff more than 3 Times. When all else fails for content, you can comment on the local price of mayonnaise.

    Which is still ridiculously high in Winner, SD even after all these years still a "grocery desert".

  18. PrairieLady 2012.05.14

    @ Doug When all else fails for content, you can comment on the local price of mayonnaise.

    And that all depens on salt eggs, which can vary. You might not see the up or done over 6 months.

  19. grudznick 2012.05.14

    Teach me, Mr. Wilken. I sure would like to be able to edit those insane comments.

  20. Carter 2012.05.14

    Grudz, there's a long (centuries!) history of people using "less" when the subject is quantifiable. It's a rule, sure, but it's completely arbitrary and not based on historical usage.

  21. Ed Randazzo 2012.05.14

    I like that it disturbs you to read a post that is "linkless." I like that you think the South Dakota’s right-wing blogosphere sucks (you have such a way with words). I like that you link to my post. I like that you have no logical dispute for my argument. I like that you change the subject when you realize you are clueless to justify your position. I like that even though you and your kind hate the military that they still defend your right to be wrongheaded. I like that you blindly defend your beloved giveaway programs exposing your real agenda which is mindless statism. I like that you think you have the power to eliminate poverty, sickness and misery. I like that God loves you anyway.

  22. Carter 2012.05.14

    It's not giveaway. People (like you!) don't actually think about these things. You hear "socialism" and you start shrieking like a lunatic until people stop talking. Very few (zero?) socialists want to "give away" things. Everyone deserves food, shelter, and medical care. Past that, it's fairly capitalist, actually.

    Our social programs are messed up right now because the right doesn't want to touch them. People are so scared of socialism that they don't think about how good it can be when done right and just assume it's giving money away to people who don't work.

    I like how you think that trying to eliminate poverty, sickness, and misery is something God is against. Although looking at places like Africa, God is a big fan of poverty, sickness, and misery, so I can see why he might be mad if someone fixed it.

  23. Stan Gibilisco 2012.05.14

    Dear Prairie Lady:

    The term is "blant" (blog rant). I do it all the time.

    I'm almost embarrassed to declare that I am a registered Republican. But I consider myself an old-school Republican; the new breed has drifted into some sort of plutocratic poo-poo place.

    I can attest that most Republicans these days are not really earth-haters, Larry. Trust me on this one. It's worse than that. The opposite of love is not hate but indifference. The new breed of Republicans, in my opinion, do not care a whit about the sort of mess they leave to future generations. In 100 years we will all be dead, they figure, so why should we worry about what future generations have to contend with?

    I do not feel that way at all. My attitude comes closer to a retired judge and professor who recently asked me to review his upcoming e-book about humankind and science. He appears on Wikipedia at

    Carter, I agree with you on most points, actually. I think, however, that our troops in Europe and Japan (particularly) are a bit of paranoia left over from World War II and the Cold War.

    I agree that for the most part, our troops overseas are creating resentments against us. Bring them home I say, and bring our dollars home too, and let us attend to our own affairs before we worry about the affairs of others.

    Except for those pesky Russians, of course. Better keep an eye on them.

  24. Carter 2012.05.14

    Sarah Palin just sold her house in Arizona, Stan. She'll be back in Alaska full time to keep an eye on the Russians.

  25. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.05.14

    Jiminy crickets! Let me break out my hip waders, Ed:

    Links are the core of the blogosphere. Links show you're not just spewing the Glenn-Beck-karaoke that you sing in the shower but that you're at least reading something to inform your thinking and encouraging others to do the same. When you and Gordon just talk to yourselves and don't link to outside sources, pro or con, you hamstring the ability of your blog to gain traffic and enhance the greater blogosphere. That's why I still manage to link to your post: I want people to have easy access to what I'm responding to so they can see for themselves.

    I do have a logical dispute for your original argument. While I'm not a fan of the ObamaCare insurance mandate (I'd much rather see a genuine public option or simple single-payer), it doesn't trigger any moral disadvantage that doesn't exist in the current system. Whether you have insurance or whether you are so unusually wealthy that you can pay for all of your health care out of pocket, you are still paying for people who can't afford their health care (which seems to be your big gripe, paying for the undeserving). Poor people get hurt or sick, hospitals treat them, and when the poor can't pay, the hospitals shift the cost to all of their other customers. Why not shift the costs in a more rational fashion by getting everyone in one big payer pool?

    We don't have to scream about rights to sell single-payer; we can argue purely from practical policy grounds. Single-payer would help us save money and save lives.

    I don't hate the military. That's another of your hot button tricks to keep people from listening and thinking. I just don't think we need to use the military as much as we do. And if you want to talk about rights, you really do need to address the right by which the United States assumes it can maintain a global military presence.

    If you are concerned about government power, you ought to be concerned about all those tanks and missiles that will outgun any of the peashooters you and Gordon fight so passionately to keep in everyone's pockets. The notion that single-payer health care (now playing in several constitutional democracies near you) poses a greater danger of takeover by tyrants than guns and bombs (frequent tools used in coups and other disruptions of liberty) is laughable.

    My statism is not mindless. It is certainly not absolute. I think very hard about which solutions should come from government and what levels of government those solutions should come from. I recognize some problems (waging war, stimulating the economy when the private sector fails) are so big they require a response from all citizens working together through the federal government. I recognize that other problems (managing public schools, regulating commercial and residential zoning) are often done better through local government to meet specific local needs. I recognize that still other problems (promoting local food and self-sufficiency) may require getting government rules and corporate welfare handouts out of the way of local entrepreneurs. Mindless statism doesn't solve complicated problems any more than your mindless... well, what would we call it? It's not anarchism, because you still want big government to control marriage and uteri. Fear? Enmity? Exclusivity?

    Not that Ed and I matter. What matters is the agenda Ed peddles, which is branded "Liberty" and "Family Values" but really doesn't support either in practical terms.

  26. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.05.14

    Dang: it would be so much simpler to just call Ed names.

  27. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.05.14

    Grudz, I'd settle for less insane right-wing bloggers. If you could promise more sanity, I'd welcome your voice as a full blogger. Go get a free Blogger account, play around with it privately for a few days, see if you like it. Then, when you have some posts up, send us all the link, and we'll come see what we think... and pound on you when you're wrong.

    But remember: If you're a full-bird blogger, you've got to use links! (Don't worry: they're easy, and Doug and I and Carter and others can show you how.) No blog is an island. No one blog matters as much as the blogosphere of which it is a part. (I'm trying to think of a way to turn that statement into a reinforcement of the communitarian principle underlying my original post....)

  28. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.05.14

    Stan: never take your eye off the Russians. But now we have spy satellites to do that.

  29. Jana 2012.05.14

    So much to comment on Ed, but thanks for joining in on the conversation.

    I can't even imagine how frustrating it must be for global media icons like yourself and Gordie to have so few readers and people engaging in discussion with their comments. (Good thing you have Ellis to help you out) It must be that they just don't know you are out there...certainly couldn't be shallow content. (See, I didn't say mindless)

    What might be troubling you is a little envy (that's a sin by the way) in how many people view and participate in the Madville Times vs. the right wing blogs.

    Heck... I think your overgodded (sp) buddy, Mr. Grudznik, said it best on SDWC when he said the SDWC site is dead! Look it up. And if SDWC is dead...well... to be polite, maybe not enough people have been introduced to your site. Not to mention your brand of political thought was totally rejected across America in the Republican primaries...God bless your courage to carry on.

    But I'll let you get back to your demagoguery, but thanks for stopping in to see how Cory is kicking your ass.

    But don't walk away mad, be inspired to actually stop preaching whatever brand of stuff your preaching and actually engage in a thoughtful discussion...back your words up. Ooops, sorry, I used that thoughtful word didn't I....sorry...really didn't mean to throw you off there...

    Do come back will help your site's stats when Cory chooses to give you a link...

  30. Ed Randazzo 2012.05.14

    Thanks for the visit from Linkville. We all understand the value of links. But I had no idea that you were the Chief Blogosphere Lobbyist. Set your hot links aside for a moment and read what you wrote. Try as you will to dazzle us with words, the simple fact is that there is no right to healthcare. It is a product you purchase if you can afford it. I have no responsibility to pay for your healthcare or anyones healthcare. If you want to pay for some one elses healthcare, do it. Take your wad of singles and camp out at the ER and start paying till you run out of money. You wont though because you don't want to pay for it, you want everybody to pay for it. I vote no.

  31. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.05.14

    I'm not sure what a "Chief Blogosphere Lobbyist" is... but it sounds like it might be fun. I accept the nomination. The whole bunch of us—LK, David, Doug, Ken, Joel, Sibby on his better days—all of interesting and useful things to say to South Dakota. The more we link to and respond to each other, the more we invite others into our conversations, the more we all will be heard, and the more difference we can make. I'll be happy to lobby for that effort.

    Now, Ed, on the main point you think you are winning: do you buy health insurance?

  32. Stan Gibilisco 2012.05.14

    "Sarah Palin just sold her house in Arizona, Stan. She’ll be back in Alaska full time to keep an eye on the Russians."

    What a relief!

  33. Jana 2012.05.14

    Ed, let's take a look at your statement:

    "I have no responsibility to pay for your healthcare or anyones healthcare."

    Do you pay cash for all of your healthcare? If not, you are a part of the socialistic takeover of America. Worse yet, if you have insurance, you are having others pay for your healthcare. That's kind of how insurance works.

    Wait a aren't a part of a socialist group insurance plan are you? OMG...I just imagined the worst that you or your merry band of followers are eligible for about socialism run wild!

    So Ed, do you pay cash for all of your health care or are you a closeted socialist?

    Here's the hard you tell your followers to disavow their Medicare and Social Security and wage the battle on their own free from any government mandated socialism?

    Didn't think so...

  34. Jana 2012.05.14

    Along those lines Ed, were you the one that trademarked the Tea Party sign that said "Get government out of my Medicare?"

    If not, it might still be available. You should grab it!

  35. Carter 2012.05.14

    You should pay back to society because you've made use of society's benefits. Roads, garbage collection, sidewalks, parks, public schools, etc. There are countless things we use every day that we wouldn't have without society. Pay it back (or forward, depending on how you look at it). Acting like you don't owe society anything just demonstrates a false sense of entitlement, not an enlightened view.

  36. Carter 2012.05.14

    Healthcare, of course, being a great method of payback/forward. Not to mention, if everyone's healthcare is provided cheaper, that means yours is, too! So you get that warm fuzzy feeling of helping people while basically being paid!

  37. larry kurtz 2012.05.15

    "Obama's Bain ad: 'Like watching an old friend bleed to death:'" Politico.

  38. larry kurtz 2012.06.23

    Where have we seen this before?

    Operating System Macintosh WinXP
    Browser Safari 1.3
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 5.1) AppleWebKit/536.5 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/19.0.1084.56 Safari/536.5
    Javascript version 1.5
    Resolution : 1024 x 576
    Color Depth : 32 bits

  39. Carter 2012.06.23

    In the UA of someone who should increase their resolution to a decent 1920x1080 so their icons aren't so giant, and hasn't updated their browser in like 7 years?

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