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Oh, I'm sorry. Is that headline a little strong? Maybe because I am just furious over this, as everyone should be. Compare and contrast, kids:
The Senate on Tuesday passed a massive, wide-ranging $631 billion defense authorization bill that restores threatened Pentagon biofuels programs, issues new sanctions against Iran and changes U.S. detention policy for American citizens.
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed the Senate unanimously 98-0 after the bill was debated for five days and hundreds of amendments were considered on the floor.
That's not even counting the so-called "black budget," of course. Have you ever seen a politician draw the line on the defense budget? I can't remember it ever happening.
Now consider this:
WASHINGTON — President Obama plans to ask Congress for about $50 billion in emergency funds to help rebuild the states that were ravaged by Hurricane Sandy, challenging deficit-minded lawmakers while worrying regional leaders, who complained Wednesday that it was not enough.
The White House will send the proposal to Capitol Hill this week, and while the final sum is still in flux, it should be between $45 billion and $55 billion, according to officials briefed on deliberations over it.
That falls significantly short of the $82 billion sought by New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to clean up storm damage, as well as to improve infrastructure to prepare for future storms.
Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers from the region quickly expressed disappointment in the pending request and lobbied the administration to increase it before sending it to Congress. “While $50 billion is a significant amount of money, it unfortunately does not meet all of New York and New Jersey’s substantial needs,” Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten E. Gillibrand of New York and Frank R. Lautenberg and Robert Menendez of New Jersey, all Democrats, said in a joint statement.
Fifty billion dollars? An insult. We lost $18 billion in disappearing pallets of cash in Iraq, and no one ever gave a crap except dirty hippies like bloggers. Now this is what the administration offers to rebuild the freakin' East Coast?
Shame on Obama, and shame on all the politicians and media clowns cooperating in playing this deficit game. The richest country in the world can't clean up after itself because austerity! (Mind you, New York City is the economic engine of the country, home to Wall Street and the entertainment industry.) Why, if we adequately funded the recovery, that might clue ordinary people in to the economic shell game that's going on before their eyes, aided and abetted by a complicit media.
And we can't have that. [Via David Dayen.]