AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 2/08/2005 11:12:00 AM ----- BODY: Pork Before Tax Cuts - Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins are very critical of the president's plan to reduce the numbers of warships built.
"I continue to vehemently oppose any cuts in the Navy's shipbuilding budget, especially during a time of increased demands on our armed forces as they prosecute the global war on terror," Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe said in a written statement. "We simply must find the resources to bring DD(X) production up to acceptable levels and to ensure a steady workload at Bath Iron Works." Republican Sen. Susan Collins said in a written statement that the effectiveness of the Navy relies on the continued enhancement of the fleet. "We must not jeopardize our country's ability to counter current and future threats to our national security, particularly at a time when we face critical defense and humanitarian challenges around the world," Collins said.
The Navy's ships are getting older, but are still functional. And, quite frankly, there's no need to keep the Navy as large as it was during the Cold War - future battles are not going to be against countries with large fleets of ships. Snowe and Collins are using military readiness as an excuse to keep constituents happy. Given their past statements, shouldn't they be happy about the president's plan to cut federal spending?
Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., and Budget Chairman Don Nickles, R-Okla., had postured for days to force a vote on a $2.4 trillion spending blueprint for the next year. President Bush made a rare visit to the Capitol on Thursday, where he lobbied hundreds of Republican lawmakers in a basement meeting room for his agenda. But four Republican senators, including Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, remained steadfast with Democrats in opposition to the budget. Snowe and Collins, along with GOP Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, argue that tax cuts or new spending should be offset with spending cuts elsewhere. The proposal is called "pay/go" in Washington shorthand, for "pay as you go."
I guess those principles only apply when pork isn't at stake. --------