Tag Archives: Sen. Roger Wicker

Mississippi leaders to fight closing of any military bases | The Clarion-Ledger | clarionledger.com

Excuse me! Excuse me! Ex-cusssse Meeeeee! Aren’t you conservatives always saying government can’t create jobs?

“[B]ut our philosophy is that government doesn’t create jobs. Government’s job is to create an environment in which business can thrive. Businesses create jobs.” – Ms. Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves

They don’t really believe that so they crank-up the smoke machine. Sen. Roger Wicker, R. M, in response to proposed funding of the military base closings and realignments commission appropriation bill, indignantly responds,

“I’m opposed to this proposal,” Wicker said. “We have seen with the embassy threat, this isn’t the time to be talking about closing military bases.”

The imaginary correlation of keeping Mississippi bases open to protecting embassies aside, aren’t the conservatives and their Teabagger Republican Guard such penny-pinchers that they think we can’t afford to fund embassy security?

“For fiscal 2013, the GOP-controlled House proposed spending $1.934 billion for the State Department’s Worldwide Security Protection program — well below the $2.15 billion requested by the Obama administration. House Republicans cut the administration’s request for embassy security funding by $128 million in fiscal 2011 and $331 million in fiscal 2012. (Negotiations with the Democrat-controlled Senate restored about $88 million of the administration’s request.) Last year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned that Republicans’ proposed cuts to her department would be “detrimental to America’s national security” — a charge Republicans rejected.”

So if Republicans really think, like Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who “absolutely” voted to cut the funding for embassy security because “we have to make priorities and choices in this country,” then keeping bases open in Mississippi, to the extent that they had any embassy security mission, would not be the “conservative” thing to do since government spending, contrary to Keynesian principles, is bad.

Furthermore if you are prioritizing, the Tea-Bagger-Chaffetz way, you may decide to reorganize for efficiency sake, because cutting government jobs is the way to “grow” the economy and the deficit, wink, wink, is stifling economic growth. So, for efficiency sake, maybe some of the things accomplished by Mississippi’s military bases could be accomplished more efficiently in Louisiana or Alabama or Arkansas or some of the other conservative strongholds that receive so much in federal benefits or some other state (pull the transfer payments, tax revenue and borrowing transferred to the have-nots, whether they be veterans benefits, social security, Medicare, Medicaid, farm subsidies, etc. from many states in the union and you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between those states and some third world country). But let’s go back to our examination of how this efficiency operation plays out. “Fort Knox was known as the home of the Army’s tank and armored vehicle training for more than seven decades, before the Pentagon completed the move of the school to Fort Benning, Ga., in 2011”

So consolidations and operation transfers under this model should be a dream come true for the hyper-deficit sensitive Teabaggers. However, the Mississippi Teabaggers didn’t show up to protest the pigs at the troth at the press conference in Mississippi the other day where elected officials stressed the need to “protect the $2.6 billion economic impact the military has in Mississippi. There are 37,000 Mississippians employed in military jobs with a payroll of $1.7 billion.” They didn’t show up because it would have been an attack on their class. You see they aren’t against all government programs because they are in fact the beneficiaries of some of them. The official Mississippi response to the base closing commission is superficially about things like embassy security but actually it is an admission that government transfer payments are beneficial to the state. The actions taken by elected officials were primarily to protect a powerful political block in the state, a powerful group of government workers in uniform. Why else would officials fight to get the federal government to transfer funds to the state of Mississippi to maintain installations that may very well represent inefficient resource allocations? The Pentagon is eliminating Fort Knox’s “3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division as part of a major restructuring that will reduce the Army’s active duty combat brigades to 33 from 45. The cuts will reduce the size of the Army from about 570,000 in the midst of the Iraq war down to 490,000, which includes personnel in units that support the brigades.” So the threat to Mississippi’s federal government workers is real. But you don’t find the conservatives, mitigating the possible damage done by any base closings by acknowledging the multiplier effect of having the federal government pay for healthcare in the state through the Affordable Care Act. Those benefits don’t affect or enhance the lifestyle of people who are benefiting from military transfer payments, directly, at least to their reckoning. It’s covert class warfare.

If the conservative power structure was really concerned about the average worker and not the big insurers’ profits and the taxes on higher incomes (some derived from the government) and the returns on their investments(like insurance company shares), if the conservative power structure wasn’t sustained by the voting pattern of other government workers who are insulated by the benefits from they received from the government (like good healthcare) they would be working to repeal the insurance industries anti-trust exemptions and expand Medicaid. If the conservative power structure was concerned about the working poor all who were burdened by constantly rising premiums long before Obamacare, it would ignore the pleas from Heritage and Cato to block the efforts to open insurance exchanges. But the hypocrisy exposed in the pursuit of government benefits while denouncing government benefits reveals the neo-feudal terrain which is Mississippi.

Mississippi leaders to fight closing of any military bases | The Clarion-Ledger | clarionledger.com