Republicans Don’t Starve the Beast; Democrats Don’t Trim the Pentagon

Apologies for my recent span of postlessness. My excuses include attending a wedding out of town, starting up again at my day job, and reading a dense and interesting book — Evil and Human Agency — which I’ll review here when I finish it, if I can wait until then.

For news, I have two bits of disillusionment for those of you who still cling to the Democratic and Republican parties (I know you’re out there, because I keep running in to you).

First: for those of you Republicans who know you have much to be ashamed of but think you can at least be proud of the beast-starving, tax-cutting part of your party — think again. The Beast Ain’t Starving:

Federal revenue collections hit an all-time high in , contributing to a further improvement in the budget deficit for .… , tax revenues total $1.505 trillion, an increase of 11.2% over . That figure includes $383.6 billion collected in , the largest monthly tax collection on record. Tax collections swell in April every year as individuals file their tax returns by the deadline. For , revenue collections and government spending are at all-time highs.

And secondly, for those of you who still can’t seem to help but be Democrats, please note: the military budget is as bloated as ever now that the donkey party holds the purse strings:

[I]f anyone thought the Democrats might reassess the nation’s defense needs or the Pentagon’s way of doing business, think again. The Cold War may be long over, but America’s Cold War military machine is intact and well-oiled.

This $504 billion—measured in real terms (i.e., adjusting for inflation) — falls only a few billion short of the largest military budget in U.S. history, back in , when America was embarking on its Cold War rearmament campaign and fighting a war in Korea.

One difference: The budget included the cost of fighting in Korea. The budget does not include the cost of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.…

A half-trillion dollars exceeds the military budgets of all the world’s other nations combined.