By Bill Maher
With the advent of Netflix, Blockbuster video stores all over America are closing their doors. People simply don't need their services anymore. That's the free market. But what if President Obama said, "You know what? Blockbuster employs a lot of people, so I'm going to earmark billions of taxpayer dollars to keep these franchises open. Sure, they have no real customers, but hey, there's no work like busy work."
There would be an outrage. The Drudge Report banner would scream, "Socialism!" and Fox New would have a permanent graphic that says "Blockbuster-gate."
Well, this type of thing is going on. But it's not President Obama that's doing it; it's Congress. The Army doesn't want any more Abrams tanks. They have plenty. More than they need. They've, in fact, told Congress, "We're good." But Congress keeps ordering up more Abrams tanks to the tune of half-a-billion taxpayer dollars just over the last two years. And they're asking for $436 million more in funding.
Why? Jobs. General Dynamics (who spent nearly $11 million on lobbying last year) builds the tanks using more than 560 subcontractors strategically placed in congressional districts throughout the United States. Forty of those companies are in Pennsylvania where Democratic Senator Rob Casey keeps demanding funding for tanks the Army doesn't want or need.
The main Abrams tank plant is in Lima, Ohio which is why this unwanted and unnecessary funding is championed by Republican deficit hawks Rep. Jim Jordan and Sen. Rob Portman, as well as liberal Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown. In the name of jobs in their districts, Congress keeps dumping more Abrams tanks onto the Army's plate like an Italian mother serving unwanted third helpings to a dinner guest who's already full.
Isn't this socialism?