I’ve never liked massive defense spending. In the best case scenario, the stuff we purchase ends up never being used, and, in the worst case, Little Lord Pontchartrain decides to invade the wrong fucking country. As macroeconomic policy, it creates far fewer jobs than other forms of spending, like education, transportation, or research–all of which have the extra benefit of being used by the public at large. But at least sending federal dollars to local communities provides some stimulus. And then we read this (boldface mine):
Just weeks before Tax Day, April 15, Governor Deval Patrick, Obama’s “close friend,” signed into law a bond bill that dispenses $177 million in Massachusetts State Taxes to the Pentagon for construction and “upgrades” of U.S. military bases in the state. That’s right, not federal taxes but state taxes….
Meanwhile cities and towns are in dire need of more state aid for schools and other crucial spending, like ravaged roads, crumbling bridges and decaying senior centers. Taxes have been raised in many cities and towns because of the lack of such funds from state coffers, further burdening the taxpayers….
Still worse, the bill in Massachusetts passed 150-0 without any opposition voiced in the House and with only two nay votes in the Senate which houses 40 solons…
Finally you can bet that, once the Pentagon gobbles up this first tribute, they will hunger for more – and more and more.
Unlike the federal government, which has no operational constraint on currency–it can’t run out of money*, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (God save it!) is currency-limited. Every dollar spent on national defense by the Commonwealth is a dollar that can’t be spent elsewhere–or, in this case, borrowed and which will have to be paid back. This is insane.