If I ever am asked about a really bad bill I do not like, I always go to a specific few. One of them is the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA. This is a bill that’s basically the Congressional funding bill for the Department of Defense. Sounds innocent, doesn’t it? I mean, I’m no anarchist. I still believe in a state with a defense force (strictly limited would be nice), but at the end of the day, this bill does more than just that.
Aside from the indefinite detention clauses in the bill, and the provisions that allow for local police forces to get excess MILITARY equiptment, there isn’t much else in this bill that makes it bad, but then again, that’s not counting in the waste and abuse within it. Just like every other department of the government, the Department of Defense has a lot of waste. Take military contracts, for example. Here is Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) sounding off about this:
This Department has a large amount of waste, and the Congressman is right to say this. Many in the Republican Party will scoff at his words, and won’t give him a second though, but he lives in a major military district. It truly is a shame that the Party that claims to be about small government and fiscal responsibility turns a blind eye to one of the biggest Departments of the Government. That truly is a shameful thing.
Enough of that, let’s look at this years NDAA. I became aware of this bill moving through when Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA) posted about it, back in early May.
It was a bit saddening to see him vote for it, and it wasn’t much of a surprise that it passed the House. But after a while, I sort of forgot about it, till I saw this from Rand Paul’s Senate page.
This brought me back to the NDAA, as I was unaware that it was being worked on in the Senate now. It amazes me how I don’t hear about stuff like this in the news, but then again, their job is entertainment, not informing you on what your government. That’s why your local station does cooking stuff at least once a week that barely anyone cares about.
The amendment (text here) proposed by Paul, according to his Press Release, would give an extra $10,000 bonus to employee’s who found surpluses or un-needed funds, which sounds alright to me. We need ways to identify and clamp down on waste and abuse in the DOD. This, I believe, is a good way, as it adds an incentive to DOD employee’s to do so (and $10,000 can pay off quite a few bills if they need it).
The Federal Government is $18 TRILLION in the hole, and the Republicans in the Senate wanted more spending for the Department of Defense (Rubio and Cotton specifically). They didn’t want to make any cuts to offset their spending increases. The already bloated budget is going to go up even more, and fiscal conservatives should be concerned. Tax rates probably won’t be going down, unless Congress succeeds in repealing the Death Tax, but that only matters when you die. That doesn’t help me in the immediate time, and I’m still dealing with all these other taxes.
Maybe it’s just me, or a select few, but the NDAA is a bad bill, and conservatives too should be wary of it, and what it’s stated intentions are. The DOD shouldn’t get a free pass just because it’s the military. That kind of assumption is a terrible thing, and allows for unchecked growth in government; the very thing they claim to be against.
To view the NDAA versions in either house of Congress, see these links below:
House version: [Link]
Senate version: [Link]