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Oh, Look, There's Some Money After All

The other day, I satirically wrote,

Money for handicapped children or money for public broadcasting? Clearly Congress has been doing an incredible job, trimming so much fat out of the budget that we're down to choosing between handicapped children and public broadcasting...

For Representative [Ralph] Regula [R-OH] to have made it out to be a choice between handicapped children and public broadcasting, obviously Congress wouldn't be funding such luxuries as a virtual reality spray paint simulator, a commemorative celebration, or fighter jets that the Pentagon didn't request [as they did in 2005]. Right?

As I well knew, I was wrong, and it didn't take long for a story to come along to show me how wrong I was:

The Boeing Co. won approval Tuesday from a House panel for $798 million to fund further production of the C-17 transport plane, an action that may save a California factory the Pentagon wants to shut down.

The House Appropriations Committee, in a military spending bill set for a full House vote next week, provided the money to buy three C-17s more than the 180 on order, brushing aside Defense Department objections...

The committee's action was taken "in recognition of the C-17 Globemaster's performance in the global war on terrorism and to preserve" the production line, Rep. Bill Young, R-Fla., who chairs the military appropriations subcommittee, said Tuesday.

So we're spending $798 million on airplanes the Pentagon says it doesn't want. That's close to a billion dollars. But according to Representative Regula, we have to "choose between giving a little more money to handicapped children versus providing appropriations for public broadcasting". Or we could choose to fully fund both programs (and more) simply by not buying planes the Pentagon doesn't want.


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