Here's a depressing story from the Los Angeles Times this morning:
"WASHINGTON — The Senate is poised to approve a military-style buildup along the U.S. border with Mexico, doubling the number of Border Patrol agents on the ground and tripling the number of drones overhead — a $30-billion plan designed to win the votes of as many as 15 Republican senators for the immigration reform bill.
The plan would add so many new agents to the Border Patrol — 20,000 — that if all were deployed at once, they could be stationed roughly every 250 feet along the border, stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico.
Spending that amount — more than four times what senators initially had proposed — would also be a boost to defense contractors..."
This idiotic waste of billions of dollars is necessary to get Republicans to vote for an immigration bill which they largely all supported before it occurred to them that they could damage Obama by voting against it. So, it takes a thirty billion dollar bribe to get them to do the right thing. At the same time, we have this spectacle from the Republicans on the farm bill:
"The embarrassing loss for Republican leaders was the first time in at least 40 years that the House voted down a farm bill.
Food stamp cuts are the major issue for the farm bill. The House bill called for the largest cuts in a generation - $20 billion - that would disqualify 2 million poor Americans. Democrats, said it set unduly harsh work rules and gave states incentives to cut off recipients. Tea Party-backed Republicans wanted even steeper cuts in food stamps."
Twenty billion over ten years needs to be taken from poor people, and that isn't even enough for large numbers of Republicans in Congress. But it is okay to loot the treasury of thirty billion to give to defense contractors for nothing. And so it is now impossible for the government to do the decent, necessary thing ever, unless the legislation comes with massive giveaways to Republicans and their campaign contributors.
This is a recipe for national decline, which is apparently what the Republican party wants.