Remember Donald Rumsfeld’s ambitious plan to get rid of obsolete weapons programs and modernize the military? So much for that. Actually defending the country is only one of the purposes of the defense budget. For all the crap we hear about smaller government and Republican belief in the free market, here in the real world, the defense budget is the broken window theory writ large. Building aircraft carriers we don’t really need, aircraft that may or may not ever work, and other crap for the military is a way for Republicans to pay off their donors and more importantly for all of the Congressmen to shovel money toward the people in their districts who need jobs. If someone in Congress came out tomorrow and said that we should spend billions of dollars a year to hire professionals to reduce world hunger, or improve the education system, or guarantee health care for all Americans, they’d be shouted down by Republicans as a filthy communist. But if it’s to build jet fighters that cost $200 million a pop, it’s all good. It’s sickening when you think about it.