I shall post videos, graphs, news stories, and other material there. We shall use some of this material in class, and you may review the rest at your convenience. You will all receive invitations to post to the blog. (Please let me know if you do not get such an invitation.) I encourage you to use the blog in these ways:
To post questions or comments about the readings before we discuss them in class;
To follow up on class discussions with additional comments or questions.
To post relevant news items or videos.

There are only two major limitations: no coarse language, and no derogatory comments about people at the Claremont Colleges.

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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Defense budgeting-example of the Two Congresses in action

I thought this was a great example of how lawmakers can favor local representation rather than policy making that is in the best interests of the national agenda. When we talked about budgeting two weeks ago, we talked about how lawmakers will protect programs and industries that are important to their constituency. In this case, the Army's Chief of Staff publicly announced that they don't need more Abrams tanks, but Congressmen representing districts who have production plants for the Abrams tank continue to push for spending on the Abrams tank.
Yet in the case of the Abrams tank, there's a bipartisan push to spend an extra $436 million on a weapon the experts explicitly say is not needed.

"If we had our choice, we would use that money in a different way," Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army's chief of staff, told The Associated Press this past week.
Sean Kennedy, director of research for the nonpartisan Citizens Against Government Waste, said Congress should listen when one of the military services says no to more equipment. 
"When an institution as risk averse as the Defense Department says they have enough tanks, we can probably believe them," Kennedy said.

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