Love him or hate him (and I've been known to experience both feelings), Barney Frank deserves one last cheer for his speech on the House floor yesterday.
When Democrats and Republicans in charge of the defense appropriation debate both came down on the same side (for it), the outgoing Massachusetts Congressman claimed the privilege of taking 20 of the 60 minutes to provide an opposing viewpoint.
It was truly a Love Barney moment.
Stressing hat we certainly must fund our military as we send them around the world, Rep. Frank made a superb case that our nation has been overreaching for decades in deciding to be the policeman of the world. He went back, as I like to do, to the time of Harry Truman when indeed the world was threatened by Stalin and the Soviets. Western Europe was vulnerable, and America may well have been the indispensable nation then.
That is no longer the case today. We should not be spending billions to keep troops in counties that are far better off economically than we are, Germany for example.
Barney made the point so very well. He also put down the idea of military Keynsianism, that military spending is a boost to the economy. Republicans who deny that social spending is a boost to the economy certainly have no business holding out for more military spending to prime to pump..
I say it's time to rein in spending at all levels, but Rep. Frank is certainly right that we get less bang for our buck with military spending, much of it going beyond our shores. To the extent we must waste taxpayer dollars (my phrase, not his), let's do it here at home.
As to the argument that our allies need our help--that's why we have troops stationed in dozens of countries--Barney was right again. We don't see Belgians (our allies to be sure) trying to station troops on U.S. soil.
Come home America.
That was Barney Frank's message, and I agree wholeheartedly (just like I've always agreed with Barney on his fights for equal rights for all, including gay people).
If only Rep. Frank would have stuck to those two fronts instead of leading us down the road to ruin on the banking and big spending front, I could have erased that "hate him" section of the introduction. But he didn't. Barney Frank (along with his senatorial cohort in crime Chris Dodd) did a great deal to ruin this country economically. So it's only fitting that he go out with one final cheer rather than three cheers!