Secretary of State John Kerry has joined the chorus of officials claiming that the minor cuts resulting from sequestration would be a huge threat to “national security,” and was quick to play the Israel card in defending his own department’s budget.
According to Kerry, the $2.6 billion cut in the budgets of the US State Department and USAID would mean a few hundred million dollars in cuts to American grants to foreign militaries, the largest of which is the multi-billion dollar yearly “aid” to Israel.
Kerry’s comments are part of an administration campaign to insist that the cuts are unacceptable, as Senate Democrats push a plan for major tax increases as an alternative to allowing the cuts.
And while the average American might not be sold on the idea that a slight reduction in annual gifts to the Israeli military is such a dire thing, Congressional sentiment is likely to be starkly different, as many see anything even hinting of falling short of slavish dedication to Israel as an unthinkable lapse. Devastating tax increases might not be popular among Congressmen, but if they can be spun as a pro-Israel move, their support is likely assured.