Impact of past defense cuts should warn of risks

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by bruno, Jul 30, 2010.

  1. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    There truly is nothing new under the sun

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/29/AR2010072905005.html


     
  2. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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  3. Chockstock

    Chockstock "Forever One Team"

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    But iisn't it a bit different this time? Nearly all our funding is done by credit, not actual dollars, and I would say that our staggering national debt is a far bigger liability to us than a weaker military (depending on how much smaller and "weaker" our military gets).
     
  4. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    It's always a "bit different", until you need the military again.
     
  5. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    I'm not sure who said it...
    "History doesn't repeat itself, but it sure rhymes."
     
  6. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Here is the problem with this premise. Currently, our economy is in the tanks, we have almost 10% unemployment. People do not realize that the debt could get much higher if we remove military programs from the DOD budget.

    I believe it is either 1 in 5 jobs or 1 in 6 that are tied to the military. Look inside any of our military programs and you will see that within a few seconds.

    Let's use the F-22 as an example. The 22 touches every part of the economy from lightbulbs to computers to paint. There are many subcontractors that handle these defense contracts, shut down that pipeline and less money will be pouring into that local economy. Less money in the economy, means less spending, which now touches another part of the economic cycle. Less money in that cycle, continues the negative dowturn, which in turn means less tax revenue being created and more govt support needed...i.e higher national debt.

    The DOD does have an incredible budget, let's be honest, I don't think we should have retired generals on the payroll to mentor generals, afterall, they have @ 25 yrs of experience in the military, if they don't know how to get it now, when would they?

    This is not only about military superiority, which I agree with Aglalges, we don't need them until we need them is not the premise we want to follow. The military is like your car that sits in the garage for a yr or 2 without ever being started, it can take a while before you get it back up and running again properly. If you look from a historical standpoint over the past 20 yrs, we did not see Gulf 1, Haiti, Somalia, Balkans, or Gulf 2 coming from more than a few months in advance, and even then we could not predict the path it would take. This is also about our current economy. We cannot afford to take the risk of raising the unemployment rate even higher.

    Like I said, go look at the 22 or 35 and start tallying everything that goes into that airframe. You will see that many Americans would be out of work if we started drastically cutting the DOD. Look at the location of bases/posts around the country, a large majority of these towns exists for one pure reason...the military. If Quantico was closed, it would impact the community, but it is No VA and they could absorb the job losses more than if Mt Home Idaho was closed. Mt Home being closed would make the town, the hub of Elmore county with 8K residents become a dust bowl. The closest town is Boise. What happens to our national debt when that town disappears?
     
  7. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    DOD could do itself some good by spending wisely and tracking where all of its money is going. The accounts of waste (and not just the ones you read about), are disconcerting.
     
  8. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I agree with you LITS, but here is the true problem...it is a bureaucracy! There are so many levels of duplication that it can make your head spin.

    Just look at yourself from an AD member and trying to rectify your housing pay...you spend days running around chasing your tail because just to get A&F and housing on the same page you need to hand them duplications of everything, PLUS, you need to get other people involved.

    We had a friend that yrs ago, had to work with 3 A&F bases to rectify his state tax with holdings. It is a funny story...he was TDY enroute, he bought a home in ALASKA (AK) and then went to Maxwell for school(6 weeks) with a follow on to SJAFB(5 months).

    He went to the A &F at Maxwell to change his residency to AK, they inputted AR. Since he was TDY at SJAFB, he never got an LES (before the days of on-line retrieval). Arrives in AK to find out he can't get the Permanent Dividend because he is an AR resident. Calls, Maxwell to rectify since they started the problem, and was told that he had to deal with Elmendorf, Elmendorf tells him that he needs to contact SJAFB since it was his last base. SJAFB tells him he needs to contact Maxwell!

    In the end he had to contact Arkansas to get his state income tax back, but they would not do it unless Alaska aid that he was stationed there. He couldn't Elmendorf to do it because he was TDY en route and never officially in processed, so he couldn't get the state of AK to write a letter.

    This process of putting an R instead of a K, cost him and other personnel many hours of running around to rectify. It was 10 months before they all agreed, he was in deed an AK resident for 8 months prior to the process. FYI, that dividend was @6K for his family.

    If the military had to run itself like the Base clubs, Auto-Hobby, gym, etc as a NAF organization, you would see a night and day difference.
     
  9. fly boy

    fly boy Candidate

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    It is true. The amounts of waste within the DoD are staggering. If the DoD would, like LITS said, would track spending, then effective, safe, and smart cuts could be made, leaving funds open to fund "important stuff." If we're trying to cut costs, don't just look at the DoD (though I'm not saying that there is no waste, there), look at healthcare, welfare, the cost of keeping murderers in jail when they could mercifully be executed. Of course, there is waste in every part of U.S. spending, but don't pin it all on the DoD.
     
  10. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    :eek:

    You scare me.
     
  11. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Outside of the moral/ethical debate, it is more expensive to execute someone than to keep them in prison for life. Court costs for the biggest appeals process around get expensive.
     
  12. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    Just murdered the English-language as well. Split infinitives. Ew. "...they mercifully could be executed." Or, "...they could be executed mercifully."
     
  13. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Please, tell us more. What instances of waste and inefficiency have you witnessed? How does the DoD track spending?
     
  14. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    We're going to ignore the vehicles units give away correct?

    Heck walk through the Pentagon to see where the money goes. It has a brand new food court that would put any mall in America to shame. All while other areas have to dig for $$. They give out chocolate samples at the Metro entrance....:eek:

    And we don't even need to bring up the billions that are unaccounted for in Afghanistan and Iraq. Where was that article (WAPO or NYT....can you tell I'm a WSJ kind of person).

    "end of the FY....time for all the SESs to buy 60" flat screens so they can keep their budgets for the next FY."
     
  15. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    LITS - how many people work at the Pentagon?
     
  16. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Nvmd - found it.
    from the Pentagon's web site:
     
  17. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    LITS I am with you about the flat screens, but when it comes to the food court, and the stores within the Pentagon, I will part ways. They(the vendors) pay a leasing fee to the DOD to be there. Au Bon Pain, KFC, CVS and Best Buy actually bring money into the system. The DOD does not pay a dime to give out those samples, it is the retailer in the Pentagon that absorbs the cost.

    Now if you want to complain about food costs in the Pentagon, you should direct it to the fact that there is a DOD restaurant (lack of better terms) facility for the muckity mucks within the Pentagon. Not everyone working at the Pentagon has this perk, walk around the halls @ noon and you will quickly see who gets this perk... being a 1 star would probably not qualify you unless you were having lunch in the 4 star's office. I see no reason why this should exist. I understand the need for catering facilities, but the white glove food service for the select few is a waste of tax payer dollars.

    FWIW, the reason I support the catering system that exists is because many retirement and promotion ceremonies exist, after 9/11 they buckled down on bringing in caterers from the outside, thus, to offer refreshments to your guests after the ceremony, you need them. That being said, I would bet they are making hand over fist in money because it is insane what they charge for a bowl of punch! They are not a DOD fiscal drain from that standpoint.

    The Pentagon is unique in every aspect, and one thing to remember, is that not every one employed there has military benefits. That means they can't go to the doc in the Pentagon when they are ill, instead they will need to self medicate by visiting CVS. Not everyone is going to bring their lunch to work, thus they need to buy food there. Just to walk over to Pentagon Row would eat up their entire lunch break, and it isn't fun to take that stroll in the 98 degree weather we have had all summer, or in the umpteen inches of snow we had this past winter, let alone rainy days.

    However, that still isn't the point, the food court is a NAF issue, DOD is not fiscally supporting it, thus, it is not an issue from a budget stand point.

    NOW, AGAIN, I agree about the way the Fiscal policy works...it seems ludicrous that they spend money out of fear that if they don't spend it will be cut. Maybe, they should think about creating a program that says if you don't spend it, we will reward you! I can recall yrs when the last week of Sept. the aircrew were triple turning just to squeak out the last dime, and yrs where they didn't fly for a week because they ran out of money.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  18. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Explain?
     
  19. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Humvees painted black for Iraqi civilian patrols in Iraq.
     
  20. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Most likely the same number (or less) than before they paid millions to "upgrade" the food court.
     

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