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  • Morning Bell: Providing for Those Who Serve

    Today, we at The Heritage Foundation will honor Veterans Day by pausing to remember those who sacrifice in defense of freedom for our country. Heritage honors all who serve past and present in the United States Armed Forces, their families, and all military retirees and veterans. We solemnly remember those fallen men and women who gave the last full measure of devotion and will also not forget those who have yet to come home and remain missing in action.

    On this national holiday we also take a closer look at how Congress plans to provide for those who serve. Yesterday, President Barack Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform released a report calling for $100 billion cuts to the defense budget. The Commission’s defense cuts would make America less safe and are thus completely irresponsible.

    The Commission’s report would completely undermine the minimum capability of the armed forces to protect and defend the people of the United States. The cuts are even deeper than the already inadequate levels of funding identified in the Department of Defense’s Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR).

    If anything, our federal government is not spending enough on defense. Defense spending as a percentage of GDP and as percentage of the federal budget are already at near historic post World War II lows-at a time when the modern military has never been busier. And this summer a bipartisan blue-ribbon commission chaired by former Clinton Secretary of Defense Bill Perry and former Bush National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley concluded (pdf):

    We cannot reverse the decline of shipbuilding, buy enough naval aircraft, recapitalize Army equipment, modernize tactical aircraft, purchase a new aerial tanker, increase our deep-strike capability and recapitalize the bomber fleet just by saving the $10 billion-$15 billion the Department hopes to achieve through acquisition reform. … Meeting the crucial requirements of modernization will require a substantial additional investment that is sustained through the long term. … Although there is a cost to recapitalizing the military, there is also a potential price associated with not recapitalizing – and in the long run, that cost is much greater.

    While there are efficiencies that can be gained in military spending, these savings need to be reinvested in the armed forces to make up for decades of neglect in long-term modernization-buying the planes, ships, and vehicles our men and women need to protect us.

    Not only would the Commission’s cuts leave America vulnerable to a resurgent threat, they would also allow China in some areas to actually gain distinct military advantages over the U.S. and send a clear message to countries like North Korea and Iran, as well as America’s own allies that the U.S. is no longer capable and willing to defend America’s interests.

    Providing the military just enough to barely get by is dangerous, and an outright dereliction of duty by federal policymakers whose first job is found in the preamble of the U.S. Constitution: to provide for the common defense of the American people.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    41 Responses to Morning Bell: Providing for Those Who Serve

    1. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      Right after Bush Invaded Iraq

      he cut VA Benefits.

      Is THAT in his Book?

      Today – The WSJ give Bush Credit for no terrorist Attacks after 911.

      But, they fail to give him credit for –

      No Ships sinking in Death Valley.

      LVKen7@Gmail.com

    2. Dee Glover Virginia. says:

      I am sorry but dont know why so many people trust that man in the White House who calls himself the President for he is no more then someone who has been sent there to tear it down and he is doing a great job cause people are letting him do it you know……………….WAKE UP PEOPLE

    3. ThomNJ says:

      In a fairly short time, this administration has clearly demonstrated their disdain for our military. obama wanted vets, including those wounded or disabled as a result of combat, to pay a deductible – is that not laughable if it weren't so sad? He has killed the successful airborne laser as well as the missile shield. In my assumption he is in dereliction of his duty to the American people.

    4. Ron in Poland says:

      Give me a break. I don't believe it for a minute. It's only 15% off a bloated budget already. We spend as much on defense as the rest of the world altogether and we can't even secure our own borders. Let's get out of those senseless wars and give our military a clear mission – secure our borders and ports. Bring them home and let them do a job sorely needed here. How much have we spent on nuclear missiles, bombs, and subs over the years and how many have we used?

    5. laurie, hawaii says:

      "King and Michelle Obama" need to cut back on their 21 servants and wasteful corruption campaign money to rescue our country before we fall like Rome. Read a history book, Mr. Obama and learn what you are destroying that God has created: certain individual integrity and freedoms for the last free country on this planet. You will go down in history all right, as you take this ship down to the bottom. Do you realize how much a trillion dollars or minutes are?

      In order to have 1 trillion minutes in your lifetime, you would have to live 19,000 years!!!! Learn your math!!! such a fool! You steal our money, our freedom, our safety, our hopes, our dreams, our lives , and our COUNTRY!!!! The majority has woken up. Now, IT IS YOUR TURN TO WAKE UP!!!!

    6. Ben C. Ann Arbor, MI says:

      There is a great resource we mostly ignore in our country – seniors who lived it.

      My dad was a Navy pilot in WWII and flew off the carrier Coral Sea. In addition he is a child of the great depression. My dad has much to say about the trends in our country and the path of self destruction we seem to be taking. Rather than reading some biased account from some politically correct liberal slanted textbook I suggest The Heritage Foundation find seniors such as my dad and have a conference about what really happened and what should be done to avoid the same mistakes. Reinventing the wheel and repeating the mistakes of the past seems like a really bad idea and a waste of time.

    7. Juan A. Vega, Sr. Co says:

      In a World with ever increasing dangers cuts in defense not only reduce our ability to keep us safe now and in the future but also impair our technology base. There are savings to be derived by more intelligent appropriations and choice of weapons systems but those savings should be used to further fund our defense not social programs like ACORN, NPR, etc..

      The liberal mantra of disarmament has never guaranteed peace. The UN is controlled by states that either sponsor terrorism or are rogues and undemocratic. While it is desirable to to work for peace only absolute strength and security will guarantee we survive as a beacon of freedom and civilization.

      The current administration is bent of weakening us to deny us our right to be the best we can be. We must not allow it. New weapons systems take time to develop, deploy, and mature. Today's cuts will have a multiyear effect that could prove catastrophic in a crisis or a mutli conflict scenario. God saves us if that occurs.

    8. Scott, Lockport, NY says:

      Dereliction of duty is nothing new for this administration or the far left democrats who support it. Their myriad trespasses range from trampling individual rights, to ignoring blatant lawless acts by individuals or organizations, to seeding our judicial system with those who have no respect for the law, populating the executive branch with criminals and thugs, and too many other actions to list here. They view our Constitution as nothing more than guidelines to be followed when convenient, and they scarcely give a second thought to the impact their decisions have on this / future generations of Americans.

      2012 will not get here quickly enough. I hope conservatives continue to strengthen their impact and influence the GOP to undo the wrongs that have been foisted upon our current and future citizens.

    9. Bernard P. Giroux, S says:

      A former Naval Aviator, I can attend to the fact of budget cuts first hand. To really change the military, you need to cut top down. Streamline the number of departments in the Pentagon. Expand the hardware and focus on protecting Americans. Nearly all of the world's commerce moves by ship. The Chinese would like to make the Pacific their own personal lake. Cut the military and that will happen, sooner than later. We have got to stop acting like a third world country and stand up for who we are. If we don't stand as the world's most powerful free state, who will? Russia?

    10. Bernard Mulvaney Fos says:

      We will not arrive at a sustainable budget until a plan is developed–including the extremely important 'protection of the homeland–which looks carefully at our revenue–and how to grow it–our expenses and retiring our national debt before debt service and entitlements overwhelm us. Putting any part of the budget off limits will constrict our ability to get the nation back on track.

    11. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Today Applebee's, Outback Steakhouse, Uno, and other restaurants, are giving free

      meals to veterans and active duty personnel. What can we do? We can, if we live near a veterans hospital, volunteer to help. We could also write, or email, troops overseas. Dear Abby has OPERATION DEAR ABBY, which has people write, or email, troops overseas. You can go to the post office and send them $10 phone cards

      so they can call their families. We could send them Christmas presents and care packages. If you're sending something perishable, like say, a tollhouse pie, pumpkin

      pie, or pecan pie, for example, the deadline's fast approaching. The same with sending Christmas cards. Check your local post office, for the details. There are many things we can do to help our veterans. Go to http://www.do1nicething.org for more ideas. We salute those who serve. As they used to say on Hee-Haw, when a guest said that "Hee-Haw salutes my hometown of Hannibal's Crossing, Maine."

      "SAAAAALUTE!"

    12. john Livingston Bois says:

      If ever there was a time for conservatives to come together it is now.

      Our debt, deficit spending, and aging military—equipment and personnel have never been a greater threat to our children's future.

      What a tragedy—so many who want to serve and be supported and yet an even larger number who want to be served.

    13. Sam Rogers, Fuquay V says:

      Don't start with Defense

      The word is out that federal spending is so out of control that cuts are required to military, pay and benefits while we are still engaged in combat. Proposed cuts will apply to veterans and retirees as well. What ever happened to “Support our Troops”? If it is that bad then it is time to cut all government pay and benefits. It is wrong to start with Defense. Start with the President and members of Congress, continue with all civilian government employees and contractors, and proceed to all welfare recipients and others on the taxpayer dole including Social Security, Medicare and Medicare. Did I miss any? Get them too.

    14. KLIMAX Baltimore, Ma says:

      I agree we need to upgrade OUR Military and increase spending to the levels necessary to achieve Military superiority over the Countries who are a threat to OUR Democracy !!! Any spending, like the air born tankers, should be done with closed bidding and only companies who are going to build the items in the USA can compete !! Right now the bidding for the tanker air planes looks as if it will go to an European company when many countries in Europe do not allow any outside bidding !!! With unemployment at 9.6 % we can not afford to allow anything that OUR Government purchases be manufactured outside the United States and I mean anything from paper clips to Air born refueling tankers !!!

    15. William Downey, JD L says:

      Historically we have seen this folly repeated over and over. In today's unstable world, the United States must be able to project an adequate amount of force to deal with the source of terrrorist threats, as well as the possibility of more conventional threats posed by North Korea, Iran and yes even China.

      A weak United States is an invitation to those who would take advantage of the chaos in failed and failing nations, exploit the weakness in the global energy and logistical infrastructure to create both geo-political and economic crises.

      This is another example of the Obama Administration view that the United States is no longer a major international player and must return to a form of isolationisim. This turning a blind eye to history can only have one result – those that fail t study and recognize history are doomed to repeat it.

    16. George Colgrove, VA says:

      By using Veterans Day as a means to promulgate justification of expanding defense spending while downplaying the need for necessary defense cuts is disingenuous. The current administration is asking for $100 billion in cuts from the DoD. I do believe the administration wishes to cut significant defense programs that otherwise would protect this country. Rather than comply with the Administrations hopes, we can take advantage of this moment and prove a point that many of us in America believe, that we can make significant cuts by eliminating federal government waste. We need to complete this task and provide an example for all other government departments. By signicantly reducing the DoD budget by eliminating waste, we conservatives will have a tremendous amount of credibility when it comes to gutting other federal departments. We need to do this before we add a single dime to the DoD budget.

      To comply with the administration, Sec. Gates has targeted the Norfolk Base as one of many ways to cut the DoD budget. I use this for an example, because for several months now, military personnel and defense contractors responding to the cut have described this base as a luxury resort for high-ranking defense officials and contractors. It may have other military purposes, but to defend the base in its entirety for these minimal functions is an example of federal obfuscations to keep the status quo.

      This kind of spending needs to be eliminated. Close the base, move the necessary function elsewhere and then sell the base off to a resort company. High-ranking military officials and defense contractors along with the non-military customers can then still enjoy the resort by obtaining a membership at their own costs. The owner of the resort may even feel it can provide reduced memberships to the military and defense contractor personnel – who knows. Here we can eliminate an exorbitant needless taxpayer expense and we pick up a significant taxpayer as a bonus. The point is, we the taxpayers do not want to pay for luxuries for federal employees or military personnel any more. In fact, it is a full belief of mine that the average honorable soldier would be last person to take advantage of the people they protect (in these kind of way) and be the first to sign the closure form of this military resort in Norfolk. There are too many of us out of work and far too many of us struggling to justify continuing with this kind of expense.

      This closure is one of so many numerous examples that we need to comb through to bring the DoD budget under control. If the DoD successfully reduces their budget by $100 billion, then we add the $100 billion the Heritage Foundation want to add for their pet projects, we have achieved overall level spending at $650 billion. We get our $100 billion in cuts and you get your $100 billion in increases in one package.

      After the modernization is complete, the DoD budget can be reduced by $100 billion – or more in the near future. This is a plus no matter how you look at it. The facts are, cuts are going to be needed all over. The DoD eats up over 23% if the federal budget. To think it should be protected at all costs while all other departments are slashed is not being reasonable. The needs as spelled out by the HF are reasonable, but we simply cannot pay for them. We need to come up with the cash somewhere else.

      We can leave it up to the liberals to cut defense systems or the number of troops or we can take charge in cutting their fat. We need to choose. Cuts will be made regardless. We need to control the significant and long lasting cuts in the DoD budget. I contend that $100 billion in cuts as proposed will be an easy start. It does not need to be done on our field operations or efforts nor does it need to be made to working and proven hardware and defense systems but rather in the administrative wing of the DoD. The DoD employs 400,000 federal (CIV) employees as well as 100’s of thousands of contractors – the most of any federal department.

      Instead of hammering the idea of increasing an already bloated defense budget, (we are talking now of a budget of three quarters of a trillion dollars! Annually!), we should be putting sound minds on looking at the defense department budget to eliminate functions that do not directly help the military mission. The very simple idea of consolidating the payroll system into one federal government system and move it outside the DoD will free up 100’s of millions of dollars in operating expenses. Money that can be used for defense. Moreover, contracting that consolidated federal payroll system out to a private sector company could save even more overall. Look at the web sites of every federal department and look at what each of these departments are doing and compare those functions with similar functions inside the DoD. They are the same! These functions – when consolidated into single federal services and transferred out of the DoD will provide a treasure trove of dollars that can be used for the defense mission. Not only will we be making these argument, we will also be arguing the case for reducing overall federal government costs as well.

      I think the HF needs to use the same considerations for cutting HHS, DOE and so on to cutting the defense budget. It is the same federal government and the same federal employees that work throughout. It is the same bureaucracy. The inefficiencies that are costing American taxpayers in HHS is the same inefficiencies found in the DoD. It all has to be reined in. Not in a decade, not in five years, but now.

    17. Robert Jones PA says:

      One of the most sacred cows is Defense spending. As a disabled Marine I've done some extensive research in this area and would like to share just two things that deeply concerns us. The DOD currently has contracted for 30 Virginia class nuclear attack submarines at a cost of 1.5 billion dollars each (if there are no cost over runs). These boats I believe are being built in CT and VA. Would you please explain why in the world we would need additional nuclear submarines? We were lead to believe that are main concern should be from terrorists and if this is true are we going to fire nuclear missiles to stop a small number of terrorists? This is just one example of many as to how the DOD is not using our tax dollars in an appropriate manner. I don't have any problems with providing our service persons with the best equipment possible, but what I just mentioned about the nuclear subs smells like Pork.

      We need to start holding the defense contractors accountable for their actions and clamp down on the defense lobbyists and politicians, if so we just might find ways to fully protect our warriors without spending the future of our children and grandchildren on defense projects that are not needed nor wanted by our military!

    18. Cindy Jannarone New says:

      I agree whole-heartedly with this article, but we must provide much better care and support for our veterans when they come home!

    19. tpo, lakewood, wa says:

      http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va… reports 737 military bases on all continents. The US has been in five decades of congressionally unsanctioned war. The cost of empire is the burden of the taxpayer. http://www.warresisters.org/pages/piechart.htm reports 54% of federal expediture military related. Defense of homeland is one thing, policing the world another.

    20. Patricia Potts, Fair says:

      In my opinion, our leader is a global president and he likes to project this image when he travels overseas. He has an agenda that does not serve this country. Globalization is his top priority and one cannot serve two masters.

    21. john arizona says:

      Do these "cost savers" realize how close the USA was to losing WW II because the country had allowed the defense industry to virtually wilt away? Wasn't that a lesson that should have been learned?

      What is the saying? He who ignores history is bound to repeat it.

    22. Mike O'Leary So says:

      Ater care for troops is an obligation but acting as the world's policemen is not. Economies have to be made in every part of government expenditure.

    23. Dave Provo, UT says:

      As a retired AF veteran I remember distinctly what a former USSR MIG pilot told us in a briefing, "We were always worried about the technology edge the U.S. had on us in air craft and weapons. We carried this worry with us in our training and planning. We would have been more agressive if not for this worry." Then Clinton sold many of our secrets for $$ to the Chinese for his second election campaign. Now we have advisors to the President whose leftist appeasement philosophy is well known. Now I worry.

    24. Paul Duncan says:

      I am a Veteran from the Viet Nam era. Every aspect of our federal budget needs to be re-examined and defense is only one of the many parts. We cannot be responsible republicans and continue to say: Well no defense spending is sacred and cannot be cut. We have to be smart about it and I believe current secretary of defense Robert Gates has said they can and will be smart about cuts in the budget and that there will be no loss of our ability to protect our country and citizens.

    25. Dennis Devenport,Oxf says:

      Prez Obama,Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, as a trifecta, they make the unholy grail of a concerted effort to undermine the will of the people, thru increased taxes, which makes the stimulus checks for the less than $50k a year familys equal to a "chickenPoop amount". Cut our defense budget, and man and machiine will not turn the flood of 3rd world zombie zealots from wanting to cannabalize the North American Continent.I'm a veteran of both Navy,Army, and retired National Guard with 20 years of service, and I've never been so ashamed to be represented by this poor excuse of a commander in chief.

    26. David Stottlemyer, L says:

      I am retired from the Government, having worked in a number of agencies as well as on the Staff of the Vice President and in the Bureau of the Buidget. While I believe in a strong defense and recognize the need to maintain, if not increase, salaries of our military personnel and to repair and/or replace outdated equipment, as a former Senior Executive Service (SES 3), we must take immediate action to deal with our deficit and the impact that is and will have on the United States.

      Thus, unlike the Heritage Foundation, I strongly support reductions in the level of dollars appropriated to the Defense Department. Why? Within DOD there are many redundancies, in both personnel and programs, that can and should be cut out. While there are many hard-working personnel, there is a significant number of under-employed people as well as overstaffing. All you have to do, as I have, is work with DOD and travel the halls/offices of the Pentagon and you will find this.

      As I said I believe in a strong military, but to summarily reject outright the draft proposals of the Deficit Commission without forcing a hard look at the DOD is irresponsible. Just to affect a funding reduction would force DOD to look hard internally to make economies. The way the budget works is to add dollars annually on the current level of appropriations with minimal attention to evaluating critically each and every existing program. As stated above, with a dollar reduction, though not $100 billion, DOD would be forced to look inward to find economies. Without a forced reduction, it will be "business as usual" for DOD..

    27. Joan, Dallas, Texas says:

      It's hidious. The end result to cutting military spending will be a weaker America. We should be employing every veteran when they return from action and paying all medical expenses. Why not deploy returning vets to the border to protect American from foreign invaders. But in terms of the Obama Administration's agenda, a weaker America is EXACTLY what they want.

      We need to cut entitlements not to seniors, but for immigrants. No more retiring to America and collecting Social Security, etc., only persons who paid into the system and natural born citizens should be entitled. Amendment 14 to the US Constitution also needs to be changed. NO CHILD BORN TO A NON-AMERICAN CITIZEN MOTHER SHOULD BE given citizenship.

      And, once again, IAmericans paying their mortgages will be penalized with this new tax exemptin elimination. Yes, it is a tax.

    28. C LabOUNTY MERRITT I says:

      I knew BHO wanted to get his hands on the defense budget and now is his perfect chance — I knew this was coming.

      Interesting to note this is the first time since FDR's 3rd term, that both the President and the Vice President never served in the military at all………………

    29. George Colgrove, VA says:

      Before we go on being cheerleaders on increasing the DoD budget in these dark economic days consider this event that took place this year.

      Just under a year ago roughly 200,000 federal employees of the DoD were transferred from a performance based pay scale call a pay band to the GS pay charts. The original job classifications based pay on industry standard jobs and based increases on the merit of an employee’s work performance.

      Prior to 2008 high-ranking federal employees in the DoD – (i.e. CIV or civies who are now GS13, 14 and 15) were required to fill out performance evaluations of their subordinates. This evaluation would be used to determine the employees pay increase for the year. Rather than completing their job requirements as spelled out in their job descriptions, many of these managers chose to not complete this simple task. Many DoD CIV’s went years without an evaluation and only had regular pay increases. Employees that excelled were never rewarded for their efforts. Eventually the federal employees revolted and the DoD agreed to transfer the federal workforce to the GS system. Probably also because the federal employees saw using the GS pay charts was a better deal for them.

      It took the DoD federal workforce over a year of committee meetings at a tremendous cost to the taxpayers and an increase of DoD work backlog to accomplish the planning of this transition. They had massive websites and volumes of published tables and transition documents for the DoD federal employees to evaluate and comment on. For the federal workforce, this was job one. DoD federal managerial employees populated the committees. The result was DoD organization charts that are now top heavy with several layers of mangers in multiple levels of GS15’s, multiple levels of GS14 and in some places multiple levels of GS13’s pay grades. USA Today this week stated that the number of federal employees topping $150,00 in pay and benefits doubled in the last two years – many in the DoD. Wonder why?

      Last year it was reported that due to this transition, the average increase of the DoD transferred federal employee was going to be $4,200, as they were placed in the GS pay chart. When spread over 200,000 CIV feds the cost to the American taxpayer represented a whopping $840 million – nearly a billion dollars. This did not benefit national security. This did not benefit the soldiers. It was a cost that directly benefitted an already high paid federal (CIV) workforce in the DoD. Why is it important to look at the DoD Administration? Because this kind of laziness has cost the American taxpayer a perpetual $1 billion – every year from here on out. I wonder what that this annual trillion dollars expenditure would do had it been made available to the soldiers instead. Fixing this would give us 1% of the requested $100 billion we need to cut from the DoD budget.

    30. Victoria Taft says:

      To the first commenter: Not spending as much as the Democrats want to spend apparently qualifies as a cut in your book. No wonder we're in fiscal Armageddon.

      I double checked. You can too: http://www.factcheck.org/article144.html

    31. Roberta Guagliardo, says:

      Is anyone paying attention to George Soros and his avowed intention to

      destroy the dollar and make the US a global partner? Is Bernanke in on this?

    32. Dennis Aderholt Geor says:

      This is so sad, but is expected. Our military has given us, the American people, our life, freedoms and a country that has prospered through the years. We now have a clan in DC just like we had in the 90"s, do away with the military. Hilary and bill had no use for the lilitary, the budget was cut to the bones, equipment was allowed to waste away or be worn out to the point of no use. Today we are headed down the same path, the main reason being to keep those on the dole happy and the dems in office.

      I am a Vet from the horrible war in Vietnam, I personally thought we were justified in our action, just hampered by those in charge {politicans} that had no guts. The same applies today, politicans with no guts, and a people that wants instant satisfaction and results. Thye liberals believe in talking to our enemies, talk is good as long as results are obtained. We all know today that talk with our enemies does no good, they only understand the destruction of all of us and this country. It is time for Congress to stand firm and give the military what is needed to protect this country and people.

      Thank God for a Vet, you have the benefit of those that died and suffered for you and your family.

    33. gary, san antonio says:

      Isn't this the same model that was used for Viet Nam? Achieve mediocrity or worse when we try to defend against Communism (now terrorism). We have to defend ourselves by making sure those who would attack us understand that the consequences are grave. And that costs money . . .

    34. Ray Winslow, Camaril says:

      Want to save some military money without pain?

      Add a grade block to fitness reports for every officer O3 and above for fiscal responsibility.

      No officers are required to be graded for their use of funds.

      A lot of savings may be found at the bottom. Operational and training saving could be 5 or 10% in a year if officers thought someone would listen!

    35. Alan, San Diego says:

      Why is it that most Democrats hate the military?

    36. Pingback: Morning Bell: Providing for those who serve

    37. DAVE, NAPA CA says:

      This defense cutting during times of relative peace is a common one. It only makes it more difficult to rebuild after some crisis. It is time to let other countries do their part in defense. Germany, England. Spain, Canada, Mexico, and all the South American countries need to do their part. Obviously the major threat is the Muslims, who should be confined to the sand dunes of their native countries. Stop the Muslims and you stop the threats.

    38. MN J says:

      A couple of points:

      1 – Interest on our debt to China will pay for their military build-up so not only are we cutting our military, we are paying for the buildup of China's. Trust me, their military will never be as honorable as the US military.

      2 – When will HHS, the EPA, DOE, etc. be subject to the scrutiny of budgets and personnel that DOD is always subjected to? HHS alone comprises over 40% (?) of the federal budget but they NEVER have their budget cut. Why not drop $$ for NPR and PBS – see if they can make it in the private sector – no, b/c these are socialist/leftist/Democrat sacred cows.

      3 – The savings mentioned above probably would equal the $10-15 billion the military could save but cutting $100 billion? Democrats always go after the military; maybe it's something else???

      - it's control of us, period. The military, while reporting to the president, is the most independent, self-sufficient unit of the federal govt. The control minded people cannot let them be, hence, they cut the budget.

    39. Jill-Maine says:

      They hate the military because it costs money that could other wise go to funding abortions.

    40. Wildcat from Dallast says:

      When one considers our Defense budget one must take a rather comprehensive look at all costs associated with defense and national security as well as determine lessons once learned then quickly forgotten by our elected officials. Unfortunately those elected officials appear to consistently forget what we as a nation went to defend freedom and preserve our liberties only to somehow let all our effort atrophy once the threat has been vanquished. The global war on terror (GWOT), and that is exacty what it is; don't let any "politically correct" person from academia or elected post tell you otherwise! That war is not at all like WWI, WWII, Korea or even Vietnam or even the first Gulf War. Those of us who served honorably let it be known in the early 1990's that other, more insideous threats than communist organized countries or pacts are looming on the horizon yet they would not listen. Now that transnational Islamist terrorists have hit us twice at home and many times abroad we find ourselves fighting an intelligent and adaptable foe who does not wear a uniform as those enemies did all the aforementioned wars. I recommend that anyone who has not read the 9/11 Commission Report do so. Through the honor and horror the members came to understand our current and constantly adapting foe. And due to The Constitution of the United States of America, the President serves as the Commander-In-Chief and has Constitutional responsibility to protect the citizens which requires monetary resources. It is a requirement we the people must demand they do at teh Federal level. On a sidebar, I have several relatives (some close and others a bit distant) who remained in Germany and fought in WWII. They get treated better by their government (who lost the war) than we get here and we won the war! But we as a nation have suffered from too many Progressives/Liberals/Socialists/Statists who have neglected Constitutional responsibilities and put forth an entire array of unnecesary and unconstitutional entitlement programs funded with our tax dollars (initially) and then robbed the Social Security Trust Fund to support their concept of "Utopia" followed by borrowing excessively [putting us as a nation in great debt and insecurity], especially this current bunch of hooligans. Freedom isn't free, our national security is not to be an elective pursuit and unnecessary unfunded entitelments have to go so that our freedom, our liberty and our safety, personal and national can be provided for without fail!

    41. David Marshall, Wayl says:

      Shouldn’t U.S. Service Personnel and Veterans get back those Constitutional Rights that they die for and convicted rapists and murderers keep?

      Convicted rapists and murderers are given protection from human experiments by the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights, Amendment Eight. In 1992 the U.S. Senate signed and ratified the United Nation, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).[3] Its 1994 Index, “… Article 7 – Freedom from Torture, or Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.” notes that, “Written policy and practice prohibit the use of” [prison] “inmates for medical…..experiments.”! Nineteen (19) times cited are the U.S. Constitution plus its Eighth Amendment’s no cruel and unusual punishment.

      “The Feres Doctrine should not be applied for military personnel who are harmed by inappropriate human experimentation when informed consent has not been given.” Then, “During the last 50 years, hundreds of thousands of military personnel” were subjected to “experiments that were designed to harm”, i.e., the 1994 U.S. Senate Report’s biological and chemical agents, radiation exposure, hallucinogenic and investigational drugs, experimental vaccines and behavior modification projects.[5] In 2011 still ignored is this and their also noted past and present, "III. Findings and conclusions", "K. DOD and DVA have repeatedly failed to provide information and medical followup to those who participate in military research…" and "N. Participation in military research is rarely included in military medical records, making it impossible to support a veteran’s claim for service-connected disabilities from military research." This is the withheld needed for diagnosis and treatment but experiment identifying evidence. Underlying this Senate Report is the General Accounting Office (GAO) Sept. 1994 U.S. House Report, “Human Experimentation Overview on Cold War Era Programs”![4]

      In the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1950 Feres case a death due to a 1947 Army barracks fire was determined to be an “incident to service”.[1] In the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1987 STANLEY a DOD 1958 “to harm” drug experiment is swept under the same cover of "injuries that `arise out of or are in the course of activity incident to service.”[2] FIFTY (50) TIMES it cites the Feres Doctrine. Not once mentioned is the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights, Amendment Eight!

      In 2005 some in Congress made an attempt to get the biological and chemical portion of this withheld needed for treatment evidence, e.g., H.R. 4259 the “Veterans’ Right to Know Commission.” It died! It is now a from 1944, 67 years of U.S. Congressional talk with no Feres Doctrine [1] and its STANLEY [2] “to harm” correction. During the 1994 reported past, hundreds of thousands of the "to harm" service records were destroyed in a 1973 National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) fire. Then Congress’s 1974 Privacy Act censored experiment verifying witnesses from any surviving and future records! Overlooked by many in Congress is their Oath of Office to defend the U.S. Constitution, our “Pledge of Allegiance” “with liberty and justice for all", their U.S. Constitution Eighth Amendment protection of convicted rapists and murderers [3] with the U.S. Supreme Court’s ignored, carved in stone over its entrance, “EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW”!

      As in the GAO and U.S. Senate’s reported past, these “military research” [5] “incident to service” [1] activities are conducted under the ongoing secrecy cover of our ‘national interests’, e.g., WWII, Cold War, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan. Do not the U.S. Senate’s stated Department of Defense (DOD) “EXPERIMENTS THAT WERE DESIGNED TO HARM” [5] continue? Please hold your members in the U.S. Congress accountable for giving back to those that serve their Constitutional Rights!

      REFERENCES:

      [1] 1950 – Feres v. United States, 340 U.S. 135, 146 (1950). http://supreme.justia.com/us/340/135/case.html

      [2] 1987 – U.S. SUPREME COURT, JUNE 25, 1987, U.S. V. STANLEY , 107 S. CT.. 3054 (VOLUME 483 U.S., SECTION 669, PAGES 699 TO 710). http://supreme.justia.com/us/483/669/case.html

      [3] 1994 – U.S. State Dept., "U.S. Report under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights July 1994, Article 7 – Freedom from Torture, or Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.” See “Index of “1994 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights"

      [4] 1994 – GAO September 28, 1994 “Human Experimentation Overview on Co1d War Era Programs” [PDF] T-NSIAD-94-266 archive.gao.gov/t2pbat2/152601.pdf

      [5] 1994 – December 8, 1994 REPORT 103-97 "Is Military Research Hazardous to Veterans' Health? Lessons Spanning Half a Century." Hearings Before the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, 103rd Congress 2nd Session.

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