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  • Morning Bell: The Spending Threat to Our National Defense

    Consider it a warning from the highest levels of the U.S. government. Yesterday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta held a joint press event in Washington in which they cautioned that U.S. debt is jeopardizing America’s ability to ensure national security and preserve its interests abroad.

    Under the Budget Control Act of 2011—the debt ceiling agreement enacted earlier this month—$350 billion in cuts to defense spending must be made over 10 years. But if Congress doesn’t reach an agreement on $1.5 trillion in deficit savings, $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts would be made. Half of those would come from the military’s budget by 2013. And Panetta said yesterday that those cuts would be disastrous:

    This kind of massive cut across the board, which would literally double the number of cuts that we’re confronting, that would have devastating effects on our national defense; it would have devastating effects on certainly the State Department.

    Clinton agreed. “It does cast a pall over our ability to project the kind of security interests that are in America’s interests,” she said. “This is not about the Defense Department or the State Department . . . This is about the United States of America. And we need to have a responsible conversation about how we are going to prepare ourselves for the future.”

    The Heritage Foundation’s Mackenzie Eaglen explains that the draconian cuts to our armed forces would result in a military ill-equipped to sustain its mission at home and around the world.

    Secretary Panetta said any additional defense cuts—on top of the hundreds of billions over the past several years and hundreds of billions over the next 10 years—would result in a hollow force. The term “hollow force” describes the situation when readiness declines because the military does not have enough funding to provide trained and ready forces, support ongoing operations, and modernize simultaneously.

    Like a freshly painted house with no plumbing or wiring inside, the military may appear functional, but in reality it would be too poorly trained and equipped to be reliable without incurring excessive and unnecessary risk.

    The U.S. military is already woefully underfunded, and for months the Pentagon has warned that even with $400 billion in cuts—less than half of what the military could face—the United States “may have to scrap some military missions and trim troop levels.” And if Members of Congress don’t act to reform mandatory spending on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid—which account for more than 60 percent of the entire federal budget—the ax will automatically fall on the military (or Congress will be forced to raise taxes to halt the automatic trigger.)

    The Constitution clearly states that one of the primary duties of the federal government is to “provide for the common defense.” Yet today, because of the government’s unrestrained spending, national defense is falling by the wayside. Former Senator Jim Talent (R-MO) writes, “The great irony of our time is that the bigger the federal government has become, the less well it has performed its priority function of providing for the national defense.” Now, after all the stimulus spending, the bailouts, and the runaway entitlements, America is seeing the results. Congress must act now to rein in spending so that it can ensure that the government’s ability to execute its primary duty remains intact.

    Quick Hits:

    • World stocks are reacting negatively following news that Germany’s economic growth came to a near-standstill in the second quarter.
    • Police in London have charged 1,000 people in connection with the riots that hit the city last week. Across England, more than 3,000 have been arrested.
    • Judicial Watch is suing the National Labor Relations Board for documents related to its case against airplane manufacturer Boeing. The group has not received documents following a Freedom of Information Act request.
    • The Department of Justice is taking on free speech, prosecuting a 79-year-old grandfather who offers pro-life counseling to women outside a Planned Parenthood abortion facility.
    • President Obama wants the federal government to continue to have a major role in housing finance, perhaps by creating a new version of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Former Obama White House advisers say that’s a bad idea.
    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    88 Responses to Morning Bell: The Spending Threat to Our National Defense

    1. Andrew says:

      the republicans in the house should not have passed the last budget. the prelude to passing this budget bill was soap opera, and then they compromised (surrendered). how could congress pass a bill that made congress usless. they passed a bill that will automatically cut defense. if anyone thinks the 12 person, replacement for congress, will come up with a bill that would be accetable to anyone, and be pro America, pro Constitution, pro private business, is delusional. cut our defense has and is been the object of every enemy we have, foreign and domestic.

      • JUDYGEE says:

        This is another mystery that many don’t believe…!
        Don’t cry later when the real truth comes out!!!

        -Wedding ring is in for repairs ???

        Another piece falls into place…?

        In a press conference last week Obama was not wearing his
        wedding ring nor was he wearing his watch

        When noticed, his staff said that his wedding ring was in for repairs.
        No reason was given for the missing watch.

        So it's just a coincidence that Muslims are forbidden from wearing
        jewelry during the month of Ramadan

        (Ninth month of the Islamic calendar, lasting from 29 to 30 days).

        Can't possibly be that, because although he hasn't gone to a Christian
        church service since entering the White House, and we know he's a
        Christian …."cause he said so during the campaign!"…. Well I've got
        a bridge to nowhere to sell you also, ok?

        This is the same president that spent the Christmas holidays in Hawaii
        to avoid religious obligations as PRESIDENT at the White House.
        His children do not receive or give Christmas presents.

        Let's just face the facts and quit trying to avoid the truth, we have a
        muslim for president in the White House, and yet he has no knowledge
        of accurate American history.

        PASS THIS ON TO BELIEVERS OF WHAT IS HAPPENING IN OUR
        COUNTRY AND TO THOSE WHO ARE STILL IN DENIAL!!

      • Karen Kennedy says:

        Republican have (successfully) fought any program they Pentagon has tried to cut that expert believe are failing, filled with extreme overruns, or just plain stupid – like the Opsrey — they won't allow the Pentagon to cut bad programs because they are good for GOP and their lobbyists.

    2. Cal says:

      I find it incredible that "Congress" would approve of any legislation that had as an automatic event the cutting of the defense budget. I can only assume the Democrats in Congress actually do intend to relegate the United States inot oblivion. What's worse, Republicans went along with this maddening scheme. This is clearly another giant leap into nanny state socialism being driven down our throats by the Obama administration. Why would anyone in Congress, Republican or Democrat, even consider this move unless for clearly partisan political reasons to try to prop up the Dem's re-election hopes at the expense of Republicans. Our very existence is at stake if our natinal defense is not fully supported, and even expanded, do those in Congress not beleive this or are they just so naive?

      • Dean says:

        Well said, Cal.

      • Chris in California says:

        They did. So no matter how hard it is to believe or how incredible it seems they did it and it's the law. They obviously are simply unable to do their jobs and need to be sent packing.

    3. Bob Reichert says:

      Newt Gingrich stated it best when he called for elimination of the Super Commission. If no agreement is reached by the members of the Commission by November then those drastic cuts alluded to by Leon Panetta will kick in. The Super Committee will never reach agreement on budget cuts they are too political with their own party agenda. As Gingrich stated on Sunday, it is the responsibility all members of the Congress..

    4. Patrick Henry says:

      First of all, a 12 member panel is NOT representation of ALL the States to make major decisions like this. Will lead to political decisions in cuts, NOT National Security. While Defense had waste and could use some cutting, the across the board cutting isn't the way to go. We have MANY unnecessary & unconstitutional programs that need to be cut & some removed entirely.

      • jimmydxyz says:

        The committee is just a cover for the liberals who do not want to endanger their re-election.

      • Robert, TX says:

        The real solution is to throw out 98% of these scum, and deliberately re-elect people like Michele Bachmann, Steve King, Rand Paul and the few who fought for our Constitution. And I am NOT talking about electing more RINO's and more socialists. We have got to start showing these dangerous political parties that we are not completely STUPID – and DEFUND them. Let me guess, Goldman Sachs will give Obama $ 75 million and Perry $ 55 million. And they will place their ads on ABC, NBC and CBS – oh, I forgot, Perry will put a few ads on FOX NEWS for their sheep. Now that is democracy in action.

    5. Bob Johnson says:

      There are at least four executive branch departments that should be closed; why isn't anyone talking about them?

      • Robert, TX says:

        I agree! Bush "talked" about two of them in 2000 and again in 2004; and all of the ridiculous RINO's talked about them last year – and then they elected little johnny Speaker. HUD = GONE; Education = GONE; Energy = GONE; LABOR = GONE. However, I would not throw the employees out in the street. They should be given the option of a severance, early retirement and the ability to transfer to a remaining department or agency.

    6. ThomNJ says:

      "The Constitution clearly states that one of the primary duties of the federal government is to "provide for the common defense."" – and a having a "hollow" force is nothing short of criminal to the military professionals themselves, because then our government would be guilty of sending men and women to fight and guaranteeing a HIGHER casualty rate in the very least. Didn't we go through this a few times before? (WWI, Korea)

      • Richard says:

        That is the "United States of America Constitution" that states the defense of these United States not Korea, Japan, Germany, France, et al. Our "defense budget" is 43% of the whole world's defense budget. It is time to close some bases overseas and stop being the military police of the world.
        "To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;". Let's get the Federal Government back to it'c Constitutional Limits.

      • Zach says:

        Don't forget the hollow force after veitnam as well.

    7. BFURKA says:

      Obama wants investments into a local armed forces to keep the t party in check and us knuckle -dragging citizens subdued. Good for Hilary!!

    8. Don says:

      Seems insane our governmenbt spends money day in and day out on all kinds of entitlements and then has a couple of folks saying oh my gosh we can not pay the rent – in this case defend ourselves, so let's start talking about this – really! If you need more money how about taxing the 50% of the Americans on the take who do not pay a dime. I view this as another attempt by the government to get us away from the real budget issues we should all be concerned with. Before we talk about budgets we need to vote out every member of Congress so maybe we can elect some folks with integrity not just fast moving lips who are not in the pockets of the lobyist.

      • Phylb says:

        Some examples of wasteful spending.
        1-Question: How much money did Washington recently spend to train Chinese prostitutes to drink more responsibly on the job?
        Answer-Incredibly, Washington is spending $2.6 million training Chinese prostitutes to drink more responsibly on the job. This is the kind of wasteful spending that President Obama and Congress have stubbornly refused to cut. Instead, they planned to raise taxes on families and entrepreneurs by trillions of dollars! Only action by citizens like you will break the Washington liberals of this kind of frivolous splurging.

        2-Question: What did Congress recently give Alaska Airlines half a million dollars to paint a picture of on a Boeing 737?
        Answer- Does this seem fishy to you? The answer is the Chinook salmon—and we sure hope the paint job was good! Congress must start cutting this kind of wasteful spending. Our nation is on the brink of a financial disaster, and we cannot afford pet projects that spend taxpayer money this way.

    9. Matthew Cannon says:

      I love how people tend to forget this part of Congress' authority in the Constitution also:

      To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be
      for a longer Term than two Years;

      Seems to me we've had a standing Army since WWII. Grant began disbanding his army the day after they'd won. Why? To save the taxpayers money. Didn't need a standing army anymore.

      • Wes Evans says:

        You forget history! We disbanded the military after WWI and were unprepared tp fight WWII. To day the oceans are no longer the protection they once were. A standing military is necessary to deter WWIII.

    10. sdfultz says:

      Excuse me, are we talking about the great military that has misplaced 250 million in Afganistan?

    11. Jim Patterson says:

      for libs, progs, and Demos, military is only good for one thing, supplying aircraft to fly these jerks around in style. Otherwise, as Sen John Kerry once said, anyone who goes into the military is stupid.

    12. Mike says:

      If Clinton and Panetta understand this why don't they have a face to face with the idiot Harry Reid? He's the one who wouldn't even bring Paul Ryan's budget up for a vote. Reid and Pelosi should both be kicked out of office for failure to perform their Constitutionally mandated duty of passing a budget. Obama should be impeached and found guilty of aiding and abetting criminal activity.

    13. David says:

      Congress long ago ceased to be institutionally competent and it is apparent that many members have not even a passing familiarity with the Constitution. National defense and the integrity of the nation's borders must necessarily be the first priorities of the national government, for without those all else fails. Yet our Congress for years has not even passed a budget, and it now hails as an accomplishment the pathetic spectacle of having merely agreed to take on more debt to allow it to pursue fantasy schemes like high speed rail (for which there is zero – repeat, zero – citizen demand) and to meddle in minutiae like children's diets and your and my health care. The system may now be so broken that it is impossible to fix. I weep for the future of our country.

    14. Dean says:

      We have thousands of troops stationed in countries all around the world for whatever reason I don't understand. That is costing millions of dollars. WHY?? That money should be used for direct defense purposes.

    15. A. Scott says:

      I find Mrs. Clinton's comments truly hypocritical! She is quite free about giving money to countries that are not our friend, now all of a sudden she realizes that we are broke. What a fool!

    16. Scott says:

      The military is discharged with defending the physical sovereignty of the US – NOT necessarily defending our business interests and other ill defined "missions" abroad. There is difference between military spending and defense spending. That needs to be defined and discussed. Republicans talk about military spending the same way Democrats talk about welfare and entitlements. We need to do better. HF can do better on this as well.

    17. kaydellc says:

      Both parties play the game of NIGYSOB in dealing with the issues regarding spending and programs. Congress does not care what is in the Constitution only preserving their power. When people vote to preserve largness ffrom the government, we are on the road to our own demise. May we wake up and vote not party but those of principles and vaules regarding preserving the Consitution and our country.

    18. Phil says:

      Nice job setting yourselves up to EXTORT the public CONGRESS!!
      We don't want to hear it when you set it up on purpose. Yeah……We Know!

    19. Frank says:

      1. Yes, the Republicans in Congress were dumb for passing this bill.
      2. But, believe it or not, we could make these cuts to the Federal welfare/warfare state without compromising our security! How?
      3. By ceasing to be the "world's policeman" with many thousands of troops scattered in over 100 nations & bases around the world. WE DON"T NEED TO DO THAT! I strongly agree with Ron Paul on that point. We could close those bases, pull back our troops, ships & planes & focus on defending our borders. We could do that for about half the cost & yet have money left over to modernize our forces. We would be more secure, not less secure. Let other nations defend themselves. Our Founding Fathers warned us to avoid "foreign entanglements". We should listen to their warning.
      4. Neither can we afford our big government welfare state! We should cut at that least in half also. We should keep our promises to those retired or close to retiring, but privatize, phase out or send these Unconstitutional Federal welfare/retirement/healthcare programs back to the states, if they want them continued. Again, listen to what Ron Paul has been saying for some 35 years!
      5. End the Federal Reserve & "funny money". The world's Central Bankers who manipulate the world's currencies (in particular the US Dollar, the world's reserve currency) are the true "puppet masters" who operate quietly behind the scenes to either corrupt our political leaders or fool them into doing their will, to the long term detriment of the masses as the Power Elite consolidate unbelievable wealth & power. Again, our Founding Fathers never wanted a Central Bank. They already had seen their evils. Sadly, the Federal Reserve was created in 1913 & the seeds of our financial collapse were sown then. Today, you can now begin to see the end result.

      Let's bring this country back to the Constitutional basics that are affordable. Let's move away from big government, back to small government. Harry Reid chokes on that idea! Good! RINOs too only pretend to oppose Harry Reid, then they cave in to him… because in the end they also are big government welfare/warfare state supporters. The big government types all are propped up by the federal reserve & paper money. All the big government types need to be thrown out asap. Let's return to reality & to basics. Let's return to the Constitution and limited, affordable Federal Government. "We The People" can do it!

    20. Robert says:

      Don't worry…….Obama care will protect us.

    21. Mike, Wichita Falls says:

      So under this great "deal", if no agreement is made, which appears to be where the safe money is, $600B is cut from defense…by 2013!?! Are you sure? It would be bad enough if it was over ten years but by 2013!?!

      Right or wrong, we're fighting terrorism to varying degrees on four fronts at my last count (Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya & Somalia), and we're going to cut defense $600B by 2013!?!

      I suppose the other $600B in domestic transfer-payment cuts is "promised" over 10 years. I won't hold my breath for it.

      This "deal" just gets better by the day.

    22. snydrhrry says:

      It is incredible that the Democrats would ram through an appropriation program which guts
      Defense. Defending the nation is the prime Constitutional obligation of the Congress and the Executive Department. It is dereliction of duty not to fund and support the Armed Forces of the U.S. so that the terms of the Preamble can be preserved and fulfilled. Governor Perry suggested that wild, uncontrolled printing of money could be deemed treasonous. I suggest that deliberate gutting of the Defense Department could also, even more justifiably, be called treasonous and the people responsible for this abomination be confronted with their offenses.
      It is about time that the Republicans stop acting like publicans, and call out the Democrats for their actions which weaken the nation and sentence our children and grandchildren to poverty, paying outrageous interest on debt the Democrat/Socialists have wreaked on us.

    23. Shawna Wade says:

      What is their objective here? To scare the Republicans into not cutting spending? Just because a bill was recently passed doesn't mean they can't pass another contradictory bill! My first thought was "What are other countries, mainly China, North Korea, and most Middle Eastern countries going to think when they hear these statements?" Do they really think it was smart to throw this out there? They need to think before they speak!!! If I were one of the above countries, I would be closely watching what Congress does regarding our spending and budget cuts to determine just how vulnerable we are becoming. Is it just me who gets frustrated or pissed off almost every time Obama or a member of his cabinet opens their mouths? They scare the crap out of me because you know our enemies are listening!

    24. "The U.S. military is already woefully underfunded…"

      Are you high?!

      Enough with the knee-jerk militarism.

      Folks… I'm a Reaganite! I favored Reagan's military build-up for a number of reasons, and ultimately it was this build-up – this "arms race" with the then-Soviet Union – which directly led to the demise of the U.S.S.R.

      Did you know though that by the end of his second term President Reagan was calling for military spending to go back to more "normal" rates? (Look it up!)

      The author uses the exact same illogic the Left uses in their never ceasing calls for more social spending… more, more, more… always more.

      Hey… I've got an idea! Why not lessen our military commitments to foreigners and reestablish sanity in foreign policy?! Why not put America first… not second… not third…

      Were we "weak" in 2000? (Did lack of military power have anything to do with 9/11? The answer is "no." 9/11 was a failure of leadership and a failure of nerve – remember Clinton failing to kill Bin Ladin?)

      I say we simply go back – as a baseline – to FY 2000 military spending and from that baseline reexamine our true national security needs.

      • Mark Anderson says:

        I agree, 227 bases in Germany, 124 in Japan, 87 in South Korea, the list goes on. I would however, point out that since you mention Clinton's failure to kill Bin Ladin, at least he tried. The Bush administration downgraded him as a threat. Don't forget the 2001 summer intelligence report that was given to Bush that they didn't admit to for years. Of course, then the Bush administration used fake intelligence to say that Iraq was working with Al Qaeda to gin up support for the Iraq war. By the way, who made the big effort to kill Bin Laden? Why it was President Barack Obama.

    25. Robert, TX says:

      The DOD needs a complete "reorganization" (trying to be polite with my words). Cutting their budget is not necessarily the answer, but eliminating the fat, the pork and the bureaucracy would be a nice start (same with the entire Beltway). But the savings should be reinvested in our troops, raising their standard of living -and providing all of the equipment and training they need (including helicopters that work). The best way to save money would be to fight our "wars" all-out instead of with both hands tied behind our back. This mess in the middle east could have been wrapped up in less than two years – if anyone (at the top) knew what the hell they were doing – and THAT would have saved trillions of dollars.

    26. JOE HEINZ says:

      I agree that that big of a cut would not be good but we do not need troops in many of the countries that we now have troops like Korea, Germany. And I just listened to a report how our taxpayer money has gotten into the hand of the Talabin in Afagastain. There is much waste that can be trimmed from the military budget!

    27. Dennis, The Sr. says:

      Wouldn't 537 Random Names from Phone-Books Provide Better Representation for "We The People"?

      Maybe it is time for a Military Coup?

      • Robert, TX says:

        Yes, it would, for a few months anyway – until they could be bought off. We do not need term limits, just a vigilant electorate that has the guts to vote out their incumbent – republican or democrat! I only see ten worth keeping.

    28. charles watson says:

      We don't need to compromise our security. Our true enemies know that America has a big heart and will fight for the right causes. Unfortunately ,that is being used against us. Our military was designed to defend our people not special interest goups such as those who profit from war. It also is bringing our economy down. I have seen war and sometimes it is necessary. Do we want a technological based society that sells to the world or do we want a war based society that profits a few already rich countries? I under stand that it is our military that is 60% of the federal budget with fuel and transportation being the biggest part. Everything takes precious fuel and drives our prices (civilians cost) higher. They don't raise taxes they raise prices to get the tax.

    29. Bernard P. Giroux says:

      First: End all foreign wars; Second: Close all military bases in Europe and withdraw the troops; Third: build up the Navy and Marine Corps, because that is where you are going to need the protection; Fourth: Crater the Air Force; make it part of the Army; Fifth: Take the U.S. Coast Guard OUT of Homeland Security; it does not belong there; it is an armed service which is designed to protect the U.S. coasts and its approaches; it should not be used as a police force.

    30. Curt Krehbiel says:

      Socialist countries do not need militaries. I assume because they don't have anything worth taking. Besides the United States has troupes all over the world to protect them if necessary. Maybe the administration thinks that the size of our national debt is sufficient to protect us from being taken over. Kinda like most animals don't bother with skunks.

    31. ken says:

      Since the U.S, doesn't know how to win a war [or the politicians won't let it ], I suggest we return all the "Illegals" to their native country and bring all the troops home. Probably will save over $500 billion per year. This along with getting the president who can't produce a legal birth certificate or allow his college records to be reviewed out of office [Remember that he applied for immigrant funds when in California.], should put the country on a path towards solving our problems.

    32. Paula says:

      The decision for the 'super committee' seems to boil down to two choices: raise taxes on 'the rich' (i.e. all of us) or cut defense spending. Of course they are going to be pressured to raise taxes. I can't imagine why the Republicans would sign off on such a plan, giving us basically narrowing the options to two terrible alternative plans. If we refuse to raise taxes, we will be blamed for ruining the military. If we raise taxes, we will be breaking the one promise they have stuck to and further damaging the economy, furthering the socialist-style state. it is a no-win deal. They were fools for agreeing to it. Plus, no one from my state is on the committee–I agree with Newt completely! Where is the representative government in this? I would vote for Newt today based on his position on this alone.

    33. The Farmer says:

      Collectively, my three sons and I have 60 or so years in the Military and believe me any farmer could do what needs to be done for about half the money now sholved into that department, its almost as bad as the Department of Education and many of the other departments.
      However any one who voted for the thing last week needs to be throwen out next time around!!!!!!!

    34. toledofan says:

      Well, at least for now, it sounds like at least two Democrats think more defense spending cuts will spell disaster, maybe they can convince some others. But, at the end of the day, Hillary is correct in saying that we need a conversation on what we are going to do to keep ourselves safe; it has to be open ended to include the Republicans but I think until the Democrats are out of control, the conversaion will be a waste of time.

    35. Turner says:

      They are building the case for class warfare and tax increases. This is not against the topic, but if Corporations are persons, as the Supreme Court decided, why don't they pay the personal tax rates? They should if that is their status and influence on politicians. Raise taxes on Corporations and close unjust loopholes.

    36. Brenda D Steed says:

      The only country we should be addressing is Iran. Bring the rest home. They are worried like Obama because they would not have a job otherwise sheeh!!!!. I am sick of these government types. They should, like Paul said, bring troops home like Germany and many other places where there is no war but the military keep getting posted there and it costs us billions of dollars. For what. All those bases should be shut down period. Paul is right.

    37. Brown Derby says:

      Goodness gracious!! We may have to bring some troops home and keep out nose out of other people's business. Go, go, go defense cutter!!!

    38. Dennis L. Kolb Sr. says:

      In keeping with Heritage's comment policy, of A Civil Society, All We Can do is write to our elected officials and beg them to not do what we don't want them to do!…Or,…We will vote them out of office?

    39. Dr.J says:

      A political tactic to raise taxes is to tell their subjects – they believe – that their safety will be threatened if taxes are not raised. Scare tactics work but, when have you heard the political leadership say we are reducing spending in welfare, foreign aid, etc.. Amazing we have work for Americans but they are unwilling to do it – the illegal immigrants are willing to doit though. Cut foriegn aid we need to take care of our own house – no,no, no. What ever happened to government health care which is breaking medicaid – Gov/t shuttered free community govt. hospitals, and mental hospitals, sending them to any private hospital at a greater taxpayer expense. Why did the govt. funded hospitals close? They didn't know how to run them efficiently – now govt. health care is going to be better?

      Don't believe defense spending needs any cut greater than any other government program and in fact many government programs should be cut – especially the one telling people how much water can be used to flush their toilet.

    40. Dennis L. Kolb Sr. says:

      "I love The Heritage Foundation!"

      How's that?

    41. duelles says:

      Since both Hillary and Leon work for and espouse the policies of our Post turtle POTUS, I imagine this is a warning that we need to raise revenues. Perhaps a tag sale or a Colorado Springs bake sale. Simply confiscating our money will only enrage the masses.
      " What a revoltin' development this is, " The Life of Riley ( yeah, I'm that old. anyone remember Jackie Gleason as the first Riley?)

    42. VA firebrand says:

      This sounds like they're ramping up to cut funding to Israel, our one true friend in the Mideast.

    43. Dennis L. Kolb Sr. says:

      knowingly or Unknowingly, we have the type of government, that both sides willingly elected!

    44. Bob DeBiase says:

      I suggested a 10% cut across the board for all agencies , and that would give us a decent scenario. We need to put a spending cap on all agencies now after we do the 10% CUT Let me know how this would make the forecast look like You guys have all the numbers do the math Thanks Bob DeBiase

    45. Jim says:

      I am very curious to what actual defines "military spending". After reading several articles about civilian contractors, who are attached through support services,receiving extraordinary pay to do the tasks which are military no longer perform. Granted, that they are at risk of life and limb in "war zones" but to be receiving 3 to 4 times the pay of their stateside counterparts just doesn't seem quite right. Besides undermining the morale of enlisted servicemen by having to work alongside these contractors who are disproportionatly paid more than than their military counterparts. The cost to the taxpayer inflates the actual cost of service performed. And to thicken the stew. these contractors are exempt from paying taxes.

    46. Jim Snedeker says:

      Quit Wasting our money on Afghanistan and their corrupt Government. Like pouring money down a rat hole.

    47. Frank M says:

      I say it's no problem at all. The Congress 12 should do nothing and the automatic cuts take place.
      Then the Congress does their job properly for a change and funds the Defense Department with what's
      needed.

      The best of possible developements.

    48. Bob Godwin says:

      This is a for-sure setup that should had to be expected when the latest kick the can down the road budget deal was made.

    49. Paddy says:

      Republicans fell for this deal because of threats of Vetoes and tabling bills in the senate. Everyone said compromise and get " SOMETHING "

      Why am I reminded of the kid who was offered candy to get him into the car, then found there were no door handles inside so that he couldn't get out?

    50. Rex says:

      There is only one solution, impeach Obama. He has violated the constitution in dozens of ways, he refuses to protect our borders, he refuses to enforce the law, and he refuses any responsibility for his actions. In my house, this irresponsible teenager would be have his allowance cut off, his driving privileges taken away, and I'd send him to one of those teen rehab outfits in the mountains for a month–and hope he comes back grown up.

    51. Bill Merrick says:

      Protect our country, secure our borders, but don't provide the police force for the world. Military bases in Germany and other countries 60 years after WWII does not make sense.
      No budget cut but improve our defense by trimming and strengthening at the same time.

    52. Bluart says:

      Both houses of congress and the presidency need a good swift kick in the a– and need to be replaced.

    53. F.D. O'Toole says:

      The Defense cuts are a hobgoblin designed to force the Republicans into agreeing to raise taxes.
      No one is going to allow our defense to become a hollow shell.

    54. Bonnie says:

      The number 1 priority of the US Government is to insure the safety and security of the people (read the Constitution). Why would they even consider cutting our military budget and on top of that consider changing the military retirement plan. We have to get the Progressives out of our government and that includes Panetta and Clinton. All they want to do is spread the wealth to their supporters through Welfare and other programs that dole out all kinds of entitlements.

    55. Ed Jackson says:

      We have been down this silly unilateral disarmorment road many times, and we STILL have not learned our lesson. From the end of WWI to the mid 1930s, we cut our military, and walked away from promises made to those veterans only to find ourselves on the doorstep of WWII, and the disaster that forced our entry into that war. After WWII, we disarmed, again only to be caught with our pants down, again. Then we disarmed in the 1950s, only to have to rearm for the Cold War (thank God we had the Strategic Air Command then), and Vietnam. We disarmed again in the 1970s, and under Carter to the point where our military forces were impotent at Desert One in the disasterious attempt to rescue our hostiges in Iran (which Carter allowed to happen in the first place).

    56. Ed Jackson says:

      President Reagan began a long slow rebuild of our military forces in the 1980s, but we still lost our Marines and Sailors in Lebanon before the rearming really got underway. In the late 1980s and through about 1993 our military forces crushed our enemies in Panama, Grenada, and Iraq. But we wanted to benefit from the "peace dividend" Clinton thought we should use elsewhere, and that resulted in attacks on the Air Force Barracks in Saudi Arabia, the USS Cole, the first attack on the WTC, and finally the devestating attacks on 9/11. But here we are today, involved in wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lybia, Yeman, and maybe Syria by next month. The Chinese are rapidly building their military forces, and we still are dealing with the Somali Pirates in East African waters. We gave away the Panama Canal (Carter) and now may loose use of the Suez Canal (Obama) as militants take over Egypt.

    57. Ed Jackson says:

      As in the past, our recent Congresses (mostly the 111th Congress) and Presidents decided we need to spend money elsewhere. The planned financial cuts in our defense over the coming years will not be used to pay down the national debt, that money will be used to prevent or reduce cuts at other government agancies. So, as usual the backs of our Soldiers, Airman, Marines, Coarsties, and Sailors will again be used to carry the financial burdon of the entire US Government. It will be those Troops that will suffer when the next attack happens the most with their blood, as their older veteran brothers and sisters have done for the past 100 years.
      As always, the politician's a$$es will not be the targets of those bombs and bullets coming our way.

    58. jimmydxyz says:

      Hundreds of billions of $$ could be saved by abolishing many of the bureaucracies, and severely reducing the size of many others. Most if not all of these agencies are putting into place thousands of new regulations daily which cost the taxpayers billions. Things like the EPA carbon tax, the endangered species act which uses so-called "endangered" plants or animals to prevent the use of land for resource exploration and developement. The feds buy up resource rich land and then prevent the issuance of leases to exploit the resource or puts so many regulations on developement that it is not cost effective to develope the resource. The list goes on and on and on! This is where the real savings could and should come from.
      On defense, we must never do anything to weaken our military. I agree that billions are wasted and much of that waste is from pork barrel spending by legislators bringing home the bacon. That needs to stop. The money spent on defense must go directly to defending our country and vital interests abroad.
      Pork barrel spending-all of it-needs to stop!

    59. Brown Derby says:

      I say cut the defense budget. There will be ample funds for us to continue sticking our nose in other peoples affairs. And if we kill a few innocent people in so doing…well that the American way.

    60. ginger says:

      Like all government programs, agencies, etc. the military also has considerable waste and abuse. In particular, look at the stories in the the San Francisco Bee concerning the funding for the National Guard. That story broke and soon other states uncovered the same misuse of funds in these programs. The military needs restructure for the new types of urban wars-do we need to maintain the massive standing military? Everything government does needs to be looked at with nothing being sacrosanct.

    61. MJH says:

      Congress is REQUIRED to provide for the DEFENSE of the nation and the GENERAL welfare.
      It is not required to provide food stamps, welfare checks, or any like items. That is the business of churches and charities, to which I donate.

      MJH

    62. Michael says:

      I find it interesting that the "Pentagon" uses scare tactics to protect its budget when 158 of the most expensive fighter planes ever built ( F-22s @ $412 million – total $65 billion) sit unable to fly because of glitches. Reported today is $360 million stolen in Iraq. Hillary's State Department gave over $700 million to repair and update Mosques in Muslim countries. We've been giving Egypt over $4 billion per year and $30 billion of it ended up in Mubarak's pocket. We gave Libya a bunch to prop up up that dictator. Our "hired help" throws our money around like there is no limit. Don't listen to them.

    63. Gail says:

      "And if Members of Congress don't act to reform mandatory spending on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid—which account for more than 60 percent of the entire federal budget—the ax will automatically fall on the military (or Congress will be forced to raise taxes to halt the automatic trigger.)"

      This may sound cynical, but the above quote from the article makes it perfectly clear why Clinton and Panetta are crying about the deficit. Their end goal is to raise taxes when an agreement can't be reached. It's what Dems and Progressives do.

    64. Bob G says:

      Compare our military spending with other countries. The difference is enormous. The Cato Institute is on voice arguing that we don't need to spend as much as we do.
      http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/comparing-military

    65. Ron says:

      We Republicans seem to have mastered the art of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
      How on earth does ceding budgetary authority to 12 individuals make any sense.
      Our Speaker of the House was holding 4 Aces, our Senate Minority Leader held a Royal Flush and yet they folded to the opposition who was holdng a pair of deuces.

    66. Joe Hall says:

      Get the illegals off of social security and medicaid and we will have enough money to support our military!

      • Robert, TX says:

        What about the other 85 million deadbeats? Why should they continue to coast just because they are citizens?

    67. Ron W. Smith says:

      A threat to our national defense? We already outspend the rest of the world combined on National Security–over a trillion dollars a year. And the reasons we do have more to do with foreign policy decisions that make us SuperPower on Call projecting our military might around the world through more than 700 military installations, large and small, on land and at sea. The cost in flush times was absorbable. In lean times, and on borrowed money, the cost is simply foolish.
      Those who want us to remain king of the hill, using protection of our national interests as the stated reason, are forgetting the expense of intervention after intervention, war after war. They're forgetting the corollary expenditures, when they say "national defense", of nation building, foreign aid designed to gain the cooperation of other countries, homeland security, and an extensive veterans affairs administration–all necessitated by our habit of being SuperPower on Call. Maybe most important, they're forgetting the national debt and annual deficit, and they're forgetting the domestic needs of a nation falling behind in infrastructure improvements and just plain repairs. Borrowing $4 billion every day needs far better justification than maintaining SuperPower status and, in the process, letting other countries off the hook for what should clearly be shared responsibility and, while doing it, enabling their reliance on our largesse on borrowed money.
      There's a lot that's left unsaid in Mike Brownstein's editorial piece, to be sure, and a lot in our foreign policy decisions that needs open discussion and debate.

    68. Philip Blumel says:

      If we are to get our spending and debt under control, both Dems *and* Reps are going to have to cut payments to their key constituencies. By crying about cuts to the military, Heritage is on the wrong side of the spending fight.

      Military spending comprises far more than defense, properly defined. The U.S. spends half of global military expenditures and we don't even face an existential threat as we did during the Cold War. Our allies must pay for more of their defense, and the U.S. should reduce its role as the world policeman. The U.S. military is — or should be — for U.S. defense, not global welfarism, bureaucracy or empire building.

    69. Wayne, La says:

      If we cut military spending, we should do this with an increase in accountability for results. I believe that there should be competition in who can get a goal accomplished more quickly. The Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts should have been completed a long time ago. If the purpose was to signal the terrorists that the United States was not going to lay low after an attack then this was accomplished after our invasion and dominance of the old regimes. The purpose of Democracy is not to establish puppet regimes but regimes that respect the will of the people. A cut in the Defense budget just may provide the incentive to select more meaningful and long lasting programs without extravagant expenditures.

    70. Bud says:

      Obama doesn't care about the nation's security, our military or anything else. Obama is, and has always been out to destroy our country.

    71. Robert, TX says:

      People, we are about to witness a $ 2 billion dollar (stated) Presidential campaign, where BOTH horses report to the same master. Imagine when the history books are written: The United States fell when less than 100 powerful people controlled not only the government, but also the mass media outlets, effectively controlling over 250 million, mind-numbed idiots. And over 50 million people, who believed in the Constitution, continued to vote for a defunct political party that LIED to them for 25 years.

    72. Jeanne Stotler says:

      The military post in Germany serves as a hospital where our wounded are taken before being sent to Walter Reed or Bethesda Naval. Our deceased military are sent there also. I believe this is mainly a staging area, troops go there before going to asigned duties in Iraq or Afganistan. There are post overseas that MAy be able to be closed BUT we need to protect our borders, we have two coast as well as the Gulf area plus our northern and Southern borders all which seem to be underchecked. We also need to aspire to old adage,"Charity begins at home" we are too quick sending federal money to gov'ts,most of which ends up in the hands of beauracratic theives, there are many organizations such as Salvation Army and Red Cross that go in and are the ones actually helping those in need as well as many churches which donate money and goods, keep the US gov't. funds at home. Vote Nov. 6th, 2012

    73. Grace says:

      Cutting Defense would put this country USA in jeopardy, History has a way of repeating it self in other countries and we don't need it here, America has always been a strong country and the leaders we have in the Obama administration are all incompetent .

    74. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      C'mon, Hillary, run against your boss. He's more incompetent than Jimmy Carter. RUN, HILLARY, RUN!

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