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Monday, February 9, 2015

Further Proof--Long Past Time to Cut the Defense Department Budget


I have read enough to not just have the opinion but to know, it is long, long past time to cut the Defense Department's budget.

It is huge, it is wasteful, it is unaccounted for, it is actually immoral and even makes the nation weaker, not stronger and finally, it is unsustainable.

Sixty-nine percent of every tax dollar in spending goes to defense spending. Beyond that, check this out from Sunday's New York Times:


"For the past three years, officials at the Pentagon have asked Congress for permission to take stock of how many of the military’s vast network of installations across the country have become obsolete and ought to be shrunk or shuttered. The Defense Department, by far the nation’s largest and costliest bureaucracy, estimates that it could operate far more efficiently and save billions of dollars each year by shedding at least 20 percent of its real estate.

Yet, year after year, the nearly unanimous response from lawmakers has been: Don’t even think about it. They have barred the Pentagon from carrying out a detailed assessment of its properties, because closing useless bases would mean lost jobs and revenue in home districts."

Under pressure from lawmakers, the Air Force has spread its fleet of aircraft across the country to justify keeping the lights on at bases that outlived their use years ago. A stark example is the Air Force base in Grand Forks, N.D., a once strategically important hub for bombers during the Cold War. Currently, it’s home to 11 drones.

The Army has hundreds of buildings across the country that are only nominally open for business. In 2013, a senior Army official, testifying before Congress, said she had recently been on a base with 800 buildings, where only 300 were occupied. Last summer, when thousands of unaccompanied Central American migrant children were detained entering the country, many were temporarily housed at military bases, an odd arrangement that drew attention to how much space the Pentagon had to spare.

And when it comes to cutting the spending of the Defense Department budget, there will be those who say it will weaken the nation that, somehow, we will be "soft on defense." And of course it's nonsense. Quite the opposite is true.

Ironically, even hypocritically, there will be plenty of Republicans in Congress, in both the House and Senate, who will want to maintain this spending because, of course, they want to keep the money coming back to their districts. Forget that they are supposedly the political party of slashing budgets and screaming for "small government." "Damn the torpedoes!" they seem to say. "Full spending speed ahead!" 

Well, it's ridiculous. It's absurd. It should stop. It needs to stop. We need to cut the Defense budget, the Pentagon's budget and this is an excellent place to begin.

Now if we can just get them to listen.

And act.


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