ABILENE, Kan. — Warring against waste, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Saturday he is ordering a top-to-bottom paring of the military bureaucracy in search of at least $10 billion in annual savings needed to prevent an erosion of U.S. combat power.
He took aim at what he called a bloated bureaucracy, wasteful business practices and too many generals and admirals, and outlined an ambitious plan for reform that’s almost certain to stir opposition in the corridors of Congress and Pentagon.
Apparently the Defense Department is a scared cow to Congress. It amazes me that Americans cannot see that the DoD is an open sewer for their tax dollars. Billions and billions of tax dollars are thrown at the DoD each year like candy to children. There is so much money there that the Pentagon has to invent new ‘toys’ to spend it all. It brings to mind a teenager with daddy’s credit card.
Dare we also raise the question: why does the budget of the Defense Department of the United States have to be larger than the next 9 nations combined? The US share on the global scale is 41.5%. Incredible. That’s $663.8 billion.
$663.8 billion on defense. How does that compare with other government spending?
$695 billion on Social Security– but that amount is not all tax dollars, but rather receipts from employees and employers over the years.
$743 billion on Medicare and Medicaid benefits, but yet again, these are not raw tax dollars.
Therefore, roughly 1/3 of our spending goes to ‘defense.’ What was that history lesson about the Roman Empire and its demise?
Yet, the dumbed-down citizens, clueless about this gross waste of their raw tax dollars, will rail against Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits but give a green light to those nearly equal amounts spent by the Pentagon. As will the members of Congress.
“The damned government spending!”
Bamboozlement at its zenith.
The local right-wing GOP representative in my neighboring House district wrote an Op Ed in the Toledo Blade this morning crowing about the deficit [and other right-wingnut talking points]. His district, other than Bowling Green State University, is quite conservative and he hopes to make hay this fall by denouncing the ‘flawed health-care “reform” package’ to his dumbed-down rural constituents.
Congressman Latta shouts the usual Sky is Falling babble about the outrageous costs of health care ‘imposed’ by this plan, but you can bet your life that any and all military budget appropriations will receive his solid support- without thinking.
And, isn’t that the point? Without thinking! As if the Pentagon is entitled to get whatever funds they deem necessary?
He also hopes that his constituents aren’t THINKING, either. He hopes that no one questions the following data: Latta says of the recently passed Health Care Reform Act, “America faces $76 trillion in unfunded liabilities by some estimates…”
Where did this $76 trillion come from? And, what does this have to do with the revenue-neutral Health Care Reform Act? Those ‘unfunded liabilities’ are not part of this act, but a little bamboozlement here and there make for a great re-election campaign speech.
I wonder if any of Mr. Latta’s constituents will ask him how much of the $663 billion Defense Department budget needs to be trimmed?