Spending

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Don, May 29, 2012.

  1. Don

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    It was requested that rather than continue in a thread where this subject had already been initiated, that I start a new thread. So here it is.
    My response:
     
  2. Salty

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    Excessive PCS's
    Make USAREUR a 18 month tour - no dependents
    and make it a unit move as opposed to individual replacement.
    Encourage Extensions overseas
    Lower weight limits for junior enlisted (currently an E-1 can ship up to 8000 pounds

    Use the Canadian system of a unified Armed Forces.

    The US has the Army,Navy,Air Force, Marines (sorry Coast Guard) each branch has their own uniforms, regulations, supply centers, training centers, recruiting stations, ect.
    There are several "joint bases". With a unified Armed Forces a large layer of upper staff would be eliminated.
     
    #2 Salty, May 29, 2012
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  3. freeatlast

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    First I assume you understand none of this is going to happen and the debt is not going to be paid down so we will default as a nation in the near future.

    I would set the spending up on the bases of wants and needs. I would cut military budget in half. The military would have to figure out how to work that out. I would cut all non essential spending. Such things as all space exploration, funding for planed parenthood, grants for clean energy just to name a few. I would do away with the IRS as we know it and put everyone on a flat tax with no deductions and no need to file personal income taxes. Medicare would have to be re-done so it pays for itself. Social Security would be rolled back to how it was originally brought about with no survivor, or dependent payments. I would cut all grants or government loans.
    Because the congress has gotten us in this mess they would have their salaries cut by 75% along with the President with no raises until the debt is paid down. There would be no government retirement benefits for them either. Their insurance would be paid for but it would be just like what any business offered. If they wanted family on the insurance they have to pick up those costs.
    That is just a short list as there is many other things that would have to happen to pay down the debt and even with all this it would take over 20 years.
     
  4. Salty

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    Not sure if you are writing fiction or joke telling


    I believe that Space exploration is important for the nation.

    Well, we do have to agree on something

    We will need the IRS - even with the flat or even fair tax. And there are even problem with both of those. I propose the Automatic electronic tax - much more effective.

    Medicaid, Medicare, welfare, food stamps, as well as all welfare programs should be decreased by 100%. Allow the States or Commonwealths determine the amount to be given - from their treasury's. If South Dakota doesn't want to have any welfare - so be it; if Idaho wants a 181 day waiting period - so be it. These programs are NOT CONSTITUTIONAL! (at the federal level)

    It should be allowed to be privatize - and then eventually dismantle - and I do agree with dependents payments. Though a wife who has not worked outside the home - should be allowed payments upon her husbands death.

    Wow - we agree on two things:thumbsup:


    I would cut it by about 25% (its not really that much when you look at the %) but as you say - no pay raise - or better yet - go on the same pay scale as the military. In addition - TERM LIMITS!


    For elected officials- that is.

    How about this plan?
     
    #4 Salty, May 29, 2012
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  5. Don

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    Yup, understood.

    Are you saying that the military is a want? Or a need?

    You want to cut defense spending down to $4.5 trillion; but you don't know enough about the military to give any kind of intelligent response as to how to make those cuts. You want the military to figure it out?

    I worked for a guy not too long ago that categorized the work we did for him as: high school, college, grad school, and PhD work. I typically do college level, because I believe in the "keep it simple" principle; but there are times, such as developing multi-year budgets, that you simply gotta do at least a grad school level, and preferably PhD (e.g., it's not enough to say we need 100 vehicles over the next 10 years; we also have to identify standards of wear, maintenance schedules, estimated amounts of fuel, when we're going to replace tires, belts, etc., etc., and program those costs for the estimated lifespan of the vehicle--to include replacing the vehicle and starting the cycle all over again).

    So I'd have to say that your answer ranks down there in the "middle school" area.

    The first thing the military will cut is manpower, because that's where the most costs are. So let's figure 50% manpower cut. Current military strength figures are about 1.95 million active duty and civilian personnel; and 1.1 million in the National Guard and Reserves. So cutting by 50%, you've now got 1.5 million unemployed personnel upping the unemployment figures, drawing unemployment, draining the welfare coffers.

    How about military benefits? Approximately 2 million retirees getting medical and other care. But if we cut them, then you've got two situations: 1) men and women who have spent 20 years or more of their lives now without the benefits this country contracted with them; and 2) retirees 65 and older who are now receiving medical through full Medicaid welfare situations instead of partial payment through defense.

    So how about those military programs? Cut the F-35? New battleships? Worth considering. But then again - think about your old '62 Ford Fairlane, or your '72 Stingray, or maybe the '85 Camaro. Still great cars, if you've been taking care of them; but finding replacement parts, much less affording replacement parts, is becoming cost prohibitive. Unlike that analogy, however, you've got specialized vehicles; that ups the parts costs exponentially.

    Now consider the new threats--and I don't mean China, even though China is a very real threat. Cyber threats are our current nightmare; and it requires complexity of software and hardware to protect against them. Complexity increases costs.

    And then we have to consider the threats like China. We can respond to situations like Syria with drones -- cuts down on the manpower, but still requires manpower to fly, maintain, etc. We can use Special Forces for "surgical strikes" -- but they require specialized equipment, and specialized translates to "costly."

    So there are still threats against this nation. So here's where the true lunacy of what you've stated comes out: You were asked to identify what should be cut from the military. Since you dropped the ball on that, and in this hypothetical situation, you're the one in charge making the decisions: Tell us military types what threats we need to protect you and the nation from. Then we can send you a budget that addresses what we need in order to do that. And if you don't like our budget--and you won't--then you're gonna have to make the decisions and tell us what to cut.

    So get serious about this subject, and tell us: What programs do you want to cut? What's a good number of soldiers? Sailors? Marines? Airmen? Programs supporting retired military? Defense programs, such as new aircraft, vehicles, and ships? And more importantly, if you can't give us that, then tell us what we need to be doing in defense of this country?
     
    #5 Don, May 30, 2012
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  6. saturneptune

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    Don,
    Your post is very well thought out. My guess is that the person you are engaging never served one day in the military, and bases his ideas on CNN and FOX. Since my experience in the military was not in finance, but communication devices and alarm and warning systems for highly classified weapons, I can only give a response on the waste that I saw internally. Prices for supplies, equipment, and replacement parts is outrageously high compared to the open market. Another area is waste. What I mean is when the end of a budget cycle occurred, and there were parts left over or money not spent from the present year budget, all the extra resources were magically used by the last day to justify more money the next year. This is one area that is ridiculous.

    Other areas that can be looked at within the military are travel, transfers, and money for high level entertainment. Transfers could be extended. Travel for conferences so a bunch of people can sit around and talk while stuffing themselves at tax payer expense could be severely curtailed with modern technology of a conference video call.

    There is no way I would cut pay, benefits, retirement or health care for our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines. There may be room for some modest personnel cuts, but that has to be done in a thoughtful manner. The military cannot make such decisions themselves. They can recommend levels to carry out their mission to upper authorities, however, the idea of letting the military think it out themselves is not wise or Constititutional, as Congress approves the spending. No doubt that some better scrutiny could be enforced in the area of civilian contracts and labor costs. These costs can easily be abused and let slip out of control.

    Since the government's number one duty is to protect its citizens, the Defense Department should be fiananced well, but efficiently. Blanket and simple statements will not solve the problem, and it will take time.

    When we move to foreign aid, the thing most people do not realize is that foreign aid is a very small part of our budget. However, there is no sense in giving money to nations that do not care about us, and only take our money on a one way street. The relationship of a true ally is a two way street. I think our true allies are few and far between. My list is Israel, England, France, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and maybe some of the old Eastern European countries like Poland. Instead of giving countires like Pakistan aid, I would not give the a dime, and let them know in no uncertain terms that any action of theirs to hinder our fight on terrorism would be dealt with severely. There is no way I would pay a country like that for allowing us to defend ourselves. The same goes for all the other Muslim countries. Any country outside a list (not mine, but one the State Dept came up with) would have to prove they are a reliable ally, not based off a list of terrorist states. I think there are only a handful of countries that we do not give aid to, Iran, North Korea, Somalia, etc. and believe they do get our aid indirectly.

    That brings up the UN. The UN needs to be moved to another country, and the only money that would flow to the organization for our country would be enough to pay our ambassador. The first time we were belittled, we would withdraw. It would not save lots of money, but we can achieve the same purposes through treaties with our true allies. There would be no more military interventions under UN authority, ever again.

    Another area for saving money is the elaborate diplomatic structure in almost every nation on earth we maintain. Like the foreign aid, maintaining a diplomatic presence would be based on a nation being an ally. Even if they are an ally, being an ambassador does not require an elaborate mansion and lavish life style. Again, not lots of money but the principle of the matter. In addition to that, ambassadorships are based on political rewards, not diplomatic skill. That should come to an immediate stop.
     
  7. saturneptune

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    On the domestic style, cuts should start with the political games Congress plays. Bills where Congressmen add local projects for their district unrelated to the bill as a payback for his crooked colleagues. That should be against the law. Who knows how much money that adds a year? Another thing that needs to stop is outside interest groups controlling legislation. Lobbying by special interest groups needs to stop, at least to the point of a predetermined outcome based on campaign contributions. Everyone forgets this is our money. We the people should be the only influence. There is no way to measure the damage this has caused. Every dime spent needs to be transparant. The same question remains, how much tax money has been stolen by the games and crimes? No doubt there is much more schemes politicians have invented to steal than what I mentioned. Whatever the cost, it needs to be cleaned up and stopped. Those found guilty need to be in prison for a long, long time, never to return. It probably means a complete turnover in Congress.

    After that mess is cleaned up, then we can decide what cuts to make to our citizens, who own the money anyhow. Most posts in this thread detailed how to cut our money from us, without even addressing the people who are causing the problem, the United States Congress.

    When Congress first passed Social Security, the govenment spent a chunk of money explaining that it was a supplement to retirement, not a retirement. Many did not listen or save, and many today depend 100% on it. That is their mistake. To be fair to all, I would take it back to its original state, but would do so gradually and for those under, say 50 or so now, or when the effective date took place. It is not the responsibility of the American people to supplement an income for those who did not plan for retirement. For those who are just starting out in Social Security, maybe the answer is as Salty suggested, a general moving away from the present system, with some percentage in sound investments, like a small amount of indexed stock funds, corporate bonds, and maybe some Treasuries. A good model would be the Thrift Savings Plan.

    Medicaid needs to be sent back to the states, and Medicare needs to be reformed with the private sector being a partner, again, with those who are younger. Both SS and medicare need to be self funded without borrowing from the funds for other purposes.

    Education also needs to be a state and a local function.

    There are so many domestic programs, some really frivilous, that need to be looked at, there is no way to address them all.

    We as Americans can do this over time. We can do this at the ballot box, by demanding our leaders be honest (a radical concept) and want to serve instead of take, wheel and deal.

    Why is it that every time this subject comes up, we always talk about ways to cut benefits first, instead of solving the source of the problem, crooked politicians in Congress and the Executive branch.
     
  8. Salty

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    :thumbs:

    Most of the programs should be done at the local level. But, for example, say a new military base is needed, you can be sure that a senior Congressman will take it upon himself to make sure it ends up in his district. ....
    I think there is some need for lobbying - but the info needs to be more public.
    Remember there are also lobbyists for Christian causes.
    Suppose you have 10 causes you are passionate about -- there is no way you can be involved in all of them - thus lobbyist will help you.....
     
  9. freeatlast

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    The military is a need, but about 75% of their spending is a want. There will soon be no nation to defend if the debt is not fixed. I would also cut the federal government as a whole by 50% by doing away with a lot of the agencies. A 50% cut in the military budget would not hinder our nation's defence, but it would rein in some of their wasteful spending. Here is just one example. The National Guard says it's spending $26 million to sponsor Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s No. 88. http://www.sbnation.com/nascar/2012...ry-sponsorships-dale-earnhardt-jr-ryan-newman Most likely I would also cut some of the higher ranks pay and retirement benefits also, but mostly it would be their responsibility to make the cuts.
    Also the military can pay as much as 600 dollars a gallon for fuel depending on where it is shipped to. That needs to change. http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/archive/2010/April/Pages/HowMuchforaGallonofGas.aspx
    The F-22 Rapter is costing the tax payer billions while it sets on the ground. There are many many things that the military is involved in that could be cut without harming our defense. Of course all this would need oversight.
    Here are some more of the waste that needs to be dealt with;
    http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/magazine/79066/waste-defense-spending-america-pentagon
    http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Corporate_Welfare/Military_Fraud.html
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/30/military-spending-waste_n_942723.html
     
    #9 freeatlast, May 30, 2012
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  10. targus

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    Really?

    All of the land that currently comprises the U.S. will disappear off the earth?

    All of the American people will be taken away or something?

    When you loose your job do the police no longer protect your house?
     
  11. freeatlast

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    :rolleyes::eek::laugh:
     
  12. Salty

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    Free -

    You complain about excesses - how about excessive quoiting a previous post.

    You mentioned pay and retirement - that can only be changed by Congress.

    Yes, they may have spent 26 mill on Dale - but that was approved by Congress.

    And now for the big news:
    FREE: What is your military experience - we would all like to know. - and don't bother with a PM- we all would like to know. So until you answer that question, many, including myself will take no stock in any of your military opinions.
     
  13. freeatlast

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    To keep on topic let me refer you to posts 3 and 9.
     
  14. Don

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    Please explain.
    Agreed; wasteful. Wonder why Congress is involved. . . .

    You'll need to do better than that. What retirement benefits would you cut?

    So are you suggesting we don't send fuel to forward operating locations? Or the men and women in hostile locations?
    Are you suggesting we terminate the F-22? Or figure out why it's sitting, fix it, and get on with the program? And if you're advocating termination, do you plan on replacing it with something else, or should we "make do" with aircraft that are 20, 30, or even (as in the case of the B-52) over 50 years old? What kind of safety rating would you give that plan?
    Agreed; as I'm sure you'll agree, it'll take some intelligent analysis to go through line item by line item and do the cutting.

    And then, as I alluded to before, it'll have to get through Congress, where each and every member will have to weigh what's best for their respective constituency as they approve or disprove the military-recommended cuts.

    Do you really think Congress is going to allow the military to just cut the F-22 or F-35 programs? When you have entire communities that will be on the receiving end of such cuts? Did you really not give that consideration, or do you just not care?

    You see, you've placed the emphasis on the military for reducing tbeir costs, without giving thought to who the military answers to. We've made recommendations on where to make cuts, close bases, etc.; only to have those recommendations quashed by senators and representatives who see those recommendations as economical losses to their constituencies (i.e., loss of jobs for local citizens, and loss of revenue for local businesses). So, now your task is two-fold: not only do you need to identify what it is you need your military to be able to do for you, but now you need to figure out how to ensure that Congress is going to support your cuts.
     
    #14 Don, May 30, 2012
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  15. freeatlast

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    My answers were in response to the OP and I made it clear those things will never happen so I believe that we as a nation will default in the near future and become a military rule much like third world nations along with the poverty and wide spread corruption.
     
  16. Don

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    In other words, you haven't given any serious thought to how to actually cut military spending, and would rather just complain. You don't mind complaining about $600/gallon gas, but don't want to discuss the reasons why it costs so much and what we can actually do about it; or the fact that the real blame for out-of-control spending on programs like the F-22 lies with the elected civilian leaders of our nation and not actually with the military.

    Understood. Got it.
     

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