August 17, 2011

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, yesterday during a joint press conference in Washington, Secretaries of Defense and State said entitlement program spending is putting America is at risk.  With entitlement programs consuming more than 60 percent of the federal budget, America cannot afford delays in reforms that would inevitably add to the pressure to shortchange national security funding.

The new debt super-committee, enacted as part of this month’s debt deal, is charged with reducing the deficit by $1.2 trillion over the 10 years. Failure to achieve these savings would automatically trigger defense spending cuts with “devastating effects” for national defense, as Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta once again argued.

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.

Heritage has a plan to balance the budget and fix America’s entitlement programs without raising taxes or gutting military spending. Check out Saving the American Dream: Heritage’s plan to Fix the Debt, Cut Spending, and Restore Prosperity.

Comments (96)

Rick Martell - August 19, 2011

We need to quit supporting NATO. What are we doing in Libya? Why are we still in Germany? Why do we have covert bases all over the globe?

We need a strong military, not a world policeman under the command of NATO.

Bob Marwill - August 19, 2011

For once, I can agree with Hilary Clinton. I’m highly pleased to see her and Leon Panetta speak out in this way, which is clearly a signal to the President that HIS spending binge, and his sanctioning of even more spending on entitlements is going to put our nation at risk militarily. There are some who believe this could be part of his plan to disarm America. I may be one of those. Let’s hope this is an early form of strong opposition within the Democratic Party, to Obama’s policies, and that it will serve as a constraint on his plans.

Fred A - August 19, 2011

This is totaly unacceptable in this dangerous world.We need leadership in DC not more politics as usual.

Gary Zulauf - August 19, 2011

If continued increases in entitlements prove to be more important than maintaining a strong military, kiss this country goodbye.

Joseph - August 19, 2011

You have to cut the military too..we lose all our credibility if we say cut cut cut..but not from the area we like. That is the infantile style of the left.

gap - August 19, 2011

As a Soldier who served through the build up during Reagan, the cuts as a result of the piece dividend, the wars/contingency operations/era of persistant conflict and now facing cuts in the name of political expediency, I am disheartened that every time we have a budget crisis it is the military that finds itself on the chopping block. The recent comments by our defense officials truly show that their lack of military service hinders their ability to understand the effects of budget cuts. It is easy to point the finger at the military in the middle of two, three or four unpopular wars, but the politicians are the ones who put us in this position. If we really desire to continue to enjoy our standard of living, a robust and well-trained military is a key component in achieving this aim. Getting costs under control needs to start with an end to the wasteful spending on government programs, especially those replicated by the States. Look at the myriad of offices that do nothing but hinder good local leadership–Education, HUD, Environment, etc. The government that governs best governs least. Maybe they can take the rest of the year off….

Laura Dietz - August 19, 2011

The number one job of the Federal Government is to
defend the US. Hurting our military forces in terms of
preparedness is a dereliction of duty, clear and simple.
What is it about defending this country that the folks
in WDC do not understand. Weakness is an invitation for our enemies to strike. Do your job!!! or retire.

Larry Steimle - August 19, 2011

new debt super-committee operating with the threat of the automatic trigger cutting the military budget – Could this set-up be a ploy to force Republican members of the committee to agree to other cuts that they don’t want? The libs know the conservatives will never allow cuts to the military.

REID LOGAN - August 19, 2011

I disagree. Do we really need all of our military bases throughout the world. NO. Military spending can be cut easily without harming OUR national defense.

Alej - August 19, 2011

Pay our military; totally amputate welfare parasites.

Kenneth Carter - August 19, 2011

This is like a nightmare being replayed. I left the Air Force because it was being decimated in 1978 by the Peanut farming idiot and chief. I wish I would have hung on but I didn’t believe a Ronald Reagan was in our future. Now it’s happening all over again with the community organizer and chief who cannot see past the end of his progressive nose because he is a citizen of the world first and foremost and America might be third or forth on his list of priorities if at all !!! Somebody wake me up and pass me some ammunition !

Bargal - August 19, 2011

The first thing one must do is to ensure the American people that Hillary Clinton will not be included in any discussions dealing with the Military as she is not qualified and certainly not a friend of the Military whatsoever

Mary - August 19, 2011

Why would we consider cutting funds for our military when we are still sending “foreign aid” to 151 other countries??? Why are we sending money to China, when we are borrowing money from them, and paying it back with interest? Why are we sending money to Communist countries? And someone thinks we should cut our military funds instead of cutting out foreign aid to other countries? Does this make sense to anybody???

Dee - August 19, 2011

I cannot, for the life of me, figure why military cuts (and elderly benefits) must be first on the chopping block. I believe we should cut Congressional salaries 50 percent and drop all the politicians’ golden benefits. Any item that does NOT benefit the ENTIRE country should be eliminated. Let the states take care of state issues and let us keep much more of our tax money, while still supporting our military and our interstate highways. Then let’s wean everyone off social security over decades of time. Young people should start saving and investing in their retirement. They won’t do that unless they know there are no government safety nets.

Robert Byerly - August 19, 2011

Cutting from DoD to balance the Fed Budget is wrong for the following reasons: 1) Security is one of the few enumerated, stated Constitutional responsibilities of the Federal Gov’t, 2) DoD spending WITH the unfunded spending requirements is only 19.5% of the Fed Budget vs 45% (and growing) of the Fed Budget being consumed by Medicare/Medicaid/Social Security and SSI, 3) DoD Budget has already been cut substantially in the last 3yrs which means that soldiers going to AFG get ONE pair of cold weather socks instead of the 3-5 pr that would be appropriate! Meanwhile, those on public assistance have seen their total payments go from an annual payout in Jan 2009 of $9000 to $21000 in 2011. WTF?!? We need more Calvin Coolidge and Milton Friedman, and less “Harvard” intellect!

PAUL - August 19, 2011

So failure to achieve savings could result in defense cuts. Let’s see; National Endowment for the Arts; National Endowment for the Humanities; State Dept. aid programs. There are a lot more places to cut that are less vital to this country than Defense.

Mike - August 19, 2011

Me and my ilk (TEA PARTIERS) have been made aware that overall military spending is close to $1Trillion.
Stop the wars: and cut at least 20% just like the rest of the govt is going to have to.
You can do it in a orderly way or just keep soaking us and our grandchildren until we get fed up.
Not just us alive citizens but 2 generations down the line.
(I don’t expect you to give up so much as a dime but don’t say you weren’t warned.)

Charles Burger - August 19, 2011

I think we could cut 10% from DOD supplies by becoming tough on the contracts/contractors ‘selling’ products to DOD. I think there are many $’s that could be saved by telling contractors we expect a 10% reduction this year and use the same $ figure purchasing the same items for the next several years. I do not want to cut other DOD budget items, because these reductions would not impact our troops.

Charles Burger

Helen M Nanney - August 19, 2011

We have 400 military basis over seas. We should bring most of them home, and set many up on our borders. Obama is in contempt of court for not resigning, as he was found guilty on 17 counts of getting into office by fraudlent reasons. He had ninty days to resign, and that waS May 5TH. OUR MILITARY WILL HAVE TO TAKE HIM OUT, OR HE WILL EVENTUALLY TAKE THEM OUT. THAT IS THE
MARXIS/ Natzi WAY. Soro’s is a Natzi crimnal. he caused 1/2 million deaths under Hitler, and was his helper. he said on 60 minites he had no regrets. He enjoyed it.

Ryan Richards - August 19, 2011

I’m sorry, but why is the military off limits? There is plenty of wasteful spending here as there is across the board. While I am for cutting entitlements, to suggest that somehow the pentagon is more fiscally responsible, and thus immune, is a joke.

Hollow force? There must not be any creative, “outside the box” thinking going on at Heritage or at the Defense Dept. Why couldn’t we continue to recruit, train and maintain troop levels while simultaneously closing some of our 1,000 military bases abroad and putting some full-time troops on active reserve to be called up at any time? Do we really need 200+ bases in Germany? 100+ in Japan? We are spread all over the globe and that is EXTREMELY expensive. Cuts need to come from all corners. If businesses and private citizens have to drastically reduce expenses during this economic downturn, every aspect of our government should too.

Terry Easter - August 19, 2011

If it is only 1.2 trillion over 10 years,
that is not a spending cut!!!!!

Gary Clemens - August 19, 2011

The Federal Governments number one responsibility to the US citizen is the defense of the country. Taking away or reducing this responsibility by starving the military of funds so that public tax receipts can be diverted to the non productive sector is wrong and should resisted. This world has become very dangerous in so many ways.

Popcorn - August 19, 2011

Our Military has become the policemen of the world. Our policy needs to change before our funding changes. Allies like Israel and Great Britain which never call on us for troops are much more valuable than countries we have to beat into submission and then inhabit for long periods of time with our troops. Cut off ANY support for enemy or troublesome countries and use those funds to protect ourselves from them. If our policy changed and our technology followed it would allow for a reduced military budget, but it is foolishness to put the cart before the horse by screaming for a Charge without the muscle to follow through. Start by voting on aid by country not as a group. Secondly actually protect our borders, don’t just play like we have borders. Charge people who support the international drug trade as aiding and abetting the enemies of the United States get them all the help you can give but make sure they understand that this continued activity has severe penalties to their citizenship and that they are playing with Treason. There needs to be consequences for making America a target for the thugs and criminals that they are supporting. Then we can approach our military needs with a smaller budget, but if we have no stomach for identifying and vanquishing our enemies, it is a shame to send our youth to die on foreign shores due to our lack of character. We need a better plan than just sending our young people to a war that never ends. our enemies should fear with trembling achieving our disfavor and our full attention.

Steve Lazzara - August 19, 2011

The main thing the US Government is supposed to provide for is defense, not health care, old age care, handicapped care, or child care. The political class are a bunch of effeminate nosy babblers that haven’t the slightest concept of what makes this country work. How many of them or the media class have ever taken a product to market.

Lemonade stands don’t count by the way!

Redhat31 - August 19, 2011

Our military spending is 4 precent of GDP while the world’s average is 6 percent of GDP. Also about 1 percent are currently serving while the other ninety-nine percent are at the Mall. Hardly a vast military war machine. And don’t forget that the military serves the elected civilian government in.national defense priorities, a constitutional imperative,as well as a rapid response force for nunerous world wide Disaster Relief Operations. Professionals cost money and years ago the Nation was clamoring for a professiona force. Well you got what you wanted. Now the thinking is it might be costing to much well, then bring back the draft.

Roger Sanders - August 19, 2011

NEWS FLASH: WWII is over and Europe does not need our occupation!

NEWS FLASH: Mid Eastern countries do not love us more and are not more stable after decades of wasting $trillions on our wars and our occupation there.

How many decades are we going to waste a half a trillion dollars a year keeping European countries from invading each other? Since they say they are superior to us anyway, lets let them show that they are finally grown up enough to live with each other peacefully. Reality is that if Russia invades a neighbor, we will do nothing; which recently happened. Hey, maybe this time Austria will invade Germany. The realty is, from a protect America perspective… who cares?

ITS TIME FOR THE U.S. TO QUIT POLICING THE WORLD AND TIME TO QUIT USING OUR LIMITED MILITARY AND RELATED RESOURCES FOR NATION BUILDING.

With all our wars, all our international policing and all our nation building is our economy stronger? Is our dollar stronger? Are we loved more? No to all the above.

Its time to deal with reality. Its time to quit diluting and wasting our American military on needless wars and redefine their missions to only those that are really important for our defense. Lets keep our military strong for a change and quit policing the world.

Steve Arnold - August 19, 2011

I served in the military and can say that without a doubt “WE MUST HAVE A STRONG MILITARY” how ever we also must look at waste and over pricing in the military. America can no longer just sit back and spend as if there is no tomorow, and to do so will gurantee that there want be on not as we know it today.
Cut’s YES! but waste and BULL first!

Steve Arnold
3batl. 37th Armor.
U.S. Army.
class of 1968/72

Ryan Richards - August 19, 2011

Another thing: I’m sick of whining about “Why is ______ always the first on the chopping block when it comes to cuts?” Fill in the blank with whatever you want…education, defense, entitlements…it’s never true no matter who says it. The military budget has grown every year since 1998. From 2003 to 2011 it has ballooned from $483 billion to about $965 billion. If the government that governs the best governs the least, why don’t you people have a problem with bloated government spending in the name of wars and nation-building? I don’t care what your political affiliation: If you can’t get your facts straight, be honest or consistent you lose all credibility in these arguments.

Melinda Landon - August 19, 2011

This has been an extremely alarming development coming out of the so-called debt ceiling agreement, and to paraphrase Newt Gingrich, it sounds beyond “Mickey Mouse” to me. It is an incredible, mindless way to treat our national defense, simply as a poker chip in a game with twelve players.

Don Laackman - August 19, 2011

How do we remain steadfast with against terrorism with a crippled and hollowed out military? Answer, we don’t!

Absolutely no more cuts to our defense budget!

Lenore Burns - August 19, 2011

Is this the same Hilary Clinton that went to the UN to help them ban guns?? The same anti-gun Hilary Clinton? What, is she thinking of running against Obama?? hahaha These people are so easy to see through!! Same old line – cut Military and hard earned SOS for the elderly!! A leopard doesn’t change its spots, or a skunk its smell!!

Jeff Copeland - August 19, 2011

I believe the role of the Federal Government is to defend us from enemies, foreign and domestic. That being said, a close friend is an A-10 pilot in Afghanistan and the waste of our supplies in fuel and weapons is shameful. Due to political correctness, these planes are kept in the air 24 hours a day and not allowed to fire on the enemy unless many folks are consulted to give the go-ahead. There are many, many pilots up in the air doing this madness. The extra pay these guardsmen receive to do this mindless activity is also sinful. Treat the war activity appropriately as war and get the job done. Wasting precious talent and dollars is mind numbing.

Warren “Don” Shedden - August 19, 2011

It has been said often before now, but to put the usual in another way consider this: A bully very seldom will assail another, who is stronger and larger than himself. We ought to heed the warnings and postures of those of wisdom, who were before our time: George Washington ~ Teddy Roosevelt ~ Ronald Reagan ~ Winston Churchill, to name but a few. Hitler wrote a book: Mein Kamph. . .it seems some of our current world leaders are trying to fulfil his dreams. . .even right here in the “Un-tying States of America. “We The People. . .” of 2d Chronicles 7: 14 ~ must awaken, and realize just who we really are in His-tory, or “We” will all become history~before we die.

REMEMBER TO VOTE AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY!!!!!!!!

Lindsay Stevens - August 19, 2011

I am sure Hillary Clinton understands , and it is a pleasure to see her support it, that foriegn policy can only be as strong as the force behind it. It goes all the way back to “offer the carrot but carry a big stick”. Reagan understood it, and made it work. Our current President scares me.

Cruiser - August 19, 2011

One suggestion I saw was changing the military pension system to a 401K type of system. These people sacrifice a lot to protect our nation. They are the last who should have their pension plan changed. If you want the military to go to a 401K make it happen right after the President, Congress, the Judicial employees and all bureaucrats and appointees.

Don - August 19, 2011

As I recall, this was an early goal of some in the current Administration. Now they have a Debt Super-Committee appointed to do that for them. Sounds like poor defense policy and outstanding politics.

Bob Hollingshead - August 19, 2011

Karl Rove made the point that while working for President Bush he had an equivalent military rank. The military should be given the same benefits in terms of pay and retirement as their equivalent GSA rank. Why should one ‘class’ of US Government employee be treated as a sub-standard member of the US Government?

And, to help Congress understand their importance to America – all they need to do is (1) refuse to re-enlist and (2) ask all veterans groups make their case outside all military recruiting stations.

Wayne, La. - August 19, 2011

I believe in a strong defense but we are being totally unrealistic. Our country’s economic strength is first.

David Ferguson - August 19, 2011

Spend more on real defence for Americans, a lot less on other countries. First, stop spending on anything that isn’t critical, eliminate wasteful departments, eliminate fraud in Social Secuity, Medicare, Medicaid, tell all illegals to leave our country or with the help of American citizens, they would be caught and prosecuted as enemies of the country and cut entitlements to what ever degree needed to get spending under control.

Robert E. Hannay - August 19, 2011

Our military budget and mission should be for the defense of the U.S., not to be the world’s unpaid police force. Six or eight countries have one carrier each, Italy has two, we have eleven. They are vulnerable and horribly expense, most should be mothballed and we should rely on hidden nuclear subs and a small mobile ground attack force, air forces and drones. Having tens of thousands of our troops in wealthy South Korea for 58 years, in wealthy Germany for 66 years, and others scattered all over the world is nonsense. Who is going to attack the United States? China, now building their first primitve diesel-powered carrier? “Nation-building” and being the world’s unpaid welfare agency is just as silly. Other nations would copy us if they liked what they saw, and most don’t, with good reason. We need to kick out the America-destroyers and get our ownhouse in order.

Virginia R. Lamb - August 19, 2011

A strong military is essential to our security. If we “gut” our military we will be be in great danger. Why not look at welfare reform, and yes, reforming the entitlement programs as has been suggested by Ryan?. We can no longer afford 3 or 4 generations of welfare recipients. I am a senior but reform of the entitlement programs does not mean throwing the current recipients under the bus.

Carol P. Berry - August 19, 2011

I am grateful for these two standing together against any further reductions in our defense budget. Their own party will dismiss what they are saying. We conservatives must resist strongly deep reductions in our defense budget.

Jay Stanford - August 19, 2011

Deep cuts to the military budget are exactly what Obama and the Liberals have always wanted, and this is exactly why Harry Reid tricked Republicans into setting up the so-called Deficit Committee. This would be a stupid, reckless thing to do at a time when we are fighting three wars, Iran is building up their nuclear capability to destroy Israel, and there are millions of terrorists who want to kill us. This would be a gift to Obama’s base, just before the 2012 elections. I guess the liberals think there is safety in numbers, and they will just bury their heads in the sand.

Retired Navy Veteran - August 19, 2011

We need to keep our military strong and continue to honor whose that served our country and sacraficed their lives. Why doesn’t Congress take a substantial pay cut and reduce their benefits? Just think of the money we could save. Instead, they keep giving themselves increased salaries and are not required to use the “Obama Care” like the military is required. Something has got to change. I agree with the other comments that we should stop supporting NATO. If the US can’t even pay their bills, then why are we over spending on other countries? It is time to cut the apron strings.

Louis Storm - August 19, 2011

Why do we need our military in 120 countries around the world? Stop trying to be the world’s policeman. Also, stop trying to finance foreign countries corrupt bureaucracies. As a veteran enlisted man and officer in the U. S. Army, as well as a retired government employee, I’m convinced that the U. S. military is bloated. My observations in the past convinced me that military officers of O6 and above ranks are more convinced that they must expand their own little empires to be able to advance, regardless of the consequences to the taxpayers.

ALLEN BERRY - August 19, 2011

OUR MILITARY SPENDING CAN BE REDUCED BY LOOKING AT THE COST OF SUPPLIES. THE CONTRACTORS HAVE OVERCHARGED THE AMERICAN TAX PAYERS FOR MANY YEARS. STOP BIDDING SPECK ON ALL PRODUCTS. ORDER WHAT SUPPLIES ARE NEEDED FROM SMALL BUSINESS , AT REASONABLE PRICES. SENATE HAS OVERLOOKED THIS PROBLEM FOR WAY TOO LONG .

Ken Marx - August 19, 2011

We have always been ill prepared during the decade or so leading up to major wars. But due to the conventional nature of past wars, we were able to quickly gear up during the crises. I fear that that kind of time will not exist when the next major war comes along. If we don’t have the capability to resist or hit back hard immediately, we will be cooked. There is a reason defense is one of the few governmental functions enumerated in the Constitution. We must remain secure. If we want to reduce the cost of government, we can begin with all the other functions not specified in the Constitution, including so-called entitlements, EPA, OSHA, Labor, Education, Agriculture, Commerce, FCC, FTC, and a host of other alphabet agencies. Leave defense alone or – here’s a novel idea – maybe even increase it.

Kathy Lopez - August 19, 2011

1. Stop giving away money to people are very capable of working. Stopping paying people to have more children.
2. Get out of NATO.
3. Military waste should be eliminated.
4. Stop foreign aid especially to muslim countries. Do you think the people that we help at the drop of a hat would stop to help us? I doubt it.

Dom Brunone - August 19, 2011

With Ron Paul, I believe in a strong military, but with a reduced mission. Libya? C’mon. Iraq too was a mistake. What are we doing with bases in Germany, I heard that WWII is over.

There is plenty of room to cut waste in the military and bring in 6-sigma methods to get the best from our Armed Forces. Reduce scope, but do not cut quality.

joyce friedericy - August 19, 2011

The number one priority of the government is national defense. All this talk about spending is BS. Throw the illegals out, take government employees retirement and put it into social security. Put government employees o medicare and cut all the outragous wasteful government programs and ther will be ;plenty of money.
Leave the military benefits alone they are the only ones who have earned it.

Phil Snodgrass - August 19, 2011

I believe we must maintain an adequate military. China is building her military at an alarming rate. We do not dare ignore them or allow them to surpass our preparedness.

Dale Ball - August 19, 2011

First our govt. starts insulting the American people by supporting over 150 of the 192 countries in the world with our tax dollars. The people of many of these countries hate us…so we pay them to hate us…? And then our govt. goes on to throw us to the wolves by disarming our American service members? It is time that we take care of and protect the citizens of the United States of America FIRST! Stop the entitlements! Let’s get the budget balanced without destroying our country.

Horatio Nelson - August 19, 2011

I understand the concern about funding the SW Asian operations and Libya. Our Air Force is crumbling after 20 years of constant operations. A huge cut to Defense would eliminate any hope of recapitalizing the Air Force, which we desperately need.

Joseph Violette - August 19, 2011

Now is the time to “bite the bullet” and reform entitlement programs, in particular, Social Security and Medicare. Our Country cannot afford to delay any longer. In these uncertain times we absolutely cannot afford to reduce Defense spending. The Middle East is a hot bed ready to explode without warning. Sooner or later we are going to have to face Iran. Are we prepared? Do we need to keep troops in Korea; Germany; Japan, NATO?. Are we wasting money and troops in Afghanistan? We need to reduce Government spending on a planned basis.

Who is going to bite the bullet? Certainly not the present Administration. When are we going to work together to turn our Country around? I support a Balanced Budget Amendment. I support Term Limits or an upper age limit. Let’s do these things on a planned basis. Joseph B. Violette

Lynn Dedhiya - August 19, 2011

Rick Martell is right.Send the UN and NATO packing. America needs to take care of itself first. Train our troops on our own borders. We have enough problems here without sticking our nose in the rest of the worlds mess. We should only help those who have stood with us.

Gary Pempek - August 19, 2011

We need to quit funding the UN. This is not smart to defund any of our military. We need a strong military to protect our nation,its citizens and our interests. What we need to defund and repeal is Obamacare. Entitlements need to be cut and do nothing or harmful grants need to be eliminated. Some of these grants work against our moral values.

Norman - August 19, 2011

Cutting defense spending while we are engaged on three fronts is criminal….if cuts are needed lets try cutting the Army Core of Engineers budget for the Recreational Strategic Plan. There are plenty of places to cut including Remediation Site work as mandated by the EPA…spending money for moneys sake? And where does that tax payer money go?

http://www.usace.army.mil/CEPA/NewsReleases/Pages/RecreationStrategicPlan.aspx

chuck & marti wade - August 19, 2011

Why is there always the threat of cutting our military and
Soc Sec? There are so many other places, like medicaid, welfare, NPA, the EPA, billions given to other countries, and all manner of things. I get very tired of the threat to the military, especially since the only real cut would probably be to the military; the other ones
never happen. Why don’t we talk about some real cuts and not just cuts based on the “base line”; that’s a bunch of hogwash anyway. We need real cuts.

Kevin - August 19, 2011

“If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.” – James Madison (1751-1836), 4th U.S. President and author of the U.S. Constitution

PAUL BERTAN - August 19, 2011

ALL spending must be cut by over the 42% that we borrow.

Jude Richardson - August 20, 2011

Why is it that Hillary and Leon are given any credence on Heritage’s web site?

Gary - August 20, 2011

It is my understanding that we have already cut the defense budget to near minimal levels. When we see China building up their military capacity, Iran on the verge of having nuclear weapons available and missiles to deliver them, continued noise coming out of North Korea, the continued instability in the Mid-East and continued threats from radical Islamists, I can only describe it as folly that more cuts in defense are even being suggested.
Oh, and don’t forget the needs of Homeland Security on our Southern border.

George H. Schryer - August 20, 2011

Please, would someone explain to me how military retirement/benifits is an entitlement (read gift in government jargon). An entitlement is something you are entitiled to (earned). After 24 years in the military, 3 tours overseas(2 in combat), 8 moves to different bases, missed births, birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and funerals, and less than equal pay, I think I am entiteled to the benefits that I have earned. How about the congressional “entitlements”, retirement pay equal to your salary, only 4 years to secure lifetime retirement pay, free health care, more vacation time than anyone but the president? The pentagon has already said that pay and benifits are the biggest piece of the DOD budget so it is automatically where they will go to cut the budget. I agree the military complex is repleat with graft, overspending and sweetheart deals and this is where the DOD needs to make its cuts.

Dottie - August 20, 2011

If entitlements need cutting it is not in the military, it should first start with the Congress and Senates retirement pay they receive. If we Americans have to put into Social Security, then they should too. They aren’t anymore important than the common man on the street. Then they could go into cutting the waste, like, farm subs. which a lot of congressmen and senators own land and collect money for not growing crops. We the people are standing up and saying NO to cutting Military.

Gary P. McNamara - August 20, 2011

It is time to stop tring to police the world. We should start in an organized fashion to withdraw our troops
from the many places around the world.
Lybya was to be a matter of days? Do our elected leaders ever tell the truth?

George Ruff - August 20, 2011

I agree with Rick Martell. We currently spend 48% of the total world military spending. We could cut our military in half and still be larger than the next 5 countries combined! Just how much is enough? It’s time our “friends” who we protect started fending for themselves, or paid the full cost of our protection.
That being said, we only spend 5% of our GDP on military, so we have to cut far more from other places to make much of a dent.

Herbert Berwald - August 20, 2011

Lets face it. We no longer can afford to be the world’s policeman. I have no problem with cutting our armed forces as long as the mission is reduced accordingly. We have protected our “allies” in Europe and elsewhere long enough. It is time for them to step up to the plate. While their economies were increasing their forces were being reduced as they knew we would save them from harm. No longer. Time to begin to think of our country first. We have limited support in the United Nations so why go we continue to spend out treasure to protect them?

Ralph Minnick - August 20, 2011

These people have no clue as to what’s going on. We must keep our military strong so that it remains the best in the world. Responsible cuts should be in the areas that would do the most good, i.e. ObamaCare which as I understand my info from several sources is Unconstitutional, the intitlements which is 60% of the national budget, get rid of the czars which do little and are accountable to no one at the rate of at least 200k x 37, downsize gov’t spending by at least 10 % and other3 wasteful expenditures too numerous to mention.

Gerry, US Army Retired - August 20, 2011

I disagree that we should bring all the troops home. We are not defending NATO. Rather we are a part of a global defense network that NATO is but a part. We need those bases for support of the many treaties we have with other nations for defense.

In Vietnam we were not the only ones there. We served with S Korea, Australia and New Zeland. Somehow the media overlooked that issue as well as the fact we were there because of a treaty we had with the Republic of Vietnam; who had been invaded by another nation, the Peoples Republic of Vietnam. Unlike Korea, divided into tow parts by cease-fire treaty. Vietnam was divided into two separate nations by the treaty that ended the Indochina war. Another point ignored by the media.

There is waste in the military as well as the entire government. We need to cut spendthrift programs and policies that incur millions in support of empire building and pet programs that should have never been allowed to exist. Common supplies and services should be supplied from a common source. Each service is isnisting on a draconian practice that it is a single entity and therefore controls everything related to it’s existance. Example, why do single service depots each supply exactly the same items as the others to ‘their’ service. Because they have always done it that way, Most businesses buy direct from manufacturers and have the supplies sent to their branch locations. The DOD and GSA should serve as the cental contracting functions for price and the individual facilities order direct from the manufacturer at the contract price. I acknowledge that is being done in many instances, however it still needs to be expanded. Consolidation of duplicative functions across service boundaries is another area for cost reduction. Each base contracts for security service. Why? They did away with the DOD Police for that function and now each service has it’s own civilian run police force that incorporates a military component. A giant step back into empire building.

There was a program in the military to get the capability for every computer in the DOD to talk to any other computer. Yet, today, that can’t happen. There is a DOD security project to enable gate security guards at every base to have a handheld device that will authenticate the ID provided for entry. If the ID holder is restricted or denied entry on that base there is an alert. This would possibly have aided in earlier capture of the latest AWOL soldier involved in bomb making at Ft Hood if he went onbase to test security. His ID would have been tagged and hsi arrest done. Instead a retired cop from Killeen PD got suspicious and had the local cops find out he was wanted. This program has been ongoing for over a year and it is still administered locally at selected bases. The Army has the capability to talk to individual soldiers in combat opertions from the White House yet important security devices can’t access a central database where critical ID authentication for base entry is needed.

The whole government needs to be reeducated and revamped. The present rule by knee jerk and fear is not aceptable. Management of the government like a business is what is necessary. I have yet to see a mission statement by the CEO of my government. How can he accomplish a misson if there isn’t one? Management by committee never works. Committees advise the management. Leading from behind is pleading for failure; need I go on?
As far as I am concerned they can keep this change, I don’t need it.

Military retirement and benefits is another favorite target of the left leaning politicians. Carter, Clinton and this one have all targeted the military as a cash cow to raid because of the cost to operate. Well, here is a real NEWS FLASH – it always takes more to startup or restart a major function than it does to continue it and upgrade the equipment. There is a real good reason the troops in Europe and Asia are still there. We don’t have places to put them in the USA. The facilities to base them here do not exist, thus new places will have to be built. The move of one Armored Division from Europe to the USA required construction of hundreds of buildings over thousands of acres at an existing base. Fortunately we have the real estate for most of the withdrawl. The construction alone for the single division is several bullions of dollars. To withdraw the US Forces from all foreign nations would be a budget buster in itself.

I agree that our government should look at the same things we as individuals do whenit comes to spending. If there are any cuts we need to make them on things not necessary or contracted for. The first things most normal people cut is the amount they give away. And, we cut or eliminate those gifts toi people who don’t like us. So, why shouldn’t our government do the same. We are not buying any friendship from nations like that, so why bother. We don’t even have to say why, just we are cutting everywhere and you are involved it that move.

As to why we are in Libya, the same reason we went into Bosnia, the President sent us there to help NATO. We are (supposedly) not ‘boots on the ground’ in that one. But, we do have air assets in the sky. The UAV is not like the RC model airplanes. They are flown from anywhere in the world. The early ones in Afghanistan were flown by pilot/operators in Florida.

Social Security is a retirement fund that was paid into by every wage earner in the USA. It was also a cash cow that was milked by several congresses to balance the general fund budget spending. These were stolen funds that were collected for a single purpose.

Medicare, on the other hand, is a Health Care Insurance plan that everyone eligible fo Social Security is covered under. We have a mandatory deduction taken from the monthly retirement check to pay for it. It operates much like Blue Cross etc.

Medicaid is a health care system that pays the states a portion of the cost for welfare medical programs. This is a free benefit to those who qualify.

The military has a long standing retirement and health care practice that has enticed hundereds of thousands to participate in. It is the single most important reason we do no longer need a draft to maintain troop strength quotas. Especially in the upper ranks of the services. Tinker very much with these items and the Selective Service System will become necessary again. Right now the system in place is meeting the traditional pattern that was established around the end of WW2. The medical part of the program applies only to the retiree. There is a co-pay part of the plan that covers the spouse and other family members.

We are not the world police. But, we are the defenders against enslavement by dictators and tyranny. We are the Ensign of freedom. We are endowed by God with certain inaienable rights, as stated in the founding documents of the nation, that cannot be taken away by any ruler. We stand for, “…the protection of the innocent, liberty and justice for all.” That is what we do. That is why the oppressed people have always turned to us for help in lifting thta yoke from their shoulders. There are evil forces out there who try to enslave all peoples on the earth to their domination. The free nations stand together in their way. Often times against bigger odds. But we prevail because we are better equipped physically, mentally and materially than they are.

There are, however,some in high places in our own governement that don’t agree and they are trying to relegate us to a third world status so the imperialistic dictators can rule the world. These deluded ones seem to believe they will attain some lofty position in the ruling class when that occurs. Not gonna’ happen. The ultimate rulers are already chosen and these lackeys are not on the list. They are merely puppets and pawns that will be swept into the dust bin when the days of final rule arrive; if the evil ones succeed. The only significant force in their way is the United States of America and it’s people.

Ronald Hedges - August 20, 2011

I believe it is time to bring our Military people home from the Mid East especially and beef up our own borders and defense. I also believe it is time to cut drastically foreign aid regardless of prior commitments.

William Moore - August 20, 2011

Every time money is short in a community the politicians first answer is “cut the police, cut the fire dept., cut the teachers” because they know this will upset the public. We should look at cutting the cost of poloticians and their staffs and other waste in the burearcrat system.

Tom Dedek - August 20, 2011

The super committee is an absurd usurp of congress’ responsibility. I wholly agree that automatic military cuts should not have been the fallback means of meeting budget cuts. Its too late I think, but I’ll vent once again: there should have been a corresponding program such as Obamacare or Medicare, etc that liberals ferociously guard included with the military cuts. The liberals on this panel have to do nothing (not accomplish any cuts) to achieve a huge reduction in military spending, which has always been an agenda item (albeit, hidden) for Obama while preserving all their entitlement programs. The liberals have no incentive to make cuts with this setup. This is just another Obamanation of law and ethics by an enemy agent to the U.S. who happens to occupy the white house.

L Thomas - August 20, 2011

We should have the best military in the world regardless of the cost. There are many ways we could cut military spending by charging other countries for the many services we give them. i.e. NATO, The continued support of countries like Iraq and afghanistan, Libya, South Korea, to name a few. Why is it everyone thinks our services is free and unlimited and there is never any re-payment for anything but, to continue to use the USA and its dumb political leaders.

john laws - August 20, 2011

Have we not learned lessons of the past ? To be weak is to invite trouble. Reagon built up our military. Was that fact not a consideration when the wall was torn down and we started to talk construcivly with Russia !1

Bob Harrison - August 20, 2011

Typical liberalism….decimate the military….Clinton did it to the point where, unlike WW II, we couldn’t fight in two separate theaters if we had to. With Obama’s draconian cuts we won’t even be able to hold the beach at his beloved Martha’s Vineyard

Nancy V - August 20, 2011

I’m appaled that they want to cut ANY defense spending!!! Where the big cuts should be done is delete ALL FOREIGN AID!!!! Our government is sending our BORROWED money to other countries!!!! That is like a family living on credit cards!!!! We cannot afford to be the worlds money bags! When we need help who helps us??? NO ONE!!!!! How can we get the government to stop sending billions over to other countries????? PLEASE STOP IT!!!!!!

Al Wunsch - August 20, 2011

Progressives (and SecState Clinton claims to be one) are so intent on serving up a new socialist utopia, that economics and logic will not move them. It is classic liberalism/progressivism that, of all the spending we have going on, they would first cut the military – the one activity of the federal government that is truly the primary mission of the federal gov’t.

Alfred J. D’Amario - August 20, 2011

While I am beginning to trust Leon Peneta, Hillary Clinton is still a politician who is probably preparing for another run at the presidency. During the first campaign of Bill Clinton, both he and Hillary stated that one of their primary ambitions was to totally dismantle the United States military. She has never refuted that position.

Robert Hattendorf - August 20, 2011

It seem the the Federal Government is doing everything but what the constitution give it power to do. In James Madison’s explaination of the 10th Amendment:

James Madison, in The Federalist No. 45, maintained that the powers of a federal government are “few and defined” and extend “principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce,”

CDR T - August 20, 2011

Once again, the left goes after the military – the only “social” or “jobs” program that is successful. How about we cut welfare spending to one year of benefits.. period…no exceptions. How about we cut EPA in half – they produce nothing but regulations which kill growth. How about DOE, NEA (both) or any of the other government agencies that are not useful (there are plenty). Yet again, we see experience-poor, ideologically driven bureaucrats dictate failed policies, FROM WHICH our economy and people will suffer. We have been through RIFs (reductions in forces) before and each time, we are attacked in some way. This administration is clearly attempting to dismantle America’s ability to respond to a crisis. How soon do you think Europe will ask for our help to root out the Muslim insurgence from within? It’s coming. It’s also coming here. The enemy is now within. WHEN will people understand that while the old Soviet Union may not exist, Communism’s errors have been taking root in America and are now on display/in action. Military spending is not the big problem here…. our government agencies and social ‘safety nets’ are draining the pool. Cut defense contracting abuses and crony capitalist deals with congress, NOT military member pay or benefits.

Janette - August 21, 2011

Good luck getting anything accomplished with this house and senate. The debt debates proved beyond a doubt that the majority of congress is happy to be irrelevant and are fully on board with the destruction of our Republic turning this country into something none of us will recognize. Shameful.

Richard L. Peabody - August 21, 2011

Just what this Nation needs, another Super Committee which plans to fail in advance. Why can’t the Federal Government use the system of committees and debate that is in place? Answer: It’s a screen or safety net to protect their re election.

JW Estes - August 21, 2011

How quickly people forget what our miliary forces have done for this country. If not for them our country along with Eurpope would be speaking German. Wake up Dingbats…

John P. Laing - August 21, 2011

When I joined the Pacific fleet as an Ensign in 1964, I was shocked at the budgetary restraints imposed on the fleet by the odds-on richest country in the world. “OPTAR” was king…and it was tight: readiness was questionable. Playing catch up in military matters is a fools game, particularly for this country. This “trigger” is really a WARNING about the deplorable quality of current political leadership.

Robert Calabro - August 21, 2011

The super committee is in my opiion unconstitutional. Under Article 1 of the Constitution, all tax law originates in the House of Reprentatives. Our founding fathers reasoned that the House is the closest to the people. they wanted to preserve the principal of no taxation without representation. I hope Heritage considers bringing this matter to the courts at once! I request that Heritage lobby very hard to have the law creating this super committee repealed. Under Obama’s health care law, our taxes will be raised by over 500 billion dollars. Pleas remind Congress that they have our blueprint for cutting spending as well as the blueprint from the Cato institute and citizens against government waste. Thankyou and God Bless. Robert Calabro.

David Aune - August 21, 2011

My son is getting ready to start Army National Guard Basic Training in September. Today he told me they might no get uniforms due to shortages. This is just one of the many things that I find ridiculous about the cuts in defense spending. They should cut things like all the assistants each of these congressional and cabinet members get. Its way out of control. Who cuts defense spending while they are involved in wars?

Eugene T. Wisenbaker - August 21, 2011

The voluntary military has worked beautifully. One of the first things the preamble of our constitution says to do, is to provide for the common defense of our country. This is exactly what we are doing with our voluntary armed forces. The military is a necessary evil. We must have our military strong. For anyone to advocate cut backs in military spending to me is talking treason. This is a basic necessity for our nation, and if anyone disagrees, then they are not a good red-blooded American.

Betty Reichel - August 22, 2011

The National Security and Defense is the first responsibility of the United States Government according to our Constitution. To allow consumable debt, foreign aide, entitlement programs, and ridiculous grant studies to prevent or decrease funds from the main goal of this Nation is unbelievable. Citizens in the United States will become more active and take matters in their own hands if our representative do not become true to why they were elected. I am sickened by my country’s leadership and with myself for allowing the our representatives to make a mockery of our government.

Michael - August 22, 2011

Nato is a hollow shell already. Way to go Hillary! Don’t like ya much, but at least that was an honest statement

Jon Freeland - August 22, 2011

The Pentagon has traditionally been an easy target for cuts, but It depends on the National Military Strategy and Security goals which are long range. As a former long time Intelligence Analyst, some cuts should be made in all areas. All programs need review, but none made which jeopardize America. I fear Obama does not have the country’s best interests in mind nor heart.

David Aldridge - August 22, 2011

God and the soldier we adhor
In times of danger, not before
The danger past and all things righted,
God is forgotten, the soldier slighted
A Marlbourgh veteran

Casey Carlton - August 22, 2011

My one-time presidential hero, Teddy Roosevelt (that was before I knew he was a progressive) had the right idea about walking softly and carrying a big stick. The big stick, of course, is a strong military. Even the most deranged tyrant will hesitate to attack a strong nation, but many will be tempted to try their hand with a weaker one. We must keep our nation strong, despite the efforts of leftists to weaken us.

Edward A. Ryan III - August 23, 2011

I can’t imagine people being in favor of cutting back on the military other than the far left.

R Brown - August 23, 2011

We already spend more on defense than all other countries combined and guess what—WE ARE BROKE.Every once in awhile it turns up that the Pentagon has spent X billions of dollars but they cannot account for it. Maybe just maybe if we did not continue to have troops in about 700 countries all over the world we could consideraly reduce military spending–Why are we and only WE in a perpetual state of war? McCain stills thinks that viet NAM WAS GREAT Yeah you dummy we spent billions and got 56,000 troops killed FOR NOTHING. And to think the Repl. party ran him as a Presidential candidate—did you vote for him? I didn’t nor did I vote for that Leninist, Obama. Time to wise up.

Mark Kappler - August 24, 2011

Entitlement programs are a national addiction that we have become way to dependant on and don’t know how to reverse — tough choices have to be made by leaders. Entitlement programs need to be limited or done away with. Can we reduce military spending? Firstly, I think our military families need to be paid more and whether or not cuts could be made elsewhere I don’t have enough information to make an educated decision. But let’s not just talk about cost cutting — when are we going to focus on revenue generation through real tax reform (not increases), do away with the IRS (mostly) and go to a flat tax and / or VAT system.

Lois E. Pera - August 27, 2011

My son is in the Army, humvee blown up, legs saved only because he himself put on more armor, ready to give his life AND OBAMA WANTS TO CUT HIS ALREADY DISMAL FUTURE RETIREMENT PAY?? Obama is taking another step toward weakening the US.
My son nearly died in IRAQ. So what does Obama care about men’s lives and the many with 1/2 a body.

Lois E Pera

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