PDA

View Full Version : Panel commissioned by Barney Frank recommends nearly $1T in defense cuts



Odysseus
06-30-2010, 05:53 PM
By Roxana Tiron - 06/11/10 12:15 PM ET

A panel commissioned by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) is recommending nearly $1 trillion in cuts to the Pentagon’s budget during the next 10 years.

The Sustainable Defense Task Force, a commission of scholars from a broad ideological spectrum appointed by Frank, the House Financial Services Committee chairman, laid out actions the government could take that could save as much as $960 billion between 2011 and 2020.

Measures presented by the task force include making significant reductions to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, which has strong support from Defense Secretary Robert Gates; delaying the procurement of a new midair refueling tanker the Air Force has identified as one of its top acquisition priorities; and reducing the Navy’s fleet to 230 ships instead of the 313 eyed by the service.

Shipbuilding has strong support in the congressional defense committees, which write the Pentagon bills. Efforts to reduce the number of ships would run into resistance from the Pentagon and the shipbuilding lobby.

Frank on Friday warned that if he can’t convince Congress to act in the “general direction” of the task force recommendation, “then every other issue will suffer.” Not cutting the Pentagon's budget could lead to higher taxes and spending cuts detrimental to the environment, housing and highway construction.

The acceptance of the recommendations would depend on a “philosophical change" and a “redefinition of the strategy,” Frank said at press conference on Capitol Hill.

He said the creation of the deficit reduction commission offers the best opportunity for the reduction recommendations. Frank wants to convince his colleagues to write to the deficit reduction commission and warn that they would not approve any of the plans suggested by the commission unless reduction of military spending is included.

The task force has looked at various options to trim the Pentagon’s budget in order to reduce the deficit. Those include a reduction in Army and Marine Corps end-strength by cutting back on personnel stationed in Europe and Asia; and rolling back Army and Marine Corps personnel as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan end.

The panel also looked into reforming military compensation, which could save about $55 billion; saving $60 billion by reforming the military healthcare system; and reducing recruiting expenditures once the wars wind down to preserve about $5 billion.

All of these recommendations would be expected to engender congressional opposition.
**************************************
"All of these recommendations would be expected to engender congressional opposition."
Ya think?
Read the whole thing here (http://thehill.com/homenews/house/102677-panel-commissioned-by-barney-frank-recommends-nearly-1t-in-defense-cuts-to-close-deficit)

My personal favorite part of this, for sheer chutzpah, is this line:

"Not cutting the Pentagon's budget could lead to higher taxes and spending cuts detrimental to the environment, housing and highway construction."

So, we can't return the TARP money to the general fund, repeal the stimulus and return the unspent funds to the treasury or cut spending on Frank's favorite federal slush funds, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but we must cut defense spending in the middle of two wars, while numerous adversaries are in the process of acquiring nuclear weapons and the capacity to deploy them in order to ensure that we can spend money on the environment (i.e., environmental bureaucrats), housing (Fannie and Freddie, did I mention that they were DNC slush funds?) and highways (I'll concede that Massachussetts Democrats are all about highway safety, if for no other reason than Teddy Kennedy's record). The federal government can't spend money on Constitutionally mandated defense, but it can find money for things that would make the founders take up arms all over again. :mad::rolleyes:

m00
06-30-2010, 06:40 PM
Only a Democrat would cut the defense budget while we were losing a war.

djones520
06-30-2010, 06:54 PM
Only a Democrat would cut the defense budget while we are fighting a war.

Fixed.

lacarnut
06-30-2010, 06:55 PM
Only a Democrat would cut the defense budget while we were losing a war.

Cutting the military budget is a time honored legacy of Democrats. No big surprise here. BTW, I don't think Repubs or Democraps have the fortitude or will to win the war. Using maximum force short of nukes with only a slight regard for civilians is what is needed.

MrsSmith
06-30-2010, 07:06 PM
If Dims didn't cut the defense budget in order to spend more money buying voters, they also would lose out on the opportunity to blame "big-spending" Republicans when the military must be built back up. For them, this is a win-win...at least, until the US is no longer viable as a country.

Nubs
06-30-2010, 07:19 PM
Barney needs to find 1 Trillion to cover his f*ck up with Fannie and Freddie (That being the mortgage intitutions not his dinner guests)

malloc
06-30-2010, 08:07 PM
At the risk of being raked over the coals I'll agree that there is money to be cut out of the total defense budget. Probably not the military budget itself, but total defense spending could be reduced quite a bit, without rendering our military ineffective. There's all sorts of research projects and whatnot that we just plain can't afford right now, those should be prioritized, and all but the highest priorities cut. However cutting military pay? Cutting tricare? He can't be serious. I mean what does a nonrate make these days, $1000 a month? If that nonrate is married and lives off base he'll get what, another $200-$500 in BAS/BAQ? It takes one hell of an asshole to even think about cutting these guys pay. They earn every cent of it and then some.

Rockntractor
06-30-2010, 08:10 PM
We need to go back to the old school method. You win a war and you haul home all their treasure.


Oh yeah and fair maidens too!

djones520
06-30-2010, 08:27 PM
At the risk of being raked over the coals I'll agree that there is money to be cut out of the total defense budget. Probably not the military budget itself, but total defense spending could be reduced quite a bit, without rendering our military ineffective. There's all sorts of research projects and whatnot that we just plain can't afford right now, those should be prioritized, and all but the highest priorities cut. However cutting military pay? Cutting tricare? He can't be serious. I mean what does a nonrate make these days, $1000 a month? If that nonrate is married and lives off base he'll get what, another $200-$500 in BAS/BAQ? It takes one hell of an asshole to even think about cutting these guys pay. They earn every cent of it and then some.

Nonrate? Is that E1? BAS is $250 a month roughly. BAQ/BAH varies on location and paygrade. I make $1030 a month in BAH right now as an E5.

malloc
06-30-2010, 08:35 PM
Nonrate? Is that E1? BAS is $250 a month roughly. BAQ/BAH varies on location and paygrade. I make $1030 a month in BAH right now as an E5.

Nonrate is E1-E3 in the USMC (non-NCO & non-SNCO). I guess housing allowances have increased quite a bit since I've been out. Makes sense though as the cost of housing has, or rather had gone up.

IIRC, when I was an E1 I made about $800/mo, lived in the barracks and ate at the chow hall so no BAS/BAQ. By the time I was an E3 I think I was up to a whopping $1000 or so. Also, in the Marines, while in garrison and not in the field, I seem to recall spending a lot of that money on stuff like shoe polish, brasso, dry cleaning and weekly haircuts.

Edit: Yup, I just checked with the dfas prior pay scale charts and I made $887 a month as an E1. Now an E1 makes $1440.

Odysseus
07-01-2010, 12:22 PM
Cutting the military budget is a time honored legacy of Democrats. No big surprise here. BTW, I don't think Repubs or Democraps have the fortitude or will to win the war. Using maximum force short of nukes with only a slight regard for civilians is what is needed.
The problem is not that both sides lack fortitude. If the left would stop siding with our enemies, everyone else would be perfectly willing to fight and win this war.

If Dims didn't cut the defense budget in order to spend more money buying voters, they also would lose out on the opportunity to blame "big-spending" Republicans when the military must be built back up. For them, this is a win-win...at least, until the US is no longer viable as a country.
And the US no longer being viable as a country is the biggest win for them.

At the risk of being raked over the coals I'll agree that there is money to be cut out of the total defense budget. Probably not the military budget itself, but total defense spending could be reduced quite a bit, without rendering our military ineffective. There's all sorts of research projects and whatnot that we just plain can't afford right now, those should be prioritized, and all but the highest priorities cut. However cutting military pay? Cutting tricare? He can't be serious. I mean what does a nonrate make these days, $1000 a month? If that nonrate is married and lives off base he'll get what, another $200-$500 in BAS/BAQ? It takes one hell of an asshole to even think about cutting these guys pay. They earn every cent of it and then some.
The amount of money that can be cut from defense is miniscule, because we have already been cut to the bone. Defense was the only cabinet department cut during the Clinton era of balanced budgets. Our main battle tank, the M1A2 Abrams, has been in service since the late 1970s. The Bradley IFV has been in service since the early 80s. The Navy had 600 capital ships under Reagan and is now down to under 300, a 50% cut. The Air Force is using Vietnam era aircraft (the C-130, C-5A and pretty much the rest of the fleet) for transportation, and the fighter procurement for new aircraft has been cut by 60%. We are currently spending less as a percent of GDP on defense than ever before, even though we are fighting two simultaneous wars (fortunately, they comprise one theater), while North Korea, Iran and Venezuela have become serious regional threats.

Edit: Yup, I just checked with the dfas prior pay scale charts and I made $887 a month as an E1. Now an E1 makes $1440.
Barney Frank doesn't care if enlisted troops with families have to live on food stamps, as long as his programs are funded. He knows that if the US loses a war, he won't suffer for it, and it's not like he has any children who will pay the price for his corrupt myopia in the long term. His only interest is the next election, his only loyalty is to his party.

malloc
07-01-2010, 08:44 PM
The amount of money that can be cut from defense is miniscule, because we have already been cut to the bone. Defense was the only cabinet department cut during the Clinton era of balanced budgets. Our main battle tank, the M1A2 Abrams, has been in service since the late 1970s. The Bradley IFV has been in service since the early 80s. The Navy had 600 capital ships under Reagan and is now down to under 300, a 50% cut. The Air Force is using Vietnam era aircraft (the C-130, C-5A and pretty much the rest of the fleet) for transportation, and the fighter procurement for new aircraft has been cut by 60%. We are currently spending less as a percent of GDP on defense than ever before, even though we are fighting two simultaneous wars (fortunately, they comprise one theater), while North Korea, Iran and Venezuela have become serious regional threats.


Defense spending last year was somewhere between $1-$1.2 Trillion dollars. Cutting just 5% of that, which is a minuscule amount is about $60 billion, which could be used to pay down the principle of debt incurred in past wars, which is part of the defense budget. That would mean that next years interest payment on that debt would be around 25% less, freeing money for future operations. Or that $60 billion is what is costs to fund the entire DHS.

It doesn't matter that the M1A2 and our aircraft are aging. North Korea, Iran and Venezuela have nothing that can touch what we already have. The only people I can think of that has a main battle tank that can take on an M1A2 are all our allies. Venezula is still using T-72's and AMX-30's, Iran M48's and T-62/72's, North Korea uses old soviet T-62/72's and really old Chinese stuff, as well as tanks manufactured in North Korea which are pieces of crap compared to the M1A2. When it comes to tanks, the M1A2 will suffice for any likely threat at least until the U.S. is in a better economic position, perhaps the next 5 years, to fund a replacement.

The same argument can be made for our aircraft and our ships. They may not be the brand new 2010 model year, but they'll dominate any likely threat to the U.S. for the foreseeable future. We can put some of these programs, on the back burner while the U.S. recovers. Also, there is about $5-$10 billion that can be freed up by suspending some research projects that have no existing analogue to replace like The Future Combat System and Mobile User Objective System projects. I think for the time being, the projects that would benefit the troops the most aren't even the most expensive projects. The next generation armored HMMWV project, I forgot the name of it, would be great bang for the buck right now. Also, the evaluation of replacing the 5.56mm cartridge with either 6.8mm SPC or the 6.5 Grendel would also be great bang for the buck, especially in Afghanistan. (For the record the 6.5 Grendel is superior to the 6.8 Spc, 5.56mm, and even 7.62x54mm in every way, that is precisely why I don't think the military will ever adopt it.)

Remember I'm not focusing on military spending specifically, but in the entire DoD budget, which is a lot more than military. For instance, why are we spending $60 Billion a year on DHS when they haven't prevented a single terrorist attack, even though two that I know of have been attempted and thwarted by other means. The DHS doesn't need $60 Billion a year to be useless, I would do a much better job at being useless for $1 Billion a year. Another great place to look would be international affairs, this part of the budget could fund itself, or even make money for the DoD depending on how much surplus it sells. If international affairs were green lit, just to sell old military HMMWVs, which would presumably have been replaced by the new generation, to the public in general, this department could fund itself with a surplus. Why can't they sell old HMMWVs to the public? I have no idea, probably the EPA or some other enviro-weenie, but I know there is demand for them especially in the off-road and agriculture markets.

Wei Wu Wei
07-01-2010, 10:16 PM
Who knows how much we send to Israel every year in military aid?

obx
07-02-2010, 07:37 AM
Who knows how much we send to Israel every year in military aid?

About 50% of what we should.
________
AMATUER XXX (http://www.fucktube.com/)

djones520
07-02-2010, 11:20 AM
Defense spending last year was somewhere between $1-$1.2 Trillion dollars. Cutting just 5% of that, which is a minuscule amount is about $60 billion, which could be used to pay down the principle of debt incurred in past wars, which is part of the defense budget. That would mean that next years interest payment on that debt would be around 25% less, freeing money for future operations. Or that $60 billion is what is costs to fund the entire DHS.

It doesn't matter that the M1A2 and our aircraft are aging. North Korea, Iran and Venezuela have nothing that can touch what we already have. The only people I can think of that has a main battle tank that can take on an M1A2 are all our allies. Venezula is still using T-72's and AMX-30's, Iran M48's and T-62/72's, North Korea uses old soviet T-62/72's and really old Chinese stuff, as well as tanks manufactured in North Korea which are pieces of crap compared to the M1A2. When it comes to tanks, the M1A2 will suffice for any likely threat at least until the U.S. is in a better economic position, perhaps the next 5 years, to fund a replacement.

The same argument can be made for our aircraft and our ships. They may not be the brand new 2010 model year, but they'll dominate any likely threat to the U.S. for the foreseeable future. We can put some of these programs, on the back burner while the U.S. recovers. Also, there is about $5-$10 billion that can be freed up by suspending some research projects that have no existing analogue to replace like The Future Combat System and Mobile User Objective System projects. I think for the time being, the projects that would benefit the troops the most aren't even the most expensive projects. The next generation armored HMMWV project, I forgot the name of it, would be great bang for the buck right now. Also, the evaluation of replacing the 5.56mm cartridge with either 6.8mm SPC or the 6.5 Grendel would also be great bang for the buck, especially in Afghanistan. (For the record the 6.5 Grendel is superior to the 6.8 Spc, 5.56mm, and even 7.62x54mm in every way, that is precisely why I don't think the military will ever adopt it.)

Remember I'm not focusing on military spending specifically, but in the entire DoD budget, which is a lot more than military. For instance, why are we spending $60 Billion a year on DHS when they haven't prevented a single terrorist attack, even though two that I know of have been attempted and thwarted by other means. The DHS doesn't need $60 Billion a year to be useless, I would do a much better job at being useless for $1 Billion a year. Another great place to look would be international affairs, this part of the budget could fund itself, or even make money for the DoD depending on how much surplus it sells. If international affairs were green lit, just to sell old military HMMWVs, which would presumably have been replaced by the new generation, to the public in general, this department could fund itself with a surplus. Why can't they sell old HMMWVs to the public? I have no idea, probably the EPA or some other enviro-weenie, but I know there is demand for them especially in the off-road and agriculture markets.

Your missing the point here. It doesn't just take 1 year to develop that replacement. We can't just say "It'll do for a few more years so stop looking." What if N. Korea flares up? Remember how last time China came flooding across that border? While they might not lend active troop support this time, there is a very real possibility that they could provide updated weaponry. New MBT's, anti-tank weapons, aircraft, etc... Same for Iran and Russia. Or Venezuela and Russia/Iran/China.

The M1-A2 is an unbelievable peice of machinery, but it is aging. It can still do it's job, but it is susceptable to weaponry. Hell, even Taji Taliban can drop one of those things with a relatively cheap specific type of IED. By stopping funding of newer, stronger, safer weapons we're saying that it's ok that our Troops die unnecessarily. It's ok that our F-15 pilots get shot down by SAFIRE that couldn't have locked onto an F-22.

It's not ok. We are a super-power because we have the ability to strike anywhere and anytime on this planet, and win. But that is only because our military is a step above everyone else's. Well news flash, our enemies ARE catching up. It's not ok to say what we have is good enough. Because while today it may be, 5 years from now it may not be. While we freeze our R&D, they aren't. They'd probably redouble their efforts in such a scenario.

Odysseus
07-02-2010, 12:01 PM
Who knows how much we send to Israel every year in military aid?

Let me guess, that would be your first cut, right? Can't let the Israelis defend themselves, can we? Direct military aid for 2007 was $2.34 billion, about a third of what the Palestinians get in aid, but the aid that we give to Israel doesn't end up in private bank accounts, like it does with the PA and Hamas.

malloc
07-03-2010, 07:29 AM
Your missing the point here. It doesn't just take 1 year to develop that replacement. We can't just say "It'll do for a few more years so stop looking." What if N. Korea flares up? Remember how last time China came flooding across that border? While they might not lend active troop support this time, there is a very real possibility that they could provide updated weaponry. New MBT's, anti-tank weapons, aircraft, etc... Same for Iran and Russia. Or Venezuela and Russia/Iran/China.

The M1-A2 is an unbelievable peice of machinery, but it is aging. It can still do it's job, but it is susceptable to weaponry. Hell, even Taji Taliban can drop one of those things with a relatively cheap specific type of IED. By stopping funding of newer, stronger, safer weapons we're saying that it's ok that our Troops die unnecessarily. It's ok that our F-15 pilots get shot down by SAFIRE that couldn't have locked onto an F-22.

It's not ok. We are a super-power because we have the ability to strike anywhere and anytime on this planet, and win. But that is only because our military is a step above everyone else's. Well news flash, our enemies ARE catching up. It's not ok to say what we have is good enough. Because while today it may be, 5 years from now it may not be. While we freeze our R&D, they aren't. They'd probably redouble their efforts in such a scenario.

No, I think you are missing the point.

Are you seriously telling me that you can't look over the entire DoD budget for FY 2010 and find a way to cut 5%? Are you seriously arguing that there is no way of digging out a mere $60 billion upon $1.2 Trillion in the face of the economic consequences? The consequences of not being able to cut back $60 billion - $100 billion mean that we might never see that new tank program again, because we can't afford to fund it, and nobody will buy the debt.

Look, as things stand right now, the defense budget is going to decrease via one of two ways. The first way is a planned and expected scale back of public funds into these specialized private sectors. The second way is via a rejection of U.S. debt. We are in the biggest "recession" since the Great Depression, (yet no one is calling it a depression, funny isn't it?). There's no way the U.S. government can keep throwing worthless green paper at the guys running these new tank programs indefinitely. It would be much better for all parties involved if the Congress invented a budget, including military expenditures that was balanced and reflective of the production capability of the United States. That would give the Department of Defense, based upon current total budget consumption, a total budget of about $0.7 Trillion.

That 5% cut isn't looking so bad to the Defense Department now. So I reiterate, the future of the defense department doesn't lie in what is the best, or what is the latest. The future of the defense department lies in what is the biggest bang for the buck, and what we taxpayers can afford.

I know your next argument. It's going to be something along the lines of, "Well, if we don't invest (y) capital into (x) technology, then (z) servicemen are going to get killed. What you are not understanding is that we have (y - $13T) in capital, we don't have the funding for (x), so (z) is going to happen whether or not we pretend we have the funding.

The future of our production, which is what funds military endeavors, is dependent upon Scrooge McDuck austerity right now. The economy of the U.S. which funds each tread in an M1-A2 needs every ounce of real capital it can get in order to recover in the private sector which funds and fuels the public sector. If this recovery doesn't happen, look for a lot of ships in dry dock being used for parts. Look for bureaucracy and price controls to override combat aircraft purchase orders. Basically the economy of the U.S. will no longer be able to sustain, much less expand, the military we currently have. More importantly, all these research programs will never see reality, and they will continue to suck scarce money away in hope, while we will never have the actual money required to field the product.

The spending has to stop when the taxpayers can no longer bear the spending, and we are reaching that point whether you want to admit it or not. Reality is reality.

Odysseus
07-03-2010, 09:26 PM
No, I think you are missing the point.

Are you seriously telling me that you can't look over the entire DoD budget for FY 2010 and find a way to cut 5%? Are you seriously arguing that there is no way of digging out a mere $60 billion upon $1.2 Trillion in the face of the economic consequences? The consequences of not being able to cut back $60 billion - $100 billion mean that we might never see that new tank program again, because we can't afford to fund it, and nobody will buy the debt.

Look, as things stand right now, the defense budget is going to decrease via one of two ways. The first way is a planned and expected scale back of public funds into these specialized private sectors. The second way is via a rejection of U.S. debt. We are in the biggest "recession" since the Great Depression, (yet no one is calling it a depression, funny isn't it?). There's no way the U.S. government can keep throwing worthless green paper at the guys running these new tank programs indefinitely. It would be much better for all parties involved if the Congress invented a budget, including military expenditures that was balanced and reflective of the production capability of the United States. That would give the Department of Defense, based upon current total budget consumption, a total budget of about $0.7 Trillion.

That 5% cut isn't looking so bad to the Defense Department now. So I reiterate, the future of the defense department doesn't lie in what is the best, or what is the latest. The future of the defense department lies in what is the biggest bang for the buck, and what we taxpayers can afford.

I know your next argument. It's going to be something along the lines of, "Well, if we don't invest (y) capital into (x) technology, then (z) servicemen are going to get killed. What you are not understanding is that we have (y - $13T) in capital, we don't have the funding for (x), so (z) is going to happen whether or not we pretend we have the funding.

The future of our production, which is what funds military endeavors, is dependent upon Scrooge McDuck austerity right now. The economy of the U.S. which funds each tread in an M1-A2 needs every ounce of real capital it can get in order to recover in the private sector which funds and fuels the public sector. If this recovery doesn't happen, look for a lot of ships in dry dock being used for parts. Look for bureaucracy and price controls to override combat aircraft purchase orders. Basically the economy of the U.S. will no longer be able to sustain, much less expand, the military we currently have. More importantly, all these research programs will never see reality, and they will continue to suck scarce money away in hope, while we will never have the actual money required to field the product.

The spending has to stop when the taxpayers can no longer bear the spending, and we are reaching that point whether you want to admit it or not. Reality is reality.

As I've said before, DOD is the only cabinet department that has been cut in the last twenty years. We've gone from 14 active divisions to 10, and each division now has fewer brigades. The navy has been cut in half since 1990, the air force is using airframes that are older than I am. No, we cannot afford to cut defense, during two simultaneous wars, and especially when the Democrats are racking up record deficits on absolutely nothing. Obama spent $1.8 trillion that he didn't have last year, and none of the increase went to defense. It was stimulus, bank bailouts and auto industry takeovers, none of which is Constitutionally mandated, but defense, which is Constitutionally mandated, will be cut, again.

lacarnut
07-03-2010, 10:04 PM
I don't think that defense should be a sacred cow but the defense of our country is my number 1 concern. This fool in the WH does not have a clue. He has already made military cuts and canceled weapons programs. There are many other programs that need cutting. Let's start cutting sacred cows like government employees and agencies first before chopping the military again.

djones520
07-04-2010, 06:20 AM
I don't think that defense should be a sacred cow but the defense of our country is my number 1 concern. This fool in the WH does not have a clue. He has already made military cuts and canceled weapons programs. There are many other programs that need cutting. Let's start cutting sacred cows like government employees and agencies first before chopping the military again.

It shouldn't be. And hopefully a time will come when we don't need a military as strong as we do.

I understand the sentiment that Malloc is trying to make, but he's aiming his crosshairs as the wrong target. As the Major has pointed out, there is over a trillion dollars in spending that has been made in the last year and a half that didn't need to exist. If we are going to cut anything, look there first and foremost. Not to the only thing keeping this country from being overrun by screaming hordes at our gates.

marinejcksn
07-04-2010, 06:46 AM
Od would be first to agree that the Military can make a HELL of a lot of budget cuts...but 1 Trillion? There's tons of waste in the Military, I saw it every single day in Iraq. But you cut vital weapons programs, Logistical support or troop strength and watch us stretch even thinner than we are now.