5 Drastic Military Cuts Dems May Make

In Front Page, Military by Allen WestLeave a Comment

Thank you.

Two long overdue and very appreciated words, especially for our Vietnam era veterans. We have great recognition, and respect, for our Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen, and Coast Guardsmen. Those simple words, “thank you for your service” do indeed mean so very much to the men and women who were willing to make the last full measure of devotion . . . and know of their brothers and sisters who have.

As well, we realize the service and sacrifice of the families who keep the fire burning at home while their loved ones are deployed far and wide. We can never truly repay those who have taken that very special oath “to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign, and domestic, and bear true faith and allegiance to the same.” These are the men and women, the spouses, and children, who are the real “one-percenters” in America, to whom all honor is due.

But, as we prepare for a transition of leadership in our US House of Representatives, will there be a repeat of the abandonment of our men and women serving in uniform?

The Lie . . . and My Biggest Regret

If there was one vote that I would go back and change in my time as a Congressman, it would be for the Budget Control Act of 2011. I was lied to, and the fact that sequestration happened to my brothers and sisters in uniform still disturbs me.

And, that failure to support our military may happen again.

If there was one vote I’d change, it would be the Budget Control Act of 2011. I was lied to & the sequestration still disturbs me.

As reported by the Military Times:

“Analysts from the Congressional Budget Office say the government could trim hundreds of billions from the federal deficit by enacting a host of already discussed military and veterans program reforms. 

The problem is that those reforms include some of the most controversial and politically unpopular policies of the last few years, things like limiting military pay raises, ending a host of military equipment purchases, and cutting back on veterans benefits.

The document released last week — CBO’s annual “options for reducing the deficit” report — lists more than 120 ideas to reduce federal spending or boost federal revenues over the next 10 years. Authors said the goal is to “reflect a range of possibilities” of moves that lawmakers could make in dealing with government debt and escalating federal programming costs. 

Twenty of the proposals would affect the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, including a plan to cut the Pentagon budget by 10 percent ($591 billion in reduced budget authority over the next decade). That dramatic cut would “require DOD to decrease the size of its forces, slow the rate at which it modernizes weapon systems, or do both,” which in turn would prompt a host of complaints from military leaders and defense lawmakers. 

Still, the size of the savings involved show why the ideas continue to attract debate on Capitol Hill each year, even with the significant disruptions they may bring.”

Budgetary Measures

I have stated before, and will again, that there are places to trim the budget at our Department of Defense. We need to reform the weapon systems acquisition and procurement process. There need to be more COTS (Commercial off the Shelf) purchases and reduced production timelines for weapon systems. Timeline overruns should not be covered by the American taxpayer. We need to reduce the size and scope of bureaucratic headquarters and ensure we are supporting the warfighter. There should not be an excessive amount of “non-deployable” troops in our Armed Services.

What unnerves me is that we are operating under this delusion that our military is causing the problem when it comes to the profligate spending disease of Washington, DC. Now, of course, we will hear the typical response, we spend more on Defense than the next ten countries combined. Well, I like being #1 and on the battlefield; there is no place for #2. If there is one real and true responsibility of our federal government, it is to provide for the common defense. Maybe we should not be talking about our military providing gender reassignment surgery and therapy for those suffering from a mental condition called gender dysphoria.

Our military is not to blame for the rising deficits of our Congress! If anything, the federal budget is suffering from the almost 65 percent of mandatory spending: Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and the net interest on our debt. As part of our budget, military spending is only 17-18 percent. And military spending is less than 4 percent of our GDP. Yes, the threats are increasing — China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, and Islamic jihadism.

Needs

What we should be doing is building a military that is based upon threats . . . not the desires of the defense industry, and certainly not the whims of mindless and clueless members of Congress. You do not say to our military, “here are your dollars, go figure it out.” We need to break the world down into the geographic combatant commands and determine what requisite force structures are required to full spectrum of operations engagement. We need a bottom-up rebuilding of our capability and capacity, and we need to listen to the troops on the ground, not high paid defense lobbyists, as to what systems are needed.

I would much rather have a well-trained, prepared, and compensated military than more EBT cards. I would rather allocate the right resources for our military and ensure they have the proper benefits instead of watching Members of Congress who barely work and are incapable of doing their most basic duty: creating a budget.

Our spending issue in Washington, DC is not a result of the men and women we send into harm’s way.

I would much rather have a well-trained, prepared, and compensated military than more EBT cards. I would rather allocate the right resources for our military and ensure they have the proper benefits instead of watching Members of Congress who barely work and are incapable of doing their most basic duty: creating a budget.

Five Things to Watch For

Here are some of the recommendations that you can bet the incoming House Armed Services Committee Chairman, Adam Smith (D-Wash) will potentially implement:

– Limit pay raises for troops ($18 billion in savings over 10 years):
How about limiting congressional pay, and stop them from voting on their own pay raises?

– Narrow eligibility for VA disability benefits ($33 billion over 10 years):
The CBO plan would drop a host of conditions not directly related to military service — illnesses like arteriosclerotic heart disease, hemorrhoids and multiple sclerosis — from the list of claims eligible for disability benefits. More than 750,000 veterans’ checks would be affected by the move.  How about narrowing the Congressional members’ health care plans?

– End VA’s Individual Unemployability program for retirement-age veterans ($48 billion over 10 years):
President Trump also suggested this idea in his first VA budget, only to have lawmakers and veterans groups soundly reject it. The IU program provides extra benefits to veterans unable to work because of disabilities, even if they don’t have a 100 percent disabled rating. Supporters have argued that money should stop once Social Security payouts begin. Opponents of the idea could leave as many as 235,000 veterans in dire financial need. How about ending the congressional retirement compensation, 60-70 percent of congressional base pay that is awarded with just five years of time spent in Congress?

– Reduce military housing allowances to 80 percent of rent costs ($15 billion over 10 years):
Under this plan, BAH payments wouldn’t change for troops until they move, but it would slowly increase their out-of-pocket costs for housing. The change would also create savings for the VA since post-9/11 GI Bill housing stipends are tied to the military housing formula. How about we start reducing the number of folks living in Section 8 housing on the taxpayer dime?

– Replace thousands of troops with civilian workers ($17 billion over 10 years):
The CBO idea calls for reducing military end strength by 80,000 over four years and replacing them with 64,000 civilian employees. The work would not be directly related to warfighting, and the health care and ancillary costs of non-military workers would create significant savings compared to service members’ benefits. How stupid, we will cut the troops end strength and replace them with civilians who will be demand higher pay and will be harder to terminate due to government employee unions.

Don’t Blame Our Troops

As stated, our problem when it comes to deficit spending by our federal government has nothing to do with our military. Yes, I prefer us not getting bogged down in nation-building, but rather focus our military on prosecuting full-spectrum combat operations: find, fix engage, destroy, and pursue the enemy, and with overwhelming combat power.

So, expect to see our military once again be sacrificed for the spending folly of Washington, DC. We need more wealth redistribution schemes and scams, along with insidious ventures like “Medicare for all” and green energy junkets. Remember Solyndra?

As usual, someone is confused . . . Our federal government is supposed to “provide for the common defense,” not provide common welfare.

[My latest book, Hold Texas, Hold the Nation: Victory or Death is now available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and retailers nationwide!]