Prez Panel Wants $100B DoD Cut; Freeze Pay, Kill F-35B, EFV

Prez Panel Wants $100B DoD Cut; Freeze Pay, Kill F-35B, EFV

UPDATED: AIA Head Expresses “Grave Concerns”

The presidential commission charged with coming up with ways to slash the federal deficit looks likely to recommend $100 billion in cuts to the Pentagon budget.

A draft of the commission’s recommendations was posted on the commission’s website Wednesday afternoon. It is portrayed as the recommendations of the panel’s co-chairs, former GOP Senator Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, who served as President Clinton’s  chief of staff.

The head of the defense industry’s top pressure group, the Aerospace Industries Association, said the panel’s recommendations raise “grave concerns.” With a clear eye on the Tea Party, Marion Blakey said “the highest constitutional responsibility of the federal government is to protect the American people from foreign aggression…” She added that “history provides all too many examples where cuts to defense spending were followed by the rise of a threat that we were unprepared to meet.”

First, the co-chairs say the $100 billion in savings Defense Secretary Robert Gates wanted to plow back into the military over five years want this money to come out of defense budget instead of being applied elsewhere, as Gates plans to do. “Currently, the savings are to be reallocated to force structure and modernization. If these savings were applied to deficit reduction instead, we could save $28 billion in 2015,” the panel says in its draft.

The panel’s hottest defense proposal is to freeze noncombat military pay for three years, something Congress will find very difficult to swallow. Here[’s what the panel says: “Regular Military Compensation (excluding combat pay) for military personnel, which includes basic pay, basic allowances for housing and subsistence, and federal income tax advantages that go along with the allowances, is expected to grow by $9.2 billion from 2011 to 2015. A three-year freeze at 2011 levels for these compensation categories would save the federal government $7.6 billion in compensation and tax expenditures, as well as another $1.6 billion in less retirement accrual, or $9.2 billion total discretionary savings in 2015.”

The panel also wants a freeze on federal salaries for DoD personnel. It calls for doubling the number of contractors — reducing them from 67,000 to 30,600 — who should be cut from the Pentagon budget.

Add to that the somewhat extraordinary idea that  personnel at overseas bases should be summarily cut by one third. “Reducing this presence by one-third would save around $8.5 billion in 2015, while still maintaining a substantial military force on both continents,” the chairs claim.

Overall, procurement accounts are targeted for $20 billion in cuts, a 15 percent whack; RDT and E accounts come in for a 7 percent whack.

Here’s the programmatic hit list:

Slash the Air Force and Navy’s F-35 buy by half and buy F-16s and F/A-18s instead. “This option would buy half as many as the 369 planned for the Air Force and the 311 for the Navy, purchasing instead the current generation fighter aircraft, the Air Force F-16 aircraft at one-third of the cost and the Navy F/A– 18E/F at two-thirds of the cost of the F-35,” the panel’s co-chairmen argue.

Cancel the Marine’s F-35B. “In its recent defense review, the United Kingdom decided to cancel its buy of the Marine Corps version of the JSF. Further, the sophisticated capabilities of the JSF may be less relevant in current scenarios. Under Secretary of the Navy Robert Workman observed that greater use of guided missiles and mortar could end the forward operations that would be performed by the Marine Corps JSF because of vulnerability.93 Also, because the Marine Corps version of the JSF has been responsible for most of the technical, cost, and schedule problems, canceling it could accelerate delivery of the Air Force (F– 35A) and Navy (F-35C) versions,” they argue.

Stop buying more Marine Ospreys.” The proposed change to terminate acquisition of V-22 at 288 aircraft, close to two-thirds of the planned buy, would substitute MH-60 helicopters to meet missions that require less range and speed, and could save $1.1 billion in 2015, the panel says.

Cancel the Marine’s Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle to save $650 million.

Cancel the Navy’s Future Maritime Prepositioning Force. “Despite the lack of adequate ports and infrastructure, operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as various recent humanitarian efforts, have been sustained with the current mix of prepositioned ships, amphibious support and Landing Craft Air Cushion ships. Canceling the new program would save $1.0 billion in FY2015 and $2.7 billion from FY2012-FY2015,” the panel chairs say.

Cancel the new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, the Ground Combat Vehicle, and the Joint Tactical Radio. This would save $2.3 billion in 2015.

Replace military personnel performing commercial activities with civilians to save $5.4 billion in 2015.

Of course, 14 of the 18 commissioners on this panel must approve the recommendations and this is the draft. And the recommendations must still make it past Congress, which has shown little appetite under the Democrats so far to make substantial cuts to defense spending. And the Republicans are in the House now. While some of the Tea Party elements seem intent on at least calling for defense cuts, the senior Republicans who are likely to run the Armed Services and Appropriations committees are unlikely to look on with defense cuts with anything much nicer than a grimace.

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This is easy — DONT SUPPORT NATO — UN — OR FOREIGN MILITARY AID ANY MORE. Cut the LCS and remaining San Antonio classes, Scrap MRAP, Scrap individual sodier battlefield networking, reduce 0–6 and above 50% — I’m past 100bil and could keep on going.

When both sides don’t like it, you know that it’s not that far off the mark. Too bad everyone talks a good game when it comes to deficits and sacrifice, that is,until they are the ones that have to sacrifice.

“DONT SUPPORT NATO — UN — OR FOREIGN MILITARY AID ANY MORE,” You would be condemning our international might to isolationism. It is our support of these things that have granted the stability that has allowed less willing allies to choose to live in a world where the US is dominate, where smaller nations aren’t following through with notions of attacking neighbors.

LCS, is something that is needed. To cancel it would mean an immediate restart to developement and research efforts. It would push back service availability dates and in the iterim leave us with ever growing gaps in the fleet.

San Antonio class, cutting production where it is now would be a waste. Even if you canceled them now, you have to pay for all the purchased material and termination fees. Given the progress of construction those costs would be enough to pay for nearly half of the remaining ships.

Scrap MRAP, its been shown to do what it set out to do aand though its diminished aspects of combat capabilities it saved lives.

White House Commission:

1.Cancel The F-35B,

2. Buy halfs as many F-35A & C models through FY15 and replace with F-16 and F/A-18…

Here’s some ideas instead of stealing from the Military. Why not freeze the pay of all federal employees for the next 3 years! Wonder what that would cost? It was just annouced that the number of federal employees making in excess of $150K / year has more than doubled in the last 2 years, and was growing prior to that as well. Maybe to combat that, roll back the number of federal employees to 2008 levels or 2006 levels.

I just don’t think that it is smart to cut our military. It takes too long to replace those things that get cut. Look at what has happened to the militaries ability to procure large systems in the last 10 — 15 years. They gave up the capability to Industry, and lost all their expertise (or at least most of it) and now they are fighting to build that capability again.

Good Afternoon Folks,

A modest proposal to be sure. I do politics at other places so I will pass on the political comments.

To Jeff. Don’t cry for the LCS. Twenty are on order and if you fallow the contracts, you will notice that a $187 million has been awarded to Bath Maine to start up an line, and to have it ready by Nov. 2011 for the LCS. The LPD 17 San Antonio Class is not going away, sadly.

For BOOMER. Uncle Santa last week has given you another Virginia Class boat on order for Norfolk, Electric Boat got their next boat about a month ago. The 11th. Virginia me thinks.

All I can say is I doubt if this is the final say on DoD major program cuts. Since it’s the Marines birthday I won’t mention what is being discussed for them.

Byron Skinner

Why is just the DoD being hit with the $100 Billion ax? What about other Departments? I think they should just do a % across the board…if were going to do this thing, then Everybody has to bleed a little.

Other departments are being asked to cut. Given that our website only focuses on defense (except when discussing strategy and national power overall) I left out the rest. If you click on the link in the story you can see details for the rest of government

Decline in our military power is inevitable — we simply don’t have the money anymore. 100 billion is a mere drop compare what is to come.

But we are going to see some pretty strange cuts and unbalanced forces. Because the defense contracts don’t care about American military power, they only care about they’re programs. We’ve seen this before — the big ticket items will remain because the big contractors have the most political capital and everything else will be hollowed out. The result will be an even greater decline in real power on the ground.

One place I would start is the elimination of rank-based housing allowances and switch to a need-based allowance. An O-3 with a wife & 2 kids has the same need for housing as an E-5 with a wife & 2 kids. The enlisted troops try to live within their allowance while the officers tend to spend beyond it. This shows up when the housing rates are adjusted.

The F-35B is a logical cancellation. It’s over-engineered for what the Corps needs, and they’re the best branch at doing more with less anyway. EFV can probably go too, so long as there’s some kind of contingency for a sustainable amphibious equipment set.

Pay freeze I’m not so sure about — a lot of personnel would actually qualify for food stamps, if they didn’t get base chow and housing.

The report linked at the top does mention freezing Federal wages (and other items). It is $100 billion from Federal programs and $100 billion from defense.

What they are not doing is addressing the BIG ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM, ie Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security spending. These are the areas that are going, if unchecked, to bankrupt this country. If unchanged the entitlement programs will consume all revenues by 2052.

The only reason for any government to exist is to protect it’s people. If it doesn’t do that, you don’t need it.

For that matter, why is the U.S. paying MORE for NATO when it is supplying a majority of the force? Shouldn’t Europe be subsidizing the U.S. for the military force that it effectively rents?

Death of a thousand cuts. Make a decision on where we should be, and then get there quickly.

Are we to remain a dominant superpower, or are we to fade back to being a regional hegemon and merely a modest international player?

I would prefer the former. But if we are going to head toward the latter, an organized retreat to a defendable position is better than an underfunded disorganized and wasteful rout.

Make the decision and get on with rewriting the national strategy to clearly reflect where we are headed in this. Plan to it, fund it, and execute the plan.


Damn, what a dumbass idea. Good luck with those souped up 70’s era jets America!

Spudman as i told yu before. Time is not F-35 side.
Look at Europe defense budgets and picture that a few years or even closer cause that is what gonne come to the in the USA..
You can blame Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security spending all you want for the coming austerity.

Take a look at the USA. 20% + peeps out of a job, Goverment budget loans 40% + of what comes in.

You do realise the USA would not even qualify for entry in the EU zone do you. That would mean like under 3% GDP gov deficit and a max 60% total debt.

Anyways this is just a prelude of things to come just look at the UK budget. And frankly speaking they in a better fiscal shape then the USA.

Ok back to topic
This would mean 1454 F-35 A and F-35 C skipp 989 from the total planed 2443 F-35 USA buy.
That would kill the whole LM businesscase and now we like even at least 8 years away from the first production model i really wanne hear your number spin about it how it gonne work out.

Time is not on the F-35 side.

Why? Because we’ve effectively tried to use NATO as our personnal mercenary force. We insist on using those nations military to directly support our military action more than they use ours.

We give those nations money to stabilize and support regional powers. You have to consider that we are giving those nations military aid because it is a relatively unique asset of our nation that these countries have negotiated treaties to get. You throw it out and you have to weigh the loss of trade and fidelity.

What’s happening with MRAPS, that is just pragmatism. The difference between the cost to replace them with fewer types with greater part commonality and the cost to transport them back state side is such that its more beneficial just to replace what ever portion they decide to give away.

There is always middle ground, we can always decrease monetary support of NATO and the UN, but you were calling for something more extreme. Its that extreme course that too many insist on that is wrong, but the general goal of stepping down that cost while insisting other nations do more is certainly worthwhile.

I believe the LCS is only moderately useful, but to cancel any ship building production lines will just make things worse for a Navy that is struggling to meet ship building goals.

It is not inevitable. We do have money we just insist on spending it on the luxury of social programs that are not constitutionaly mandated responsibilities of the Government. As long as we as a society insist the Government be responsible for more than it was designed to handle than we insist on failure.

I think you still have to ask why we are buying any LRIP F-35s when SDD is so far from completion. There is a very good reason why D0D 5000.2 has milestone C EMD. You don’t want to buy a lot of weapons that don’t work. there are 300 F-35 LRIP jets planned at over $58B. If you applied the commission’s basic thinking until F-35 SDD is completed you would save a lot of money and avoid paying to fix the LRIP F-35 mistake jets which no one has budgeted to fix. This is a multi-billion dollar cost that has gotten a free pass that we will end up paying for.

BECAUSE THE OTHER BASTARDS DONT WANT TO TAKE A CUT… WE NEED A CUT IN STUPIDITY, LYING, AND THIEVERY IN OUR GOVERNMENT… They want to weaken the military so we will be more vulnerable to control and the progression of the new world order… let homosexuals serve openly, have our military fight with their hands tied behind their backs, … the … undocumented person in the office of POTUS needs to be evicted along with the unconstitutional fed res …

you are RIGHT we dont have money… we have basically valueless paper not backed by gold… but they obviously are allocating copious amounts of it to yemen, to fly the imposter and mrs. imposter here there and everywhere… now HARLEY DAVIDSON WANTS TO HAVE WORK DONE IN INDIA… DONT BUY A HARLEY…

There’s plenty in here to love as well as hate. The wage freezes and contractor downsizes are what they are. I personally think that the reduction in foreign aid programs and diplomatic missions is shortsighted and mean-spirited. AID may not the greatest at program management, but its the only AID we have. A more creative rationalization in this area that addresses real inefficiencies, rather than just top line cuts would have been nice. On military programs, they take the obvious “easy way out” by underwriting Gates’s policies and then doubling down — redline GCV, JTRS, V-22. Basically this is a march or die plan, where you shoot the wounded and attack weakness where ever you find it. Oh yeah — the commission recommends going 2/3 of the way towards the Ron Paul withdrawal plan — a 1/3 cut in overseas basing compared to the 50% reduction advocated by Mr. Paul. And then they whack EFV ? Was there any real thinking done here ? Could I get some more C-17s for that ? How ’bout a real light tank ? Duh.

what in the hell is wrong with this.???they want to cut our pay for three yrs.,i urge all americans to call their congressman and senator on thanksgiving day,and say thanks for thinking of us and screwing ;us…flood their phones,and if that dont work lets walk arm and arm to DC. or a better idea,make all senators and congressmen,spend a week in IRAQ,and AFGAN>,in ;combat gear,and the commision that thought up this idea of freezing our pay…god pls put some sense in DC»

How about withdrawing the military and their dependents from places like Germany, England, Italy, Spain,
Portugal, Japan, Korea and god know where else they’ve been for decades. Billions would be saved no
longer maintaining these “communities” that have no military or security purpose any more. I understand that the U.S. is paying retirement pensions to thousands of civilians overseas who worked on our bases. What is that costing the US taxpayer?

Why is everyone surprised???I served 23 years and the military is always the first to get the ax when some commission is assigned to reduce the deficit. The government needs to cut the perks for sitting senitors and congressional dead beats. What Pelosie wasted in money using a US jet to fly to and from CA over the past years would have bought plenty of supplies for the military. Why is the military always first to be hit…because cannot strike or rebel without peril. More people need to listen to the wisdom of some of our american patroits like Newt Gingrich. I am still a very proud retiree and stand with our troops. God Bless our Military and our Country. Master Sergeant Retired.

i think USA have the “top” army in 2005 (numbers and technology).But now all programs will be reduce, specially in navy.
navy was the power of USA, but when aircraft carrier was going to be reduce, others programs have prob…that make big prob for the future (for have similar power)

USA need cut all small base in the world.See in europe they have small base every where, just one in germany was suffisant today.cold war is end, USA didn’t have one army for fight all the world, others country who can make one great army have nuclear weapons, and no one time they are going to fight USA.
USA is not the world and the world isn’t USA

I think that some aren’t seeing the proverbial trees for the forest. Here is the easy way to make the cuts necessary to our deficit.
– First do away with the Interior Dept. From the Sec of Interior down to the lowest employee. It is rightfully a state concern how their lands are used. Total reduction 70,000 employees, appx $16B budget.
– Next get rid of the Dept of Education, top to bottome, it also is a state concern to determine how and what will be taught to the children of that state. Total reduction 4200 employees, appx $69B budget.
– Next get rid of the Dept of Energy. The states should be determining whether or not drilling for oil or minning for oil shale etc is an acceptable risk for them or not vs some bueracrat sitting in DC. Total reduction more than 100,000 federal and contract employees $23B.

Continued from prev comment– -
– Withdraw from the UN. It rarely if at all provides any value added to the USA anyway and seems only to want to criticize and take from our country. Total reduction btwn $5-$10B annually appx 25000 employees.
Result of this is a reduction of appx $115B in unnecessary expenditures, and appx 177000 Fed and Fed Contract personnel.
The Bueracracy which is causing our budget to constantly rise is reduced and functions that rightfully belong to the states for control are returned to them.
As for reducing our military expenditures, I think it is total lunacy.
The fact is as the world shrinks the threat increases. Whether we are the premier military force in the world or not we must remain prepared and at the ready for any effort by an adversary to infringe on our soverignty. Rebuilding after tearing down is far to time consuming and expensive as evidenced by the reductions and rebuilding after WWII, the Korean war and VN conflict.

Mercenary. I don’t think the first thought of those who enlisted to help this country after WWII was “How much am I going to get paid?”

“Thank you for your sacrifices men and women of the United States military. In honor of that we are going to cut your pay. Oh and BTW your going to have to keep operating those decade old AAVP-7A1s and AV-8Bs until they literally start falling apart, then you get nothing to replace them with.”

As DWS, Boomer, and SpudmanWP have pointed out there are countless other things to cut, but naturally the government wants to go after the military first. Meanwhile medicare, social security, and other mandatory spending continues to get more and more bloated. Meanwhile the politicians get to enjoy all of their lavish benefits as usual.

It might be useful to mention that, as the headline and article really *do* make it seem like DoD is the only agency recommended for cuts.

Did I say decade old? I meant three to four decades old.

The average person collecting Social Security gets back everything they contributed within the first three years of going on the dole, and their contributions to the program have earned very little while invested in special low interest 40 year Treasury Bonds. People paying into Social Security are largely paying for those already collecting. Social Security is a social welfare program, not a retirement savings plan.

Why should those willing and able to work be forced to provide for anyone still able but no longer willing to put forth effort to provide for themself?

Social welfare should be a safety net, not a hammock. Convert Social Security to a disability plan for those who are no longer able to provide for themselves rather than for those who are merely no longer willing to continue working to do so. And means test it. We don’t need to provide that welfare to the wealthy merely because they are disabled.

Likewise Medicare.

Because the actual purpose of the ‘commission’ is/was to ‘justify’ defense cuts.

There is no inflation, so no SS increases, so why should the military get pay raises? We already get 2–3 times more than comparable civilians. Oh that’s right, GIs are some of the most selfish people I know, and you can see from these posts.

Because you can’t go from producing zero fighters per year to over 200 fighters per year overnight. And becasue we needed new fighters (to begin to replace those which have reached or shortly will reach the end of there service life) YEARS ago. LRIPs F-35s are needed to reduce the gap until ful rate production. There is also a well known factor of a ‘learning curve’, producing LRIP allows those making the aircraft to ‘learn’ how to better/best to do it.

History lesson.

Senate: 2 representative for each state reguardless of population.
House: # of representatives determined by state population.


Trillion+ dollar PER YEAR deficits & this ‘commission’ identifies $200 in cuts BY 2015 (not $200 per year but over the next 3 years — FY2012-2014) and half of the cuts in defense.

An honest commission would compare the Obama Administration budgets (existing & projected) to previous budgets & make cuts where the ACTUAL out-of-line spending increases are.

Jerry, Fiscal Commission accepted your suggestion and recommended freeze to all federal employees fot three years, saving $15.1 billion. Doing the same for the Pentagon civilians saves another $5.3 billion. That $20.4 billion in savings represents about 10 percent of the total $200 billion in savings.

Thanks for the idea, Mike.

That is pure political rhetoric. Does anyone wonder why Federal Employees average salary is so high? Where are 80% of Federal Employees employed? Washington, D.C.! One of the most expensive places to live in the U.S. Unlike the average worker who is employed all over the 50 states which inherently lowers the average salary. Does anyone really think the Ave. Federal Employee salary would be that high if 80% of them worked in Des Moines, Iowa??? If that isn’t true, why does the Military get such a large housing allowance increase for duty within Metro D.C? As a matter of fact, a military member with a duty station in Metro D.C makes more money than the equivalent Federal Employee. They both need and deserve what they make, and neither lives wealthy while enduring the high costs of having to live in Metro D.C.

Randall, go back to middle school civics and learn why the Constitution formed the two houses.

Good Morning Folks,

To poster Stewart. You are obviously attempting to quote form Adam Smith (Glasgow lectures on Vol. 5 “Jusisprudence” 1762–1763) The correct quite would be: “The state must protect the individuals right to his person, property, reputation and social relations. The purpose of Government is to protect the rich from the poor.”

In the context of the above statement by Colin I would think that Adam Smiths quote is quite appropriate. This scheme on procurement is an effort by the defense industry to take money for those serving with a three year pay and benefit freeze and put that money into the pockets of equity holder from the profits of the “gold plated” and useless weapons platforms and systems.

The industry knows quite well that with the current economic times that many serving would be caught in a bind a soft civilian job market, loss of a marketable skill because they chose to serve their country.

This treatment of preference to the profit in war industries speculators over those fighting these wars and now with a 4th. war in Yemen in the making it, is unconsciousable.

Any member of congress that would support such a bill will live to regret it in 2012.

Happy Veterans Day, bend over and take it once again from your country. Its time for the children of the rich to start feeding the cannon.


Byron Skinner

I agree with your Jerry. Frankly, they should start right here in Washington, DC. As an example, out in the “field”, I was a GS-13 running an entire directorate with nearly 100 personnel (a mix of military, DoD civilians and contractors). It was hard but also very satsifying work. The organization I currently work for has 15 personnel in the branch I’m in; two of them GS-15’s. Our section isn’t the only one like that. As I look around, I see many cases of some pretty highly paid people doing the same things a good GS-11, 12 or 13 could do. As a tax payer, DoD employee and retired Soldier, I have to ask myself, what’s wrong with this picture!!!!

Go Army!!!!!!

All I have to say is take everyone fighting in Iraq and Afganastan and put them on the borders of OUR country because after this presidential term we will need them at home.

AV-8B was a neat airshow aircraft, but never lived up to the original concept of employment for the USMC, and has been an albatross. So why isn’t the Marine Corps looking at whether it really needs the VSTOL tactical jet at all? Rather than saying “we, Marines, have something unique so we have a mission”. It’s about time the Marine Corps realized that it’s the Marine in the cockpit that makes Marine Aviation so unique, NOT the unique equipment. The Marines have always had great success employing the same aircraft as other services (Corsair, A-4, F-4, A-6, UH-1, AH-1, H-53, H-46, C-130, F-18.….). The USMC has had a difficult time with aircraft it develops AV-8, V-22 as unique. “Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it”

Yes, I am a Marine Aviator.

Wow… what a great idea, Mike. Let’s remove all rank-based everything. Pay everyone the exact same amount regardless of what they bring to the table. Maybe we should make the E-5 in charge too? I’m really getting into your idea, Mike. Hey, let’s extend this beyond the military. Maybe doctors should be paid as much as a truck driver… I mean, they both have kids. Maybe we should get the heads of companies to work for the same amount as the guys in their mail rooms. This is starting to sound familiar… like I’ve heard this idea before. From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs. Oh yeah, Karl Marx in 1875. Hmmmm… maybe we should revisit his ideas.

I am for getting rid of VTOL jets. They have pretty much never been operated in combat as advertised. I personally saw an entire LHD det of AV8’s FOD themselves out of 7 engines in less then a week (without a HAZREP to the safety center BTW) and that was operated at a normal paved field. We should have built our LHA/LHD’s more like the old escort carriers with a single catapult and some arresting gear and angled deck. They aren’t going into shallow water in the litorals anymore, or at least aren’t supposed to. Should buy a Marinized A-10“B”. Suits the CAS mission very well and has great loiter and survivability. We are buying do it all systems that aren’t really as capable as the old focuses systems since now our pilots are not as specialized as they used to be.
Boy there are some entire cabinet positions and associated departments that just need to go away. I am sure there is lots of waste out there to be found. Anything that is primarily a state responsibility, should go away at the federal level. No more DO-Education, probably a bunch of others that could just go away if someone had the real gonads to do it. But then again the liberals would never stand for fewer government jobs. Sometimes there are genuine savings in having contractors who are often by and large veterans and/or retire-ees that can perform the same non-combat tasks as well or better then a current member and provides a continued return on old investment in our training from the past. How about just slashing the corperate tax and putting the country back to work making things. Free up companies from excessive red tape and and other government impediments and we can grow the country out of the financial mess and afford a vibrant and well equipped military. Oh wait we will have to pay for all the “married” gay people. Because payback is more important then national defense. Get rid of all the quotas and hire the best and brightest who want to be there. We waste millions on basically becoming a means for a lot of women to get pregnant in the service and collect a paycheck without doing their jobs, forcing their peers to deploy more and have less quality time at home. Needs to be contractual they complete their first entire obligation pregnancy free. Also DNA the offspring and start charging the fathers if they are service members child support. Might be a deterrent for being a free donor. OK Rant off — there are easier fixes then beating on servicemembers pay. I think if the job market opens up the military has plenty of people fed up with a lot of PC policies who will seek their incomes elsewhere. We won’t be better me.

No kidding. The GI’s are some of the most selfish people you know? Wow. Interesting. Those GI’s wrote a blank check to the United States and its citizens, payable in full… up to an including their lives. Yeah, what selfish bastards they are.

Send all the illegals back and we could save billions in hospital and schooling

And then that means that the government is stealing from me by making me pay social security. I have been pating into it for 30 years and feel that I should reap some of what I have sown. What you suggest is so wrong in so many ways that I will end now.

Considering how casualty shy the forces have become where do we cash those checks again ?

You should stop smoking crack

Well the way I see it. The dumbass presidential commission want to cut 100B from the military, so be it but they need to cut 100B from the Govts benifits also! Stupid shit like the 24hr Secret Service protection for the President and his Family for Life or the special free flights to where-ever the damn well please. Why not make them drive their own personal vehicle to the golf course or to the resort for vacation. Why should the taxpayers pay for the personal flight to the home states of the elected politicians?? GET RID OF THE WORTHLESS POLITICIANS by freezing their pay for the next 4 years and see how they like it!!

I agree. The military always gets shit on first! IT’S Time to cut the size of the Government

So guys, don’t retire. They have frozen DoD retired pay and VA comp for two years. If you are E-4, don’t get married. If the pay was so crappy, why are folks enlisting. Certainly don’t expect to get shot at.
Okay, so here’s why military needs to take a big hit. Only 12% of the total budget is non defense discretionary. Reagan made the big non defense cuts in the 80’s. Only defense and Medicare have any place to cut. Ferret out Waste, Fraud and Abuse in Medicare, make it partially income dependent and raise the age to 66 or 67 and you would have something. Cut out Medicare for people with certain illnesses like emphysema and smoking related lung and heart disease. Double the federal excise tax on cigarettes and alcohol. That’s a start. BTW, cutting half the federal work force wouldn’t make a dent.

Weaponhead you are right on and you’ve helped me fill in a missing piece of the F-35 puzzle. I had suspected this was a critical flaw in the program. MS C must precede LRIP, because you have to have production representative articles with which to do OT&E. The F-35’s produced under the LRIP contract are as useful as paperweights, since the integration, software, and verification that the system is operationally useful has not been demonstrated. So NO pfcem, these LRIP jets will not be able to fill in a capability gaps that combat proven fighters are filling right now.
I know DoD has broken these rules and gotten away with this stuff in the past, I’m glad in today’s day and age they cannot escaping accountability to do things right now. Frankly the F-35 deserves to be canceled because it destroys the present and future integrity of the entire acquisition and disciplined systems engineering process. For if the F-35 can get away with shoddy engineering, why should any other PM care to do things right?

By cutting Interior, Education, and Energy, you also cut some of the oversight responsibilities of all of the branches of government. This allows cuts in White House and Congressional staffs. Even more savings.

Military cuts might be required, but first define the mission, then decide what it takes to accomplish the mission. We tend to define what we need without defining what we are going to do first.

Lot’s of venting in this blog but, historicaly, the military is downsized after a conflict. However, our current military situation in Af/Pak and Iraq leave me to question why we are attempting to downsize before it is clear when these conflicts will be complete. Since we are in a “war” on terrorism, when would we consider that war to be won so that we can have a “peace time” military? I agree with most here on the unrealistic nature of proposed cuts, but the guns versus butter arguments or states rights presented here aren’t realistic either. There are laws governing distribution of our taxes, yes to both military and so-called entitlements. Can someone here come up with a rationale way to balance these competing requirements other than ranting and raving?

The Marines should buy some Typhoons for CAS, its the best CAS aircraft in the world and also more stealthy than the F-35B.

Cool. Leave then.….. Your venom is defines the type of person you are, and what we need less of in the US.

The F-35 and F-22 are far stealthier than the Typhoon and the best CAS aircraft for an environment where air-superiority has been achieved is something like the A-10.

We need more like him willing to take a stand against what the left wants to do to our military. I believe Obama is an American (although that doesn’t excuse his poor decisions), but these politicians shouldn’t be trying to force “political correctness” on the military. We shouldn’t even be talking of cutting the force structure (just overseas bases), or key modernization programs to which there is no alternative!

You have no clue WFT you are talking about.

Only in your wet dream.

Not even Eurofighter propaganda makes such absurd claims.

Thank you for your post. SO VTOL is “operationally unsuitable”. In DoD system development process, Industry and other boneheads like many posters here can push push push super high tech promises, and we have to wait until all the development money until IOT&E or even actual wartime use to learn the stuff is operationally unsuitable, THEN we have to pay even more money to fix these issues, or lie to everyone that the super high tech systems are all they’re cracked up to be. Meanwhile, low tech options like the A-10 and Super Tucano are brushed off for “non-survivability in the high threat zone.”

Good idea Randall! I’d support reducing # of Senators per state to ONE.

You’re right. The founding fathers had no idea what they were talking about. You are MUCH smarter.

Oh wait, they formed a type of government that has not been overturned by revolution or civil war , nor completely re-written in 234 years, and has only been amended 27 times.……

What have you done lately.….…… besides complain?

Its the same old song and dance CUT the military in the middle of two wars. The F-16s and F-18s are getting older. Remember what happened with the C-141 we flew them untill the wings were about ready to fall off. You can’t do that with a fighter!!!!. There are always areas to cut, BUT NOT WERE IT WILL EFFECT our ability to respond!

lol what would you say if someone asked that question to you? Me and multiple generations of my family have done plenty, thank you.
And bringing truth and integrity to readers here and exposing corruption and lies is pretty darned good.
You got an issue with my views then confront my specific arguments with your specific arguments, logic, and policy views, BRING IT.
spare us the cheap shots.

LOL and I love how you set up this conflict between me and the founding fathers. As if the founding fathers were even consolidated in their viewpoints, or would not be HORRIFIED at the current debt level of our nation that the suggestion of cutting down # of senators from two to one as a cost saving measure for the political elite to demonstrate, put their money where their mouth is, that they actually care about controlling costs, wouldn’t be such a bad idea that it’d be worth considering as an amendment to the Constitution.
I’m SO SORRY my free exercise of speech has disturbed you so much. Let me crawl in a hole and let YOUR VOICE be the one people read here.

How about you bring your rationale for changing the Constitution rather than just spewing political rhetoric? How is your opinion now suddenly bringing truth and integrity to readers?

I believe you would hear from everyone on this blog “their generation and family have done plenty”

Point 1. 100 Senators allows for 2 per State so there is an opportunity for opposing viewpoints on legislation from a State. The Senate is a deliberative body, and the system encourages the voice of opposing viewpoints, culminating in a vote. With a single voice, 1 Senator per State it allows for only one singular viewpoint per State. Do you really want to increase the power and control of Senators? Your plan would double their control and influence. Specific enough?

Theres probably alot of interesting articles to read about in the world today. Far be it me to understand it all. But I find interest in this article as my backyard has a channel, and on the opposite of the channel is a bunch of activity. I’m feeling like it could be military. Na-why would they have military here? Who do they need to protect and why? I’ve seen a freight train come down the tracks, ya know a train that carries alot of supplies. Do you think they need to drop off supplies for some sort of expedition. What kind of expedition could be going on in Dana Point? I am feeling like I am a part of all the commotion; really do not know why or how, but nonetheless part of it. If I am a part of it-can you please tell me what it is you would like me to do; or how can I make it easier for you if for any particular reason I may be involved in some sort of expedition. Ya know-its too bad that all this money is being spent on security, can someone explain to me why? I need alot of explination these days. I guess this is one step in the right direction; at least its good to know what the heck is going on in your own backyard?

No. Please exercise your right to free speech. Just understand there is not much more than opinions here, and I just don’t take Constitutional Amendments as lightly as political talking heads.

There are always unintended consequences to seemingly simple solutions, leaving things forever changed.

ok i brought my rationale for changing the Constitution — saving $. truth and integrity to readers I was referring to my other posts exposing failed, wasteful programs in response to YOUR ATTACK ON ME that i don’t do something besides complain. And thank you for your rationale on why 100 Senators. If there was only one Senator per state, we could legislate new ways to check that Senator’s power, such as shortening their terms, imposing term limits, or increased power for the citizens of a State to impeach a Senator by referendum vote. Under the current system of 2 Senators per state, many Senators are abusive. We might as well not have to pay for twice as many abusive jerks as we need to.

By not having the right Constitutional Amendments in place at the right time, slaves, Indians, and womens couldn’t vote, racism was institutionalized, a cataclysmich Civil War decimated us, and more babies have been aborted than people were killed during the Holocaust. Heck we don’t even have something as sensible as a Balanced Budget Amendment to ensure we would not get ourselves 14 Trillion Dollars in the hole. God knows how much more damage the Fed may have done to the currency. CHANGE IT. The people should demand Amendments, and when the votes are made, let history and judgment fall on those that vote on the side of Corruption, Greed, and Waste.

Amen, thank you Sir for being a voice of reason, and for your service.

I understand you don’t want your piece of the pie reduced. Too few do.

Do you want to see the nation’s defense slashed to free up some tax dollars to provide early retirements for people who are still capable of providing for themselves?

There isn’t enough pie remaining for everybody to get what they want, especially if they want more than they truly need. If you are one of the few who truly need it, the country certainly still has enough wealth to help you with that.

Most of the pie has already been eaten, and was paid for with credit. Too few want to pay the debt for what has already been spent. But they keep asking for another big slice of pie.

That is how we got to the level of overwhelming debt that we have now.

$150K/year IS a lot to pay for DoDs highly specialized, egineering personnel at the top of their pay scale. I guess McDonalds wages would make Heritage happy. How many are we talking about? Did we double from 50 to 100, or 100 to 200? I doubt if it’s many more and most of those people are managing multi-million dollar programs. The Peter Principal and a**-kissing gets too many of the wrong people into senior management but that’s the same everywhere. It’s the bean counters that are costing the money — they’re eating up at least 10% of civilian personnel costs to save imaginary numbers or generate meaningless numbers to our useless Congress.

Also, on my last program I was paying &450K/year for comparable engineering support from my less than $100K/year engineers from a contractor to fix a system that didn’t work when delivered (the USAF put no on-site testing into the contract — screwing the Navy again!). As a matter of fact my guys were finding all of the problems and identifying fixes for a lot of them at 1/3 the cost, but we needed the developer to implement the fixes.

By political correctness, I assume you mean ideals which appeal to the mass of young people but which are opposed by geriatric dinosaurs. Do you even realize how many countries have gays openly serving with no issues, or is it too painful to your Archie Bunker mentality to witness how much of a relic you’ve become? But just keep blaming the left, that’ll work out just fine and solve all our problems–just like George Bush did!

Dear God, is it a requirement to be completely ignorant of economics to be a supporter of the military in this country? You are talking a drop in the bucket next to the hundreds of billions the military gets, and wastes (by their own admission) every single year. Even the most partisan blowhard would say a government agency that can’t account for over a trillion in disbursed funds is mismanaged and due for a cut…unless it’s the military, in that case they just need more money before the Chinese take over. How sad. I hope your kids love paying taxes.

To Mr. Thomas,MSG retired,
Once again, misinterpretations can cause problems. This has been the problem in this whole deal. Who knows what, whose telling who what to do, and why? This person does not understand why the military is needed so how can I suggest that it be cut. I’m all for being true to your party; but their is so many parties, that it is hard to know who to be true to.

DoD engineering salaries are more than excessive in those cases where some do not even have real engineering degrees, much less an advanced engineering education and related experience at putting same to good use. Some certainly do. But many do not, and those should be discovered and fired for not being qualified for the job that they are being paid to do. Any idiot can get a technology degree or less, do some Powerpoint presentations, and waste others time in meetings talking about Lean, while not actually doing anything, much less understanding anything about real engineering.

How many put in a real day’s work? Surfing the net should not be a paid activity.

How many use their own personal laptops and cellphones to surf the net when they should be working, to avoid being monitored?

Does anyone really audit time and activity?


Tens of millions of dollars have been wasted on theories of the day such as Lean that basically apply to production, which the government doesn’t do (nor anything that would cut overhead only productive employees). Tens of millions were also wasted on NSPS.

DoD employees have real degrees, it’s the contractors that get to call anyone an engineer if it suites them.

DoD waste is neglible compared to the savings that could be realized by eliminating the useless Energy, Labor, Education, 90% of Health & Human Services, and the Housing & Urban Development Departments.

No you are wrong, all wrong. LOL LOL LOL, give me a break kid. F-35 is not stealth at all, kids with video games can make accurate RCS predictions thesedays that show your all wrong thats why the Americans hide the RCS figures from you all, LOL LOL LOL. Typhoon has an RCS lower than both the F-22 and F-35. Its all in the shape.

Go to some playstation blog with you nonsense

17% of GDP goes to health care in the US. Over 4% is consumed by the health insurance companies, as profit and advertising. This is greater than the entire Defense budget. It also is a duplication of our existing Medicare system.
It is time to drain the swamp, and kick the insurance companies out of health care. Move everyone to Medicare. Save that 4% of GDP, then have no DOD cuts. US industry also becomes more competitive because it no longer has to pay the bill for the insurance industry mafia.

Yes because totally removing private industry from a sector of the economy won’t cause any problems. Who gets rationed what, how long does one have to wait to see a doctor?

The idea is dumb. Like so many of the red herrings out there, it sounds appealing, but would do nothing. The amount we spend on legistlators and their perks is chump change in the grand scheme of things. Same with the usual suspects like cutting foreign aid or welfare. They’re like a 500-lb man trying to get to normal weight by promising to give up Tic-Tacs.

That’s not even touching the fact that you’re suggesting to fundamentally alter the nature of representative government in a way that you can’t prove would do any good.

All older people are laready on Medicare anyway, which is where most of the cost is. So no change to the care they get. Putting young people on Medicare saves 4% of GDP, which can then be used for Defense and deficit reduction.

Uncle SANTA didnt build those for me — I dont like VA class boats nor do many of the guys I know serving on them. The last great attack sub was the 637 class that was prematurely decommed because they were out performing and outlasting the newer more expensive and junky 688 class. I dont like 88’s but they are better than anything else we have put out in the last 20 yrs.

You shouldn’t hasten to judge and dismiss other’s ideas so quickly. Especially if you offer no alternative. Instead you should try to be more constructive, seek for understanding, and frankly, be a nice person. And why would you call cutting welfare a red herring? My God you do understand that the unfunded liability for social welfare programs is into triple digit trillions do you not?

I’m a relic? Your “ideals” are nonsense that deserves to be discarded in the trash-bin of history. I don’t give a damn about what those countries that leach off our military assets do, I care about what is best for MY country. The left has blamed George Bush for all of the failures since 2000 and continue to do so, it is time to own up to your mistakes.

What Mike said is not totally out of whack the way Bill has made it out to sound. Officers not only get more base pay, they also get more bonous and haz duty pay as well which is BS (why should an officer right out of school get more hazard duty pay than an enlisted that has been doing it for ten yrs or more) Housing is the same way, an enlisted may get a 1,000 sq ft 2 bedroom multiplex or apt for his family but an officer will get a larger single family or duplex away from the enlisted just because he is an officer. How many of you have seen flyers and invites for parties or balls stating officers and thier ladies/ enlisted and spouses (if that isnt degrading and descrimination then tell me what is).

I’m with you — If it were up to me the two reps from each state mentioned in the Constitution would be the actual state government elected senators, then to ensure states retained soverignty the house would be made up of the governors. I would reduce the Fed government to Pres — vice Pres (also to be spkr of the house) — Justice dept with US Marshalls soaking up all other fed law agencies and supreame court for fed cases only — DoD with a secdef only (no secs for individual services, they have gens and Admr for that reason already) DoD also responsible for homeland security and fed prisons — Treasury dept — Dept of health to include CDC, OSHA/DOT, FDA — sec of state who is also UN rep & respons for commerce. With video teleconfroncing there is no need for travel to the senate or house. A flat 10% income tax for all including businesses and corps on thier profits of which it is automaticly divided 40% to the state & 60% to the fed, SS & medicare is only

CONTINUED: avail only to US born US citizens who have reached age 62 or over 75% disabled (meaning they cant even run a cash register with thier disabilities). and I would induce a 20% tarrif on all foriegn mfg products brought in even if owned by and destined for a US owned company in order to bring jobs back to the US. It would also be the responsibility of the Fed to set caps on living cost equivalent in all 50 states to include housing, land, food within reach of the majoritys income level, and to insure that no state duplicates a fed tax.

Cool ideas!

I’m just waiting for the libs to come after me and tell me how it cant work when in reality all I am is suggesting is doing away with government duplication and quadruplications of positions. it’s like having 4 cashiers running the same register at the store — it just cost more and cause confusion and time.

I would rather hit the unconstitutional areas of federal spending rather than the constitutional. For example the founders were probably familiar with the concept of housing, but gave congress no powers to regulate it, so why a Housing and Urban Development secretary. same for Agriculture, and Education. That provides millions of federal employees to fire, tens of thousands of laws to cancel, and trillions of savings

Agreed! There is a wise saying: “Too many cooks spoil the broth” <–describes our federal government beautifully.

F-35B is the key element that makes the F-35 A and C inefficient. The larger engine needed for the B makes the A and C heavier and give shorter range.

Better than cutting the F-35 is to cut the Air Force and Marine Corps as separate services: That way the teeth are still in place, the fatty administration gets reduced. Of course the Marines could operate using Navy regulations afloat, and Army regulations ashore as was standard practice before 1834.

I hear ya big time and agree — Not only do these bases have no true value they also lock down a large portion of our military because we have to have permission from the host nation to use our forces there to retaliate against our enemies elsewhere which has bitten us a few times, thus the purpose for still having long range bombers and a need for expeditionary forces aboard ships off the coast.

Legalize them and gain billions in taxes.

Who do you think your kidding?

Every study ever done shows that legalizing them does not gain anything, it just gives them access to our support system (welfare, unemployment, etc).

Hey there Karen, I’m a GI, I’ve served my country for 14 years including Combat in Iraq. Who the fuck are you to say one word about our service men AND women, which I happen to be…a woman. Either put some boots on, shit in a hole for 8 months, get shot at, and leave your family for a good yr or shut the hell up. Thanks.

Congress did not authorize a standing army or navy. Mainly because they saw, from Europe and history, that a standing army could bankrupt the traesury and cost lives in their “foreign adventures.” So why would you consider the “defense” budget off limits to cuts?

I support cutting the F-35B, hell, I support cutting the entire JSF program. By the time it gets into service, it’ll be even more expensive than the F-22. It’s not even really full on stealth, it’s only good against X-Band Radar, the radar band WE use, not the Russians or Chinese & their customers, they use O-band.

And it make up for it, take the the tech from the F-16DSI & F-16 VISTA and put them into a new F-16. Ten you’ll have a plane just as good(AND CHEAPER!) than the F-35.

GCV & EFV can go as well as they’re redundant.


Actually what you say about our stealth fighters only being optimized for X-band radars is not true.

Because the current deficit doesn’t include those. Those 3 are still bringing more money than they spend… but that is going to change in big way in the next few years.

Defense spending is 63% of the federal budget.. So all the other programs Justice, Roads, FAA, Agriculture, energy, education, etc… only account for 37%. So the military and defence is the obvious place to start as it is the place where most is spent.

Anyway if the economy doesn’t pick and the government doesn’t get more taxes… something has to go.
So all this programs are going to start fighting over every dollar. But unlike defense Social security is something that people actually paid for… so how do you cut a service that people have already pre-paid for.

For medicare and medicaid… do you realy think people are going to cut grandmom’s cancer treatment? or uncle Bob’s diabetes medicine?.…

The DoD accounts for 23% of the total Federal budget (SS & Medicare included) or 36% (with SS & Medicare excluded). You would have to ignore all mandatory, interest, & TARP payments in order to get the DoD up to 67%.

Here is a 2008 GAO briefing that goes into details on how mandatory spending will no longer be self-sustaining in the near future.

Measures need to be taken now to reign in these increased costs. btw, Just because people have been paying into a system does not mean they are not subject to changes to that system. I am not advocating abolishment of SS or Medicare, but things like increasing the retirement age, larger co-pays, means-testing benefits, partial privatization, etc are reasonable.

Two words and travels faster than 10,000mph or so: carrier sinker!!!

Here’s an idea that’s worth putting out there. one of the biggest wastes of defense funding annually is the cost of moving those in the military around every 2, 3 or 4 years. I have done the math quickly and on an average:

average cost to move a military member varies anywhere between $15,000 and $75,000 depending on number of dependents, where they are moving to and moving company costs/vehicle transport. I know for sure it costs $1,100 to ship a vehicle from Baltimore to England but that was 2002. Anyways, take the average of $50,000 and multiply by how many members PCS in a year. I went VARY low and said 5,000 x $50,000=$250,000,000/year. Yes, $250 million and that’s a low number.

Makes ya think doesn’t it. No take into consideration those that have to move due to humanitarian reasons and the year long tours, these would need to be worked out but the rest..what’s wrong with staying put for the next 5 or so years?

Well US army spends 600bilion a year , and chinese army whos 4 times bigger spends 100billion … so yeah cut the army budget like special forces and their toys , also individual soldier , and pentagon projects .. or well raise taxes xD xD

Thats what America gets for selecting an evil president.


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