“I visited with our top leaders and they have told me we have gone past cutting the fat, we've gone past cutting the meat, we're into the bone. And it is now where they're going to have to cut will reduce the ability to train and equip these people properly. And that's going to start costing lives.”— Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., chairman of the armed services committee, on Wednesday.
"And that's going to start costing lives.” Actually, it's going to start cutting Buck's campaign contributions. That'll hurt.
I like Kori Schak's analysis--
Panetta still isn't facing up to his Pentagon budget disaster
By Kori Schake, Feb 5, 2013
On Friday, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will finally reveal how spending at the Department of Defense will be brought into compliance with the 2011 Budget Control Act. Panetta has already said the cuts "would turn America from a first-rate power into a second-rate power," but American taxpayers should not forget three very important things. First, the mad scramble to cut spending is the result of the Obama White House and the Panetta Pentagon deciding to program for the past eighteen months as though the Budget Control Act was not in effect. Second, although the law stipulates that spending reductions apply to all budget lines, it contained a huge opt out that allowed the President to exempt personnel accounts and removed application of the law to a full third of the budget. Third, even if sequestration goes into effect, the spending cuts will only return the base Department of Defense budget to 2007 levels. The wailing and gnashing of teeth by the department are an over-reaction, and conveniently shields it, the White House, and the Senate from criticism that their own choices have made the effect of the cuts more damaging.
Panetta's strategy proceeded on the assumption that DOD will have access to resources it had no basis to expect. He made no budget excursions showing how the Department of Defense would comply with the law if sequestration came into effect, and he forbade the military services from conducting any planning associated with compliance. As a result, DOD has no long term plan. Moreover, it will produce a budget that has not been stress-tested to ensure risks incurred in one part of the force are balanced by capabilities elsewhere.
As I read the quote, I was sure it was complete and utter nonsense, then I saw the "R-Calif" designation. R's never believe we can spend enough on "defense", and Calif is a major benefactor of goverment funding. I wonder if Buck believes his own office is cut to the bone? Perhaps he can help cut his own operations and others in Washington and transfer the savings to his beloved military? Nah, didn't think so (and yes, you right wingers, I do realize that the amount that could be saved in the offices in Washington would probably not be enough to fund one unwanted airplane)(as str8vision says below, a lot of systems/programs are not even wanted!).
I strongly want ALL programs to contract 10%. I refuse to believe that they cannot find a way to save 10% without affecting service; whether it is cutting a program, turning down the AC, reducing trips, closing cheap cafeterias, eliminating overnight delivery services for packages....how about stop flying planes with a couple of people on it like they showed in Zero Dark Thirty? Closing excess office space. I bought some cubicles that were almost brand new and found out that TSA had them and were expanding so they got all new ones!
The U.S. spends more money on its military than the next 18 highest spending nations c o m b i n e d, and that doesn't take into account secret "black" funding. By claiming a moderate cut in our defense spending, (say that we only spend as much as the next 17 highest spending nations combined), would cause a significant drop in combat effectivness, using that same logic, the military of every other nation in the world must be totally ineffective and useless. In reality, much of the money spent on our military is used to purchase weapons systems and armaments the military neither requested, wants nor needs but which certain key congressmen decided the military would get anyway because those systems were built by corporations located in their respective states/districts. That is just one of many, many problems that contributes to the excessive annual cost of our military.