View Poll Results: What should military members be willing to sacrifice first?

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  • Retirement (explain how)

    8 26.67%
  • Medical Care (explain how)

    1 3.33%
  • On base amenities

    4 13.33%
  • A 5 year pay freeze

    2 6.67%
  • Other

    15 50.00%
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Thread: What should military members be willing to sacrifice first?

  1. #31
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    Re: What should military members be willing to sacrifice first?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    Ah yes. This must be the magical waste that is going to save us, just like the magical savings that the IPAB is going to find to make Medicare sustainable.
    There's definitely waste. I doubt that we can live without some of the crazier gadgets in testing, such as rail guns, particle beams, robots with M-2 machine guns affixed to them, etc. We spent 14 billion to get the Bradley, which is a giant piece late Cold War crap.
    I love the NSA. It's like having a secret fan-base you will never see, but they're there, watching everything you write and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside knowing that I may be some person's only form of unconstitutional entertainment one night.

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    Re: What should military members be willing to sacrifice first?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lokiate View Post
    There's definitely waste. I doubt that we can live without some of the crazier gadgets in testing, such as rail guns, particle beams, robots with M-2 machine guns affixed to them, etc. We spent 14 billion to get the Bradley, which is a giant piece late Cold War crap.

    My son is nearing his 20 mark in the Air Force and he sees beaucoup wastes everywhere in the military.
    Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children. ~ Ancient American Indian Proverb

  3. #33
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    Re: What should military members be willing to sacrifice first?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catawba View Post
    My son is nearing his 20 mark in the Air Force and he sees beaucoup wastes everywhere in the military.
    I saw waste every day in the Army too. We were supposed to have gone electronic to save paper, but we (as one company) must have wasted at least a ton of paper every fiscal year. We wasted fuel, energy, resources, all of it. I'm not even counting training, just the stupid ****. Hundreds of thousands down the ****ter every year, and that's just one company.
    I love the NSA. It's like having a secret fan-base you will never see, but they're there, watching everything you write and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside knowing that I may be some person's only form of unconstitutional entertainment one night.

  4. #34
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    Re: What should military members be willing to sacrifice first?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catawba View Post
    Cute, but there is nothing magical about cutting waste in our excessive military spending.
    I am all for cutting out waste, in the DOD and across the federal government. I just don't buy the argument that attempts to do so are going to get us much. The best way to do this (as MarineTpartier has pointed out) is to start grading commanders and staff on fiscal measures; and let them come up with ways to save money. Once each LtCol is competing against each other LtCol for Regimental Command based partially on whether they managed to come in consistently 10% under budget.... that's when you have incentivized the people in charge to reduce waste. Unfortunately, that can't be scored ahead of time because you can't predict human ingenuity.

    Did you miss Tessa's very concrete examples, all of which should come before making cuts to our troops who are already underpaid.
    Well, let's look at Tessy's list:

    1. We could rework treaties that obligate us to keep forces in countries that we don't really need to be in. We could then significantly cut the number of troops we have at these locations.
    Moving installations and units actually costs alot of money. That's why the plans to move US military off of Okinawa and phase us over to Guam keep getting pushed out, despite the fact that the Japanese are willing to foot half the bill. SO, we move the installation and troops and then.... (drumroll please) we still have the exact same installations and troops which still cost money. You would basically save what you are paying for COLA, but at the cost of picking up and moving massive bases. Penny Wise, Pound Foolish.

    You COULD save money with:

    Those troops could be reassigned or put on reserve and put back into the civilian work force (of course this would take place as the economy recovers).
    except that cutting troops is cutting personnel. Instead of reforming their pension you're just going to fire them? Yeah, that's much better for the troops

    2. We could cancel out defensive contracts for materials the military doesn't want/need.
    Agreed. Congratulations on saving.... 0.1% of the DOD budget? Besides the secondary engine for the F-35 is anyone aware of a major-ticket item that fits this description?

    3. We could stop funding the military arsenal of countries more than capable of buying/creating their own.
    1. The largest recpient of military aid is Israel. Take away our military support to Israel, and Israel will (rightly, as she points out) feel that she is now on her own. That means Israel will have to become more aggressive. Chew that over and decide whether or not we gain or lose from having a more stable Middle East.

    2. Generally, most of our "military aid" goes to foriegn nations in the form of credits for military gear which they can only cash in by purchasing from US Companies. That money? It comes right back to the United States in the form of weapons purchases.

    3. In return for enabling the standing up of effective allied militaries, we are actually able to reduce our global presence. Think about which is more expensive (for example) in Afghanistan: A battlaion of Marines each costing DOD $1 million apiece holding an area of operations with dedicated tank and artillery support? Or a platoon of military advisors running a local national battalion each of whom we are paying $3,600 a year holding the same AO? Our military presence around the world is smaller than it was during the Cold War, not least because we have stood up the forces of many allies.

    4. Let the border states employ their own forces to defend and fortify the borders.
    Everyone in favor of this but against the Arizona law please raise your hands. Why should the border states have to subsidize the rest of the states for security? That's the federal government's job. That is, in fact, their most important job. Furthermore, it's not as if we currently incur massive costs from a couple of National Guard units doing nothing on the border.

    5. Lower administrative salaries at the DOD.
    I can only really speak immediately to the IC, but within it, salaries from the DOD are well below what you can make private side. This is agreeably an outlier in public service, but the fact is that you don't want the smartest intelligence analysts working for IBM; you want them working for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the PDB staff, and the NSC. However, certainly we could replace many functions with military personnel, again, however, the savings realized from this will not be impressive.

    6. Cancel out defensive contracts for mercenary/manual labor programs.
    Funny thing - these contracts often save DOD money. It costs roughly $1,000,000 per deployed solder per year to deploy a military member; contractors for a year cost about $150,000-300,000, depending on the job. Furthermore, when a military member dies, that's $500,000 more right off the bat, with additional costs later on. When a contractor dies, it's the cost of the plane ticket for his replacement. Assuming there isn't a Space-R seat that week.





    There aren't easy solutions. Accepting this is the first step, and a necessary one.
    Last edited by cpwill; 07-03-12 at 03:53 AM.

  5. #35
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    Re: What should military members be willing to sacrifice first?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    I am all for cutting out waste, in the DOD and across the federal government. I just don't buy the argument that attempts to do so are going to get us much. The best way to do this (as MarineTpartier has pointed out) is to start grading commanders and staff on fiscal measures; and let them come up with ways to save money. Once each LtCol is competing against each other LtCol for Regimental Command based partially on whether they managed to come in consistently 10% under budget.... that's when you have incentivized the people in charge to reduce waste. Unfortunately, that can't be scored ahead of time because you can't predict human ingenuity.
    That sounds like a much better starting place than cutting pay or benefits to the troops.



    Well, let's look at Tessy's list:

    Moving installations and units actually costs alot of money.
    It doesn't cost as much as it does to keeping them running and staffed.


    except that cutting troops is cutting personnel. Instead of reforming their pension you're just going to fire them? Yeah, that's much better for the troops
    What part of, giving them jobs in the civilian work force didn't you understand?


    Without our starting optional wars, less troops are needed.

    Funny thing - these contracts often save DOD money. It costs roughly $1,000,000 per deployed solder per year to deploy a military member; contractors for a year cost about $150,000-300,000, depending on the job. Furthermore, when a military member dies, that's $500,000 more right off the bat, with additional costs later on. When a contractor dies, it's the cost of the plane ticket for his replacement. Assuming there isn't a Space-R seat that week.
    "Stars And Stripes reports that as of May 2011, U.S. efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq totaled $9.7 billion a month, or roughly the entire annual budget of The Environmental Protection Agency.

    While the total amount spent on the two wars could range anywhere from $3.7 up to $5.2 trillion, depending how much the Pentagon pulled from its base budget, even small chunks could power many efforts at home.

    The amount the U.S. spends in Afghanistan and Iraq each month could run the entire State Department for four months.
    For the cost of one month in Iraq and Afghanistan, NASA could have launched the space shuttle five more times.
    Medicare's 2003 expanded drug benefits for seniors that will cost $385 billion over 10 years could be paid for with 40 months of Pentagon spending in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    Two years of air conditioning for troops in Afghanistan at $38 billion could provide 40 years of federal Amtrak funding.
    Five years of fuel for vehicles, generators and aircraft in Afghanistan at $10.3 billion could have paid for the 2010 EPA budget.
    Even the most basic estimates can be deceiving. From October 2010 to May 2011 the U.S. military bought 329.8 million gallons of fuel in Afghanistan at $1.5 billion or $4.55 a gallon. Reasonable at a glance, but that number doesn't reflect transportation costs to and around combat zones, injuries, deaths, medical treatment, and rehabilitation -- all of which drive the cost to hundreds of dollars per gallon."



    Read more: http://articles.businessinsider.com/...#ixzz1zXc65GZV
    Last edited by Catawba; 07-03-12 at 04:11 AM.
    Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children. ~ Ancient American Indian Proverb

  6. #36
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    Re: What should military members be willing to sacrifice first?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catawba View Post
    That sounds like a much better starting place than cutting pay or benefits to the troops.
    sure you do that too. But you are one of the ones calling for deep DOD cuts, and the savings from this kind of thing aren't going to get you anywhere close. This is the equivalent of balancing the budget by cutting foreign aid and NPR.

    It doesn't cost as much as it does to keeping them running and staffed.
    if you move an installation... you still have to keep it running and staffed. And in fact, for the time period in which you are performing the move (a handful of years), it costs signficantly more due to all the necessary replication and beefed up staff.

    edit, I het the save button by accident, I will finish and then re-edit.
    i hate it when that happens the DP server has stolen my best works...

  7. #37
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    Re: What should military members be willing to sacrifice first?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    sure you do that too. But you are one of the ones calling for deep DOD cuts, and the savings from this kind of thing aren't going to get you anywhere close. This is the equivalent of balancing the budget by cutting foreign aid and NPR.
    It all adds up and and why would you not cut waste first before cutting the pay or benefits of the troops?



    if you move an installation... you still have to keep it running and staffed.
    Why, if it is not needed?



    Also, you missed this above, the waste from our wars on Afghanistan and Iraq:

    "Stars And Stripes reports that as of May 2011, U.S. efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq totaled $9.7 billion a month, or roughly the entire annual budget of The Environmental Protection Agency.

    While the total amount spent on the two wars could range anywhere from $3.7 up to $5.2 trillion, depending how much the Pentagon pulled from its base budget, even small chunks could power many efforts at home.

    The amount the U.S. spends in Afghanistan and Iraq each month could run the entire State Department for four months.
    For the cost of one month in Iraq and Afghanistan, NASA could have launched the space shuttle five more times.
    Medicare's 2003 expanded drug benefits for seniors that will cost $385 billion over 10 years could be paid for with 40 months of Pentagon spending in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    Two years of air conditioning for troops in Afghanistan at $38 billion could provide 40 years of federal Amtrak funding.
    Five years of fuel for vehicles, generators and aircraft in Afghanistan at $10.3 billion could have paid for the 2010 EPA budget.
    Even the most basic estimates can be deceiving. From October 2010 to May 2011 the U.S. military bought 329.8 million gallons of fuel in Afghanistan at $1.5 billion or $4.55 a gallon. Reasonable at a glance, but that number doesn't reflect transportation costs to and around combat zones, injuries, deaths, medical treatment, and rehabilitation -- all of which drive the cost to hundreds of dollars per gallon."



    Read more: http://articles.businessinsider.com/...#ixzz1zXc65GZV
    Last edited by Catawba; 07-03-12 at 04:27 AM.
    Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children. ~ Ancient American Indian Proverb

  8. #38
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    Re: What should military members be willing to sacrifice first?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catawba View Post
    It all adds up and and why would you not cut waste first before cutting the pay or benefits of the troops?
    because we are talking about serious DOD cuts. Which means that DOD get's given a number. "Your budget is.... $596 Billion. For next year we need you to cut it down to $500 Billion". "Aye-Aye, Mr President".


    ...So we put in place all these issues designed to reward good stewardship. But those are impossible to predict, and unlikely to generate $96 Billion. So let's be really optimistic and say that in the first year they generate... $5 Bn in savings. Hooray! Now where are we going to do for the next $91 Bn?

    I'm all in favor of these things. But cutting small stuff does not remove the need to also cut big stuff.

    Why, if it is not needed?
    You have two options:

    1. Move the installation and house the unit elsewhere (Costs More Money).
    2. Get rid of the unit and fire the personnel. Destroy the classified, and sell off whatever isn't worth shipping elsewhere (Costs Less Money).

    You can do #2 and reduce the DOD budget. But let's not pretend that we are doing it "to keep from having to make cuts to the troops". You aren't just cutting their pension there - you are cutting their jobs.
    Last edited by cpwill; 07-03-12 at 04:31 AM.

  9. #39
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    Re: What should military members be willing to sacrifice first?

    Incidentally, since we are looking to cut waste, that $26 a gallon green fuel that the Navy is being made to buy that you are defending in the other thread should definitely be on the chopping block.

  10. #40
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    Re: What should military members be willing to sacrifice first?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post

    ...So we put in place all these issues designed to reward good stewardship. But those are impossible to predict, and unlikely to generate $96 Billion. So let's be really optimistic and say that in the first year they generate... $5 Bn in savings. Hooray!
    Link to the source for your numbers?



    You have two options:

    1. Move the installation and house the unit elsewhere (Costs More Money).
    2. Get rid of the unit and fire the personnel. Destroy the classified, and sell off whatever isn't worth shipping elsewhere (Costs Less Money).

    You can do #2 and reduce the DOD budget. But let's not pretend that we are doing it "to keep from having to make cuts to the troops". You aren't just cutting their pension there - you are cutting their jobs.
    You keep pretending troops do not have the capacity to work in the civilian workforce.
    Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children. ~ Ancient American Indian Proverb

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