Theodore Roosevelt, 1903

"Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready." - Theodore Roosevelt, 1903

Friday, December 13, 2013

Our Government Is Screwing Our Troops

Dear Readers,

This is a very long article, a very long post. I can understand if you skip it because it is long.

But, after hearing about the new cuts that our troops and their families will be going through - I think you're really going to want to read this.

If anything, it will give you ammo when you email or write your Congressman or Senator, or Newspapers.

I list the cuts that the White House, the Pentagon, and the politicians want to make all for reasons of "curbing out of control spending" - then I list the real waste and fraud and excesses that need to be addressed.

So yes, maybe you might want to grab a cup of coffee and we take an honest look at where to cut and where not to cut.

It is no secret that Democrats hate America's troops.

Ever since Democrat President Jimmy Carter was in office, every Democrat president has also wanted to cut the pay and benefits of our troops.

Obama is no different. His administration has been looking at any and all excuses to cut our military ever since taking office.

February, 2012, the Department of Defense announced cuts to medical benefits for retirees and veterans. But what's worse, they had the cojones to say they were going to cut medical benefits of Active Duty personnel.

Imagine that for a moment. A Soldier or Marine, or Airman or Sailor is wounded or just gets hurt and needs medical attention - under the Obama Administration and the fools who kiss his behind - that individual on Active Duty, who already gets paid pennies compared to his civilian counterparts, now may have his or her medical care reduced.

And today, today it was announced that The House has a lot of fools who are Republicans as well.

Fearing another so-called "Fiscal Cliff" The House overwhelmingly approved what is being called a comprehensive Defense Policy Bill which is designed to scuttle our military by attacking the benefits that our troops receive.

Supposedly it aims to stem the so-called epidemic of Sexual Assaults in the military, which has steadily climbed in number since Gays and Women have been admitted to units where they are only a distraction and a hindrance to the mission.

Oh, I'm sorry, it's another failed Socio-Political Experiment being played out at the expense of the military.

Of course Liberals and other anti-Military politicians never apologize for saddling our military with such experiments. They want it to happen so bad that they are too damn proud to admit that it is just a bad idea with horrible ramifications.

And yes, unlike most of the politicians in Washington DC, I still remember the mid-1970s when politicians want the military to put women in combat. Yes, this is not the first time that Liberals have wanted this.

It failed back then for all the same reasons that it will fail today. Young men and women with hormones in the peak of when their hormones are raging.

And yes, I understand how Liberals think they can Regulate everything - but nature is something that cannot be made to obey - young people will do what they will do.

Did I say Liberals, yes, but that doesn't mean that we Conservatives don't have Liberals who are Republicans in name only - RINO.

In support of the cuts and the needed funds being taken from things like needed Commissaries and more pay for our troops, we Republicans have LIBERALS like Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon from good old California.

He's chairman of the House Armed Services panel, who said the measure provides "badly needed reforms to help alleviate the crisis of sexual assault in the military."

That is the perfect example of a Liberal attitude, throw money at anything they want to fix and expect that to fix the problem. Yes, stupid is what stupid does!

In the National Defense Authorization Act which to many is a chicken-shit way of Republicans avoiding a fight over budget cuts come January, there is also money to pay for the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria.

Why is that part of the Defense Bill? Why don't we take the money from ObamaCare, after all it is costing us TRILLIONS of dollars to support only a handful of Americans?

Yes, Our Government Is Screwing Our Troops!

This month, December 2013, it was reported that the U.S. military spent nearly a 500 MILLION dollars on providing refurbished aircraft to the Afghan Air Force.

But than, to add insult to injury, that investment of Half-BILLION Taxpayer Dollars was abandoned and the contract was left - yes, all those planes - were left collecting dust on airfields in Kabul and Germany.

Now, even though the planes are heading for the trash heap of the Afghanistan war, the Pentagon's top brass want to cut the military's budget by cutting the pay and benefits for housing, education and health care for our troops on Active Duty.

Yes, as asinine as that sounds, the prized features of military life that for years have been spared from cuts are now being looked at.

It is a plan to make cuts on everything that keeps our troops in our military, and attracts more people. They come for the "benefits"?

For some completely asinine reason, the Chiefs in the Pentagon are focusing their attention on making the troops suffer to save MILLIONS - instead of cutting the horseshit programs and waste which cost Americans BILLIONS upon BILLIONS of Taxpayer Dollars.

Is this history repeating itself? I think so.

When Ronald Reagan ran for president against Jimmy Carter in 1980, one of his issues was the poor pay and benefits given to our troops.

Many don't remember those days. It was a time when senior personnel left all of the branches of our military because they could not sustain themselves or families and stay in.

The Carter administration was a time when we even had U.S. Army soldiers stationed in Germany and other posts on Food Stamps. Yes, we had troops on Food Stamps because the pay and benefits were that bad.

During those years, the draft had ended and the military became all volunteer. Jimmy Carter's anti-military policies were directly responsible for a drop in Americans joining our military.

In contrast, during the Reagan years, besides returning pride in America, Reagan build up our military pay and benefits to attract people to enlist and make our military a career.

Now we have Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, our nation's top representative of the troops of all of the services, recently say "without such changes, the cost of military personnel would soon rise to 60% from about half of the defense budget."

"What we have asked these young men and women to do over the last 10 years, we can't pay them enough," Gen. Dempsey said during a conference at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. "Having said that, we also have an institution to manage."

In other words, if you are in the military right now - they are cutting your benefits!

This Is How America Thanks Its War Fighters! This Is How The United States Treats Its Troops!

The Politicians and the Pentagon Chiefs Cut Their Pay, Housing, and Medical Care.

For the anti-Military Liberal Left in this country, the RINOs and the Pentagon Chiefs are a Dream Come True!

Military officials haven't revealed details of the plan, which still must be approved by the Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and President Barack Obama before it is sent to Congress for approval.

Gen. Dempsey said the chiefs would unveil the changes when the proposed military budget is released in February.

Over the past nine months, the Joint Chiefs of Staff have been analyzing military compensation - from pay and health benefits to housing allowances to the discounted prices at base commissaries.

Previous efforts to curb benefits have met stiff opposition from veterans groups and lawmakers.

Gen. Dempsey said the military's previous efforts to change compensation were flawed because they were one-year fixes. The new approach would offer a multiyear plan to slow the growth of military compensation.

The Pentagon believes that it will make a "persuasive" argument to lawmakers that the changes are needed to balance the budget.

Lawmakers are far from certain about the plan.

"Last year Congress established a compensation review commission to look at this issue, and we have not yet received their feedback," said Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon (R., Calif.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.

"I would like to see how much we can get out of institutional reform before we look at cutting benefits for the troops."

Gen. Dempsey said, "Without curbs on compensation-spending growth, there will be too little money for building new weapons systems or training forces in 10 years."

Off the table for now are changes in the retirement system. Because the military hopes to allow current service members to keep their existing retirement plans, it will be two decades until any savings from changes in military retirement are realized, making shifts in the program less urgent.

Let's Blame Cuts! How About Not!

"You can't expect this country to maintain a strong military if we aren't maintaining some kind of common-sense budgeting," Democrat Leon Panetta, the former Defense secretary, said. "We are sending a message that the United States is going to be weak and that is the wrong message to send."

If Congress doesn't agree to lift the sequester, the Pentagon faces $52 billion in cuts in January. About $41 billion was cut this year from military spending.

Mr. Panetta's successor, Mr. Hagel, said in a speech that the military's ability to respond to crises was impaired by budget cuts.

"Inevitably, we are shrinking the size of the force that is ready and available to meet new contingencies or respond to crises across the globe," Mr. Hagel said.

Gen. Dempsey said that "if the sequester stayed in place, a large number of military units wouldn't be ready for war or other duties. Under the sequester, the military in five years will be without the necessary depth to tap in the event of unforeseen crises."

"You have just what you need," Gen. Dempsey said. "But my view of the future is, just what you need is not enough."

So let's save Billions of Defense Dollars by Closing US Commissaries?

The Pentagon is planing to close all U.S.-based Commissaries in 2015 as part of a massive cost-saving effort.

Post and Base Commissaries are grocery stores that offer food and other necessities at a discount to members of the military, their families and veterans.

But as Congress tightens the purse strings, the Pentagon brass see the stores as a way to cut the budget.

If right now you are saying, "well Tom, they have to cut somewhere?" - just read on and I'll show you where they can cut BILLIONS that make cutting the Commissaries look stupid!

Budget cutters say they don't yet know how much money the plan would save, but there are 178 commissaries in the United States - and 70 overseas - which receive a total of $1.4 Billion in government funds.

The Defense Commissary Agency, responsible for administering all commissaries worldwide, says military families and retirees save an average of more than 30 percent on their grocery bills compared with those who shop at regular retail stores.

The agency says those savings amount to thousands of dollars annually per family.

But families, who in fact make up over 40% of the folks working at Commissaries, could also lose jobs if the stores close. That means a military family gets a double hit!

So tell me, why stay in?

Forty percent of the employees at the commissaries are military spouses. The director of the Defense Commissary Agency says that they have already cut their budget by $700 million since 1993.

Other military services - including the Pentagon Channel and Stars and Stripes newspaper - may also face cuts, along with Armed Forces Radio and Television, which broadcasts football games and news for service members overseas. Stars and Stripes, an independently edited military newspaper, has been around since the Civil War and has over 200,000 daily readers.

It collects just $7.8 million a year in government subsidies. To put this number in perspective, the U.S. spent $135 million in fuel for the Afghan military this year - part of the $4 billion the nation budgeted to support the entire Afghan military this year.

Defense officials say none of these cuts have been made yet and no final decision has been reached. But, according to Pentagon Spokesman Col. Steve Warren, "everything has to be on the table."

Still, Warren said: "No commissaries have closed. No commissaries are about to close. As with every other program that's out there, we're taking a look at how we can save money. We're just taking a look. No one's decided to do anything."

Any cuts to military benefits would ultimately have to be approved and passed by Congress.

"I definitely think it's a bad thing to take away the commissaries, because that's a benefit that a lot of soldiers and family members utilize." said Sgt Major Steven Scott.

OK, so now that the Pentagon Brass are gutless in that they refuse to face real facts and places to cut - let's help them!

While the Pentagon Brass are talking about slashing MILLIONS by closing commissaries and cutting troop benefits, back in 2011 there was an Inspector Generals Report that found $60 BILLION in waste and fraud.

Friends, this has to stop! Americans are tired of the waste!
Earlier this year, 2013, I researched waste in the Department of Defense (DOD) and came up with this:

The DOD has a monstrous $629 Billion annual budget and a huge chunk of that goes to dubious projects that no one can justify as being defense expenses - or even defense related.

In 2012, Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma released a report detailing where the Department of Defense could save $67.9 Billion over ten years in "non defense" spending.

He called out the Department of Defense on wasteful spending. Those cuts went into effect on March 1st 2013.

They were supposed to immediately slash $85 BILLION from the federal rolls split between the Department of Defense and other national programs grouped together.

This would have been an effort to trim the national debt.

Senator Coburn’s probe revealed that the Pentagon funded $6 BILLION in studies that have little or nothing to do with national defense or medical needs related to military service.

So how did that take place? Well, during his investigation regarding Department of Defense waste, he and his staff uncovered a great deal by asking three simple questions:

• Does the mission of this program or agency directly relate to the mission of the Department of Defense?

• Does another federal agency or government or private entity already provide the services provided by this program or agency?

• Could these resources be better targeted towards higher priority defense needs, such as taking care of troops on the front lines or reducing our $16 trillion national debt?

What he and his staff found was merely a smattering, a skimming, a “starting point for reviewing Pentagon spending that is unnecessary, wasteful or simply not related to defense.”

Here is some of what the Coburn's investigation uncovered:

$6 BILLION on the Department of Defense (DOD) funded research, and you won't believe the types of research!

This is not made up! The DOD funded research examining what the behavior of fish can teach us about democracy.

The Department of Defense funded development of a smart phone app to alert users when to take a coffee break.

The Department of Defense funded research examining how to make silk production from wild cocoons in Africa and South America.

The Department of Defense Funded a study that concluded people in New York use different jargon on Twitter than those living in California.

The DOD has eight full time DOD employees who serve on Board of Geographic Names.

What do they do? They are in charge of naming streams, mountains, hills, and plains across the United States. Imagine that!

The Department of Defense funded reality cooking show called Grill it Safe featuring two “Grill Sergeants,” who performed a 46-minute cooking video.

The Department of Defense funded beef jerky development. Specifically, the project aimed at making "thin, rolled up" beef jerky from a company in France.

The Department of Defense funded research examining the social interaction between robots and babies.

The Department of Defense has spent over $1,000,000 on workshops studying interstellar space travel.

And believe it or not, those workshops asked such important National Security questions, as: "What will interstellar explorers wear?” And, are you ready for this one, “Did Jesus die for Klingons too?”

And yes, the Department of Defense funded a study that determined "a man holding a gun appears more masculine than he would otherwise."

Of course let's not forget the Department of Defense funded research to conclude that Petri most likely had feathers.

What is Petri you ask? Well, it was a dinosaur that flew.

Archaeopteryx, which existed 150 million years ago and long considered to be the first bird, probably had black feathers which may have helped it fly, according to research funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR).

How about cutting some of the $15.2 BILLION the DOD spends annually on Education.

What sorts of education you ask? Well, how about programs to educate children of military families in the US, as well as programs that duplicate the work of the Department of Education and local school districts.

It also includes college funding for military members on active duty and duplicates the work of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

And yes, the Department of Defense also spends $10.7 BILLION of its annual budget on education programs that duplicate the work of the Department of Education and local school districts.

And believe it or not, the DOD operates special schools. The Coburn report shows how one such military school in Dahlgren, Virginia, is less than one mile away from a public school.

Those special schools operated at a cost of over $50,000 per student.

Imagine that for a moment, $50,000 per student.

That is in contrast to the Department of Education has found the average annual cost per student in America is $11,000 per student.

Like ObamaCare, the Department of Defense is ripe with corruption, graft, bribes, lobbying, and Government Career Administrators that are so inept they would be fired from most civilian jobs because of their incompetence!

Why does it take $37 BILLION to operate The Pentagon just as overhead? What is the excuse for spending $37 BILLION on “Overhead, Support and Supply Service” on Operational Costs "unrelated" to the DOD’s primary purpose?

Someone is getting rich and I want them put in PRISON!

This includes more than 300,000 members of the military service performing civilian-type jobs. Why are do we need members of our services doing civilian-type jobs?

More incredible is the fact that the Pentagon's "overhead, or desk job budget," is more than the entire GDP of the nation of Israel.

• Then there's the $6 BILLION spent annually on non-military research and development.

These are research projects that have little or nothing to do with national defense, according to the report.

• The DOD spends $700 million spent on developing “alternative energy.”

But so what if this includes duplicative and unnecessary alternative energy research being done by the Department of Energy, right?

Before touching troop pay or benefits, and closing commissaries for military families, why not make real cuts that don't affect the Military's effectiveness.

Here where they should be cutting:

Get rid of the 8 full time employees who serve on the Board of Geographic Names, which names streams, mountains, hills, and plains across the United States. No exactly what you think of when you think of a Defense job.

Get rid of the DOD production company that is producing those 46-minute video productions called Grill It Safe featuring “grill sergeants” showing off their own recipes

Save $1 MILLION by stopping the workshops studying interstellar space travel. We don't need to spend money one what people will wear on a space ship to another solar system

Get rid of the program that spends $1.5 MILLION to procure beef jerky advancements from France.
Do as the British military did in 2012, stop redundancy.
We can save BILLION of DOLLARS on questionable, duplicative and unnecessary research, including the $5.2 MILLION the DOD spent to determine what lessons about democracy and social decision-making could be learned from fish.

We should fire whoever came up with the idea of finding out what lessons about democracy and social decision-making could be learned from fish. He or she should be fired.

Why fire him, or her? Simple, we don't need people in the federal government who have no care or concern as to how much money they are spending our money on bullshit like that jackass project of trying to study "democracy and social decision-making" of fish.

The Department of Defense invested part of its budget in more than 100 renewable energy-related projects in 2010, even more than the Department of Energy itself, and with similar results:

“Many of these DOD renewable energy projects were so poorly planned, they failed to be cost effective or even produce [any] power, wasting millions of national security dollars.”

Among other agencies which the DOD duplicated work, it duplicated work done by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by doing research “into the very same diseases already being studied by the other agencies.”

The DOD also duplicated work done by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). From the report:

The Navy funded research examining what the behavior of fish can teach us about democracy while also developing an app to alert iPhone users when the best time is to take a coffee break. No kidding, this is for real!

And as insane as it sounds, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research funded a study in 2011 examining how to make it easier to produce silk from wild [silkmoth] cocoons in Africa and South America.

And yes, believe it or not, both the Navy and the Air Force funded studies that concluded that people in New York use different jargon on Twitter than those living in California.

What does that have to do with our security or our military effectiveness? Nothing!

And yes, the federal government is ripe with scammers and con artists who see those in the Department of Defense as being dumb enough to spend taxpayer dollars on anything and everything - including crap that has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the defense of our nation.

Someone should take a hard look at what Senator Tom Corburn's investigation uncovered and make cuts there first before touching the pay and benefits of our troops.

Someone should be asking why?

Why is the Department of Defense spending our tax dollars on things that have nothing to do with defense of our nation?

And more over, now someone should be asking Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the rest of the Pentagon brass, the simple question:

How can he or anyone else in the Pentagon even think of cutting pay and benefits, as well as closing commissaries for families, yet still spend money on an annual basis on the waste that Senator Coburn uncovered?

While I'm certain that the Pentagon Chiefs have to play up to the Obama Administration with cuts that Democrats would love to see, such as to pay and benefits of the troops, the Joint Chiefs should stop kowtowing to Obama and cut where cuts need to be cut.

They should focus on the revolving door of Officers going to work for Defense Contractors who steal, waste, American Taxpayer Dollars!

They should look at the waste and the asinine programs which we pay for.

We in turn should be charging brass in the Pentagon with Treason if in fact we find out that they cut any of the services given to our troops and yet waste BILLIONS upon BILLIONS in pet projects, silly programs, and redundant waste.

My message to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is the same one that I give to Conservatives in Congress:

Be brave and earn the rank, office, position and responsibility that you have. Show real leadership and make cuts to the waste before touching troop benefits. Quit being gutless wonders who can't stand up to anti-Military politicians in the Obama White House and Liberal politicians of either party. And please, start doing what we all should be doing -

Support The Troops Above All Else!

That's how I see it!

Tom Correa

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