in support of Sequestration

Overall, it is the “free money” policies that are bankrupting the nation, especially giving pensions and health care to folks who didn’t save for these things.  

I get it: these giveaways are here to stay.

Something like 3/4 of the entire federal budget, even though they are not included in most accounts of the totality of the federal government’s economic activities.  

We are willing, in the aggregate, to go down with this ship.

But the part of the budget that we could axe tomorrow and not suffer any adverse consequences from is the pornographic transfer of wealth to the militarization of our society.  

This is why I love Sequestration.  

It might force Doug Lamborn to defend the employment of Mercenaries.  

It might force Prez Obama to explain why he enjoys killing brown people in distant lands (what appears to be the reason for our most recent and coming wars.)

In theory, it has a remote chance of actually reducing the amounts spent on unneeded aircraft, ships, nuclear weapons in space, campaigns to force democracy on people living on top of resources we covet, &tc.  

If someone wants to suggest poll questions, I can redo this diary.  

11 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Diogenesdemar says:

    Brucian-type dodge of doing the difficult job of legislating and governing — “don’t blame us, we have to follow the prescribed formula.”

    Can’t negotiate and compromise? — across the board cuts for America.

    Can’t set priorities and budget accordingly? — across the board cuts for America.

    Can’t see past the end of your own party’s noses — across the board cuts for America.

    This is nothing but a 21st century version of the Queeen of Hearts; a proof that our politicians truly are living on the other side of the looking glass and they don’t give a damn about anyone they’re supposed to be serving.

    Mandating some cuts or reductions is one thing, but requiring that, for example, all military programs take the same across the board percentage cuts instead of letting the pentagon trim unnecessary and/or lower level priorities is beyond asinine.  The same applies to the entitlements side of this ledger.  This is stupidly stupid stupidity . . . it should not be lauded or even encouraged in the least.

    Sequestration is saying, we legislators won’t do our jobs of governing that you’re paying us to do, therefore as punishment for our intransigence and foolishness all of governance (and by that, I mean all of the people in this country) must now take a choker.

    Barron, sometimes you more than scare me . . .  

    • Barron X says:

      it punishes those very same legislators, taking payola out of their hands.  

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        innocent, those who are not the intransigent politicians, and rewards those same knuckle headed  politicians by removing their obligation to act and legislate and govern.

        Not to mention, by the way, it’s yet another — the latest in a much too long series of — hostage-taking scams . . .

        Hawks and Hypocrites

        http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11

        You people can’t tear down the country’s despised social safety net at the ballot box, (and by “you” I’m not referring specifically to an ACP that would have trouble mustering enough troops to tear down a gingerbread house,) so the next step is to let the remaining few hired beneficiaries of gerrymandering and antiquated filibuster rules be your wrecking balls.

        • Barron X says:

          I think the impact will mostly fall on the military,

          where there is no fiscal discipline.  

          Remember, DOD can’t even report to Congress how they are spending funds.  One of Rumsfeld’s top initiatives was a program to finally track how appropriated funds were used (to within $1,000,000, I believe.)

          He failed.

          Anyone here in business accounting would be fired if they couldn’t tell where their employer’s funds were going.  

          The official DoD budget is around $700 Billion, I think.  Another $500 Billion (guess) is spent on “Defense-related” stuff like nuclear weapons and CIA funding for Mercenaries in Syria.  

          We could halve that and still be quite safe.  

  2. Automaticftp says:

    There is a beautiful passage in John Keegan’s (RIP) fine book “Six Armies in Normandy” where he discusses some background as to how D-Day came to be.

    One of the best vignettes is General Joseph Stilwell’s derisive summation of the “planning” going on in the War Plans Division – in a nutshell, he says that someone should just shout “STOP!  Half of you sit still for an hour, and the other half go home.”

    That would be a good start at fixing what ails the US military.  There are far too many staff officers – too many chiefs.  All of them fighting for their own fiefdom.  It’s turned very corporate, which was inevitable to a degree, but the sheer waste of time and resources by all of them is truly remarkable.  And it’s truly scary in Afghanistan, where staffs argue  - for real – over who will sit where, and which agenda will be used.  And not infrequently.

    The problem with sequestration is that it won’t go in and send half the officers in the military home, which is what needs to happen.  

  3. Gray in Mountains says:

    is that what needs to happen with Defense is to put forward a defense budget with meaningful cuts, which will include closing some bases both domestic and foreign and vow to veto any bills which include keeping favorite  bases for legislators open. Such bill should not even postulate which bases but should look most particularly at what force we need. How many ships? airplanes? troops? What weapon systems do we need to deploy in the future? That may not mean what is the best. It may just mean what is far superlative than any likely launched against us

    • Automaticftp says:

      In my view, the military needs to do a much better job in several areas.

      First, the military should be standardizing equipment across branches.  All the services should be able to use a single type of aircraft, truck, tank, helicopter, etc., for a particular use.  For example, the CH-47 is a substantially better heavy lift helicopter than is the CH-53E – just ask the pilots.  But the Marine Corps wanted its own, and kept them despite the loss of efficiencies involved.  Ditto for uniforms – according to one report I’ve seen, the military has spent something like $6 billion dollars redoing uniforms.  A complete waste of taxpayer money.

      Second, it needs to reform contracting.  The process should be simplified and streamlined – and all the many “preferences” should be eliminated.  Contractors need to be held accountable to the contracts – cost overruns in many programs are ludicrous.  On the other hand, the military needs to reduce its love of “shiny” – namely, almost anything that is newer and “cooler.”  

      Third, it needs to reduce the logjam of staff level officers and higher level NCOs – there are simply FAR too many of them with nothing substantive to do (to say nothing of the many who have been promoted far beyond their worth).  They wind up losing sight of the overall mission – whatever it is.  

      Fourth, the services need to blend together more.  There’s been some progress, with joint commands and the like, but there’s a lot of work to do.  Further blending will increase capability, reduce cost, and increase efficiency.  The only “cost” to this would be a slight diminution in each services identity – a very small price to pay.

      In short, the military needs to be taught that a budget is a limit – not a beginning.  Hopefully sequestration won’t permit the military to keep all the people it needs to get rid of, while leaning out all the people who actually do the work.

      • Barron X says:

        Small Business Set-Aside

        Small Disadvantaged Business Price Evaluation Preference

        8(a)

        Service-Connected Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Sole Source

        HUBZone Set-aside

        Woman-Owned Small Business Goaling

        if these are the preference programs you would eliminate, I respectfully disagree.

        The way the Government works, folks at the top of executive agencies consider their positions as opportunities to exploit for personal advantage.  E.g., Generals getting jobs, post-retirement, with the contractors that they steered contracts to while in Government.  

        This is an overwhelming “Large Contractor preference program.”  

        While the actual implementation of the small biz preference programs is ripe with abuse, it’s less of a waste than the abuse in contracts with Lockheed, Chemonics and the like.  

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