T Nation

YouCut

[quote]IrishSteel wrote:

[quote]K2000 wrote:
Fair enough, as long as you realize that these cuts you want won’t be the big changes in the budget that you’re looking for, but these agencies do contribute a lot to Americans’ quality of life - at least that is the concept. I can’t defend or even discuss these agencies in-depth, but it’s a safe guess that every single one was launched to address a perceived public need.

The elephant in the room that conservatives usually won’t address is the bloated military budget. If you’re serious about the budget, then you have to talk about military spending too. For example, the pentagon can’t account for trillions of dollars in their budget. We spend billions on outdated weapons, and on developing weapons that don’t work as they are claimed, and runaway cost overruns. I guess Libertarians are willing to discuss military waste but many of their other positions are ludicrous and they’re a fringe movement. “Republicans” are generally willing to give military spending a pass (those who even admit it exists.)[/quote]

LOL - by the time I would be done cutting out federal agencies and departments on the first pass through, the fed budget would have been reduced by more than 50% . . . Then we would get on to a flat or consumption based tax system with locked amounts and split percentages (local/state/fed) . . .

I am never willing to give the military a pass. My solution for the military budget is quite simple. The Military gets a flat 15% of the federal budget (regardles of revenue totals) - this would be a locked percentage and each service branch would get an allotted percentage of that locked percentage. A large part of the waste in the military budget is caused by the same budget mess that infects the entire federal system. In order to qualify for your budget you have to spend all of the previous years allottment - this leads to fuel fly-offs and all sorts of wasteful uses of resources. Instead the military is allocated a set percentage of rvenue - the branches can save, spend and invest as they seem fit while still giving an account to the Congress who has the authority to penalize a branch for waste/fraud or abuse of funds. Imagine a military unit that can actually save funds for emergencies!

The amount they receive will rise and fall with the economy, and they will have to spend wisely on the lean years and invest wisely in fat years.

In addition, each branch can invest in its black operations and actually be able to give an account for that budget, because it is their choice on where to spend their budget rather than reorting to tricks and gimmicks to fund vital programs that would never pass a congressional budget review due to the sensitive/dark nature of the project or operation, they can simple state - that of the 6% of the DOD budget allocated to our service branch, we are allocating 5% to black book operations. End of story.

The other reform needed by the DOD besides budget reform is the contract/bidding process. I am no expert on this process, but even a casual observer can see that politics plays too much of a role in a process that should be based entirely on direct RFP’s, a clean bidding process and and contracts awarded based on cost, production capability, budget controls and penalties for delays/overruns (such as loss of bidding rights for 12/24 months).

Your oversimplifications of Republican attitudes about the military are off base (see what i did there?) Desire to have a strong military coupled with a screwed up budgeting and contracting processes leads to all sorts of discontent and disatisfaction with the whole system - but we are not willing to merely sacrifice security for nothing gained. [/quote]

These are interesting ideas. How will you deal politically with the inevitable: [i]“How can you, Congressman Irishsteel, possibly be refusing to fund the troops at this critical juncture? Yes, the economy is down, but we have two wars. Do you actually want troops to die? To declare that these rates are permanent despite the obvious need!!!.. you must support terrorism!!!”

[quote]Gambit_Lost wrote:
[These are interesting ideas. How will you deal politically with the inevitable: [i]“How can you, Congressman Irishsteel, possibly be refusing to fund the troops at this critical juncture? Yes, the economy is down, but we have two wars. Do you actually want troops to die? To declare that these rates are permanent despite the obvious need!!!.. you must support terrorism!!!”
[/quote]

Well, personally, I’d simply tell Obama that he’s wrong. Troops won’t be dieing in those wars, because I’m bringing them home immediately.

[quote]Gambit_Lost wrote:
These are interesting ideas. How will you deal politically with the inevitable: [i]“How can you, Congressman Irishsteel, possibly be refusing to fund the troops at this critical juncture? Yes, the economy is down, but we have two wars. Do you actually want troops to die? To declare that these rates are permanent despite the obvious need!!!.. you must support terrorism!!!”
[/quote]

You’ve got the picture wrong - the DOD (I would rename it the Department of War, btw) is responsible for maintaining the fighting capabilities of it’s units - Since congress is the only authority that can declare a state of war - that declaration requires the Congress to also fund the war (this means direct war-related costs such fuel, replacing munitions used and equipment lost and damaged and medical care for wounded) - the military was eating and drinking and wearing uniforms and training prior to the declaration of war and those types of base operations are still the responsibility of the DOD.

This has a double effect - Congress owns any act of war it approves and they must allocate the appropriate reources to engage in a war. Secondly, the military is free to prepare and train the best fighting force it can - ready for use by the nation when needed.

It also means that a declaration of war must be seen by the nation as a true drain on available resources that would have been used for other purposes - this results in meaningful dialogue about the actual declaration of war - is it right, is it feaible, are we willing to sacrifice other things to pursue victory in this cause . . . and once the nation agrees, the best trained, best equipped soldiers in the world are available, ready and willing to sacrifice for their nation, knowing that their nation is truy behind them 100%.

[quote]IrishSteel wrote:

[quote]Gambit_Lost wrote:
These are interesting ideas. How will you deal politically with the inevitable: [i]“How can you, Congressman Irishsteel, possibly be refusing to fund the troops at this critical juncture? Yes, the economy is down, but we have two wars. Do you actually want troops to die? To declare that these rates are permanent despite the obvious need!!!.. you must support terrorism!!!”
[/quote]

You’ve got the picture wrong - the DOD (I would rename it the Department of War, btw) is responsible for maintaining the fighting capabilities of it’s units - Since congress is the only authority that can declare a state of war - that declaration requires the Congress to also fund the war (this means direct war-related costs such fuel, replacing munitions used and equipment lost and damaged and medical care for wounded) - the military was eating and drinking and wearing uniforms and training prior to the declaration of war and those types of base operations are still the responsibility of the DOD.

This has a double effect - Congress owns any act of war it approves and they must allocate the appropriate reources to engage in a war. Secondly, the military is free to prepare and train the best fighting force it can - ready for use by the nation when needed.

It also means that a declaration of war must be seen by the nation as a true drain on available resources that would have been used for other purposes - this results in meaningful dialogue about the actual declaration of war - is it right, is it feaible, are we willing to sacrifice other things to pursue victory in this cause . . . and once the nation agrees, the best trained, best equipped soldiers in the world are available, ready and willing to sacrifice for their nation, knowing that their nation is truy behind them 100%.[/quote]

This is a nice dream.

Not a dream - just a logical response to the questions and the accusation that Republicans are afraid of cutting the military budget. Very feasible actions IMO

[quote]IrishSteel wrote:
Not a dream - just a logical response to the questions and the accusation that Republicans are afraid of cutting the military budget. Very feasible actions IMO[/quote]

Don’t get me wrong, it sounds like an interesting idea. However, I’m not sure how you would achieve it, politically speaking.

This weeks vote…

Refocus National Archives Activities On Preserving Federal Records
$10 million in Savings in the First Year
($100 Million Over Ten Years)

Reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
Savings estimated at $30 billion.

Terminate Broadcasting Facility Grant Programs that Have Completed their Mission
$25 million in Savings in the First Year
($250 million Over Ten Years)

Reduce Spending on Non-Essential and Questionable Research
$3.8 Million in Savings in the First Year

Consolidate and Reduce Funding for Federal Advisory Committees
$34 million in Savings in the First Year
($170 Million Over Five Years)