Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Freezing DOD Spending, Tuesday November 23rd

As I have been predicting, a bipartisan panel wants defense spending frozen for five years, end strength cuts of 275,000 and boost Tricare copayments.

The panel, made up of former Sen. Pete Domenici, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, and Alice Rivlin, OMB director under President Clinton, recommends killing or deferring the F-35, V-22, Virginia subs and ballistic missile defense. (Rivlin is also a member of the presidential task force on deficit reduction.) Those cuts would bring defense spending down to levels last seen during the Clinton presidency of around 3 percent of GDP. The panel argues that these cuts would still leave the United States the most powerful military in the world, one able to deploy and fight globally. My problem with that is simple. Yes, it could leave us the most powerful now but without upgrades and modernization, where will that leave us 5 years from now?

Keenly aware of the sensitivity of the proposal to make such deep and lasting defense cuts, Domenici said. “For those who ask, must the military sacrifice also, everyone must sacrifice… so that this quiet killer will not eat us alive before we have a chance to fix what is our doing.” Asked if operational costs were included in the freeze, he said they were not. However, I believe they included in their defense baseline estimate the costs of 30,000 troops forward deployed as estimated by the Congressional Budget Office.

The group that advised Domenici and Rivlin ran their personnel numbers past service force structure experts, as well as the Institute for Defense Analysis and other federal advisory groups. Their personnel estimates were based on mission analysis.

These proposals are sure to run into serious opposition once they hit the Hill. Rep. Buck McKeon, presumptive chair of the House Armed Services Committee, pledged on Monday to fight any real cuts to defense spending. And Sen. John McCain, ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, made it pretty clear he is uncomfortable with what looks the Tea Party approach to defense spending and foreign policy.

However, the fight over budget levels, which constrain what the appropriations and authorizing committees can do, will be intense when the budget committees set the limits. And the Tea Party may have strong representation on the Senate Budget Committee, where Sen.-elect Rand Paul hopes to gain a seat.
Soldiers accused of breaking into a Colorado medical marijuana dispensary and then accidentally locking themselves inside told police they planned to destroy the marijuana - not smoke or sell it. A police affidavit says two of the three Fort Carson soldiers told officers they were trying to steal the marijuana so they could get rid of it.  Police say the three were arrested Saturday on second-degree burglary charges after they accidentally locked themselves in the Colorado Springs dispensary during a burglary attempt. Officers say they were on an unrelated call at a nearby business around 2 a.m. when they heard someone banging on glass inside the dispensary.

On this day in history in 1765 People of Frederick County MD refuse to pay England's Stamp tax and in
1832 French take Antwerp in liberation of Belgium
Lighter Than Air 
A blonde is overweight so her doctor put her on a diet.
"I want you to eat regularly for two days," he tells her. "Then skip a day and repeat the procedure for two weeks. The next time I see you, you'll have lost at least five pounds."
When the blonde returns, she's lost nearly four stone. "Why that's amazing," the doctor says. "Did you follow my instructions?"
The blonde nods. "I'll tell you though, I thought I was going to drop dead that third day."
"From hunger you mean?" Asks the doctor.
"No," replies the blonde, "from skipping."

Live Long and Prosper.....

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