Prime priorities for sequestration cuts

Spike-headshotSpring is the season for sequestration, and it’s all thanks to the forward-thinking visionaries that comprise our body politic.  Our leaders have done a remarkable job, and through the tireless endeavors of progressive liberals and stick-to-your-guns conservatives alike, they fixed the country and united a people.  If you don’t believe me, just go back and watch that Jeep ad from the super bowl: this nation is truly, “whole again.”

Yes, our politicians have doggedly ensured that years of neglect, crony-capitalism, vested lobbyism, and the inept plebeian masses have not soiled the esteemed ivory tower of the congressional-industrial complex.  Pour me another brandy Charles, this is about to get interesting.

If the sequester had not been negotiated, our country would have defaulted on our debts.  You and I know that would’ve been a nightmare.  Just picture China beating down our doors when we were at work and repossessing all of our defense and entitlement programs.  But out of the two biggest items on the U.S. debt clock, let’s focus on defense spending, because it’s impossible to touch entitlements.

A 2012 report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), determined that the Department of Defense spent nearly 48 billion dollars on counter-IED, (improvised explosive device), technologies.

Colloquially known as “roadside bombs,” IEDs are the leading cause of fatalities, and I can attest that they are not something you want to screw with.  Anything that keeps you from getting blown up is good policy… in theory.

But despite the bucket-tons of money that the DoD heaped at these threats, the programs were hastily established and seldom effective.  Each branch of the military replicates the same system independently, and by the start of 2012, there were an estimated 1,340 initiatives created.  These are redundant systems that are supposed to save lives, but don’t work. The logical thought would be to cut them, right?

Let’s look at another big ticket item: the F-35 joint strike fighter. Another GAO report, fresh off the presses, puts the price tag for this program at nearly $400 billion, and guess what?  It’s not going to be flying until 2019.  Congress has spent billions of your tax dollars on an airplane that doesn’t work.  But we’ve reached the point where we can’t cut our losses on the hunk of junk.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, (aka Filibuster Master Flash), said it best I think; “Liberals need to realize not every entitlement is sacred, Conservatives need to realize there is waste and fraud in military spending.”

But last Friday, several branches of the military announced how they plan to offset the terrible burden that the sequestration has mandated.  It’s not by cutting expensive gizmos or crap that doesn’t work.  No, the best bet that the top brass could find is to stop paying tuition assistance for our troops, “until after the fiscal situation matures,” which I interpret as, “until after the fiscal situation is a responsible grown-up.”

Kudos to our leaders for their strategic sequester dodging.  It’s nice to see that their priorities are focused on weeding out all the freeloaders and welfare queens that infest the military.

After all, the troops are supposed to be out there risking life and limb to defend apple pie, baseball, and the American way. How dare they think that they can slack off and get an education.

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