A shameful budget

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Navy1960, Apr 16, 2011.

  1. Navy1960
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    Navy1960 Senior Member

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    As of the end of year 2008, the average annual per beneficiary cost spending for Part D, reported by the Department of Health and Human Services, was $1,517,[18] making the total expenditures of the program for 2008 $49.3 (billions). Projected net expenditures from 2009 through 2018 are estimated to be $727.3 billion
    Medicare Part D - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    For the 2010 fiscal year, the president's base budget of the Department of Defense rose to $533.8 billion. Adding spending on "overseas contingency operations" brings the sum to $663.8 billion
    Military budget of the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    As of February 2010, around $704 billion has been spent based on estimates of current expenditure rates
    Financial cost of the Iraq War - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    With the July 27, 2010 enactment of the FY2010 Supplemental Appropriations Act (H.R. 4899/P.L.
    111-201) Congress has approved a total of $1.121 trillion for military operations, base security,
    reconstruction, foreign aid, embassy costs, and veterans’ health care for the three operations initiated
    since the 9/11 attacks: Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) Afghanistan and other counter terror
    operations; Operation Noble Eagle (ONE), providing enhanced security at military bases; and
    Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).
    http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RL33110.pdf

    Social Security currently has a $2.6 trillion surplus which has been building up since the 1983 amendments and is intended to help absorb the retirement of the baby boomers. This surplus is invested in US Treasury securities that are backed by the full faith and credit of the US government. According to the Social Security Trustees 2010 report, Social Security can pay full benefits until 2037,

    Security is paid for by the dedicated contributions of workers and their employers, has administrative costs of less than one percent, and since it cannot borrow to fund its operations, Social Security does not contribute to the deficit.
    Sen. Don Riegle: Pay Back the Money Borrowed From Social Security

    All my life I have believed that a nation is measured by the way in which it takes care of those that are unable to care for themselves. Medicare is a promise made to Seniors by our Government to its people that when the time comes they to need not worry, that the nation that they served to build upon who's shoulders we all stand will be there for them.

    Recently I have seen efforts by my party in it's new budget to tear down that promise in an effort to balance the budget. While we all wish our government to curb its spending and become more responsible, tearing apart a program that has served countless numbers of Seniors, Vets, disabled, and many others in that effort accomplishes nothing but to further create more misery. I frankly find it stunning that our nation can spend close a a Trillion dollars a year on Defense and have one of the lowest top end tax rates in many decades as well as fund many many departments that we all can agree are bloated and not needed and then use Medicare as the method by which they balance that budget. Frankly it's a shameful display of ignorance on the part of the House Republicans , in that many seem to not understand the basic concept that sending Seniors, Vets, and Disabled into the market to seek health insurance does not GIVE them insurance. In fact if I am not mistaken many will fall into a catagory of " high risk" and will be unable to afford the insurance they currently have.. How about we as a nation start to focus our efforts on our own citizens for a change.

    I spent a long career in the Navy and am grateful to my nation and it's people, however spending on Defense I will be the first to admit as become out of countrol and in many ways is done so at the expense of the very people we are defending. It's high time the DoD got it's act together and learned to spend wisely, and do with less and not short change the warfighter. Let me give you an example, in the last 10 years we as a nation have roughly doubled our expense outlays and have brought to the warfighter little if any in terms of new systems to the battlefield. It's high time the DoD was reformed once and for all and turned back into a good fighting force that is focused on defense of this nation and the needs of the warfighter and NOT the needs to the contractor.

    Though Defense has long been notorious for waste, recent government reports suggest the Pentagon's money management woes have reached astronomical proportions. A study by the Defense Department's inspector general found that the Pentagon couldn't properly account for more than a trillion dollars in monies spent. A GAO report found Defense inventory systems so lax that the U.S.

    Army lost track of 56 airplanes, 32 tanks, and 36 Javelin missile command launch-units.
    And before the Iraq war, when military leaders were scrambling to find enough chemical and biological warfare suits to protect U.S. troops, the department was caught selling these suits as surplus on the Internet "for pennies on the dollar," a GAO official said.

    Given these glaring gaps in the management of a Pentagon budget that is approaching $400 billion, the coming debate is shaping up as a bid to gain the high ground in the battle against waste, fraud and abuse
    Military waste under fire / $1 trillion missing -- Bush plan targets Pentagon accounting - SFGate

    In closing, when you focus on Medicare, on the very citizens that helped build the nation you intend to hand over to the next generation and use them as the doormat for your budget rather than really focusing on the hard work needed you have disgraced the very people who have allowed you to stand where you are.
     
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  2. kyzr
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    kyzr Gold Member

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    This is why I believe that we need another "Grace Commission" style audit of the Federal government to smoke-out all these budget issues. If the government minimized the "Waste-Fraud-Abuse" built into the system, like a top-tier Corporation would do, we could probably balance the budget.

    Get the Budget down to $2T and the Debt paid-off. Go after off-shore tax cheats, nationalize/annex whatever tax shelters we need to.
     
  3. Navy1960
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    Navy1960 Senior Member

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    This sort of reminds me of something I heard the other day, when asked why the DoD could not face an audit the response was, that they were "TO BIG" to audit. For some strange reason this sounded all to familier. As I tried to say in my thread post, I am in full support of a strong military but over the years have seen it become taken over by contractors more so than by the needs of the military and this is the reason why you see spending gone out of control with little results. Take for example the F-35 program and how long it has been in development. It has gone from a replacement for the F-16, etc etc. to a cash cow, with overruns after overruns. This is but a small example, of and endless number of programs. It just seems a shame to me that a budget would even remotely pretend to take away Medicare from people and at the same time DO nothing to address this and in fact enhance it and also seek to reduce revenue.
     
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  4. kyzr
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    kyzr Gold Member

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    The general rule for major audits is that the auditor contracts to pay for his audit with real cost-savings. (i.e. zero net cost for the audit) Then those savings multiply.

    The Osprey program was thought to be a scam, but they eventually succeeded in making it a super asset. Some losing projects need to be cut, and others continued because they are so valuable.

    I'm hoping that Congress will learn how to compromise. We need to cut spending, and whichever party is in-power always resists cuts?! As long as the MSM shines spotlights on the Budget so we know what is being done, the voters will know what to do.
     
  5. Navy1960
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    Navy1960 Senior Member

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    I all for audits, and could not agree with you more, have been a big fan of "fixed cost:, "time limited" contracting, but then again that sort of contracting is from another era I suppose. These days it seems that Boeing, Lockheed Martin, etc. tell the DoD what they will and won't do. I know for a fact the DoD would not want me on the F-35 program that program would have been given the "fish or cut bait" order a long long time ago. While some of these are good systems for the war-fighter, eventually like the V-22, the issue I don't believe is with the systems themselves, but rather the structure that allows purchasing to turn into a cash cow and let the warfighter wait until the need becomes super critical. I always like to cite the example of the F-35 because the DoD was talked into this aircraft by Lockheed Martin in 1996 and here we are in 2011 and not one aircraft has been delivered to the warfighter. In that time follow on generations of the F-16IN and the f-15 Silent eagle that in not only out-perform the F-35 but in some cases exceed it at less expense have come on the scene for export to other nations. We still pump money into a program that has yet to deliver an aircraft to the Navy or the USMC.

    In January 2011 Defense Secretary Robert Gates expressed the Pentagon's frustration with the skyrocketing costs of the F-35 program when he said "The culture of endless money that has taken hold must be replaced by a culture of restraint."

    So I am in complete agreement with an "audit" however, once those results are found, then "action" must be taken.
     
  6. kyzr
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    kyzr Gold Member

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    Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I always thought that the F-35 was supposed to be a ground support aircraft?! Not a top fighter, like the F-22?! I luv when the F-22 pilots say that air-to-air combat has become like clubbing baby seals.

    IMHO the less new stuff we develop, the less our "allies" can steal and sell to our enemies. Like I said, we need a top-line auditor to assess the system and make recommendations how to save money and protect our investments in technology.
     
  7. Doc Jerry
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    Doc Jerry Rookie

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    Agreed, shameful it is.
     
  8. Navy1960
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    Navy1960 Senior Member

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    My all time favorite quote on the F-35, the real story behind it came from a exercise held in Hawaii for the USAF, and the RAAF against computer sims of SU-35's, and many other front line Russian and Chinese 4th Gen. Fighters. The saying came from an Aus. polotician who was asked by the press what he thought of the F-35's performance against the SU-35's his repsonse was that the F-35's wer clubbed like baby seals when matched against the SU-35's and other Russian 4th gen. fighters.


    A U.S. air-warfare simulation pitting F-35 Joint Strike Fighters versus the latest Russian Su-35 heavy fighters resulted in a clear victory … for the Russians. "The JSF had been clubbed like baby seals by the simulated Sukhois," one Australian opposition politician said, quoting a source close to the simulation.

    Joint Strike Fighters ‘Clubbed’ in Computer War Game | Danger Room | Wired.com

    In my humble opinion we need to develop aircraft in a timely manner that are not only ontime, but also deliever "AS PROMISED" and if they do not have the courage to cancel the contract and not keep extending it to make it into a ATM machine for Defense contractors. An audit will go a long way in accomplising this, however it should be noted that in order for an audit to work the recommendations of the auditors needs to be carried through.
     
  9. kyzr
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    kyzr Gold Member

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    The problem in enforcing "as promised" contracts is that you can't foresee how the state-of-the-art will unfold. Develop a fighter with stealth capability and a new arsenal of air-to-air weaponry, that takes time.
    Look at "star wars" as another example. Some systems will take longer, than developing a new aircraft carrier as an example. The carrier has technical problems, but they are more mundane than some of the new hi-tech weaponry systems.
    As for the simulated F-35 v Sukohis, not a fair fight. It should be the F-22 v Sukhoi (Su-35)
    Sukhoi Su-35 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Anyway, IMHO no one is banking on the F-35 to be the air-superiority fighter of the future.
    Its listed as ground attack / recon.
    Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  10. Navy1960
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    Navy1960 Senior Member

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    F-22 vs. Su-35 my friend would be no contest in my opinion but then again I tend to be somewhat more of a fan of the F-22 for many reasons. However, I do believe the all the eggs in one basket approach DoD is taking with the F-35 may result with more than a little egg on the face. I am not advocating limiting contracting to where there is no room for development. however, at some point there has to be some reasoning put into the formula that will result these systems being delivered on time and on budget to the warfighter.
     

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