January 26th, 2012
02:14 PM ET

Budgeting for a new military vision

By CNN's Larry Shaughnessy

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta unveiled details of a budget plan that slices half a trillion dollars in spending increases over the next 10 years and serves as a blueprint for the administration's vision of how America's military needs to change.

The savings would begin in October, the start of fiscal year 2013.

Panetta, speaking Thursday at the Pentagon, said he will request a total budget that is $33 billion smaller than the current one. All told, his plan meets Congress's mandate to reduce Pentagon spending by $487 billion in the next 10 years.

To accomplish that, Panetta said, a new strategy was developed for the military force of the future: "The military will be smaller and leaner, but it will be agile, flexible, rapidly deployable and technologically advanced. It will be a cutting-edge force."

For example, he said, the Army will save money by pulling two of its four brigades out of permanent bases in Europe to bases in the United States. But at the same time, the Army will increase rotational deployments to bases so more units will have an opportunity to train with NATO allies.

The Navy will be getting rid of older ships that don't have the latest ballistic missile defense but it will be buying new ones that will have that capability.

And this new budget may be critical for what it doesn't cut, things like spending on Special Operations forces, like the Navy SEALs who killed Osama bin Laden, as well as overall numbers of unmanned aerial vehicles like the Predator, which have been so valuable in Iraq and Afghanistan. This plan calls for more total spending on those capabilities.

If approved by Congress, the savings next year and the following nine years would be achieved by moves including trimming the numbers of troops in the Army and Marine Corps and retiring nearly a dozen older Navy ships and six Air Force tactical squadrons, as well as smaller pay raises for troops beginning in 2015.

The Army's cost savings will come from reducing the "end strength," the total number of active-duty soldiers. There are currently 556,000 soldiers in the Army, but Panetta would reduce that number to 490,000.

A similar move is being planned for the Marines, which would drop to 182,000 from the current level of 200,000 active duty Marines. Both the Army and Marine end strengths would be slightly higher than they were just prior to 9/11.

"They will be fundamentally reshaped by a decade of war - far more lethal, battle-hardened and ready," Panetta said.

Because there will be fewer soldiers and Marines to support, the Air Force is being asked to reduce its airlift fleet. The budget also calls for a reduction of six tactical air squadrons as well as one training squadron. Panetta insists "none of that will impact our ability to dominate the skies."

The Navy has perhaps the most difficult duty. Panetta and President Obama have both repeatedly said the United States remains committed to the Asia/Pacific region, which the Pentagon now supports largely through the 7th Fleet.

But the budget calls for retiring seven old cruisers and two small amphibious ships. The Navy will also delay buying a dozen new ships by a year or more to save money in the short term.

Panetta just last week announced the department's commitment to the newest generation jet fighter, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which is being built for the Air Force, Navy and Marines. But Thursday he said, "in this budget, what we've done is slowed the procurement to be able to complete more testing and allow for developmental changes before we buy in significant quantities. We want to make sure before we go into full production that we are ready."

The portion of the outline that may trigger the most opposition is a plan aimed at troops' salaries and retired troops' health benefits. Panetta promised full pay raises for fiscal 2013 and 2014, but he said, "in order to achieve cost savings we will provide more limited pay raises beginning in 2015."

As for health care, he plans no changes for active-duty troops and their families but, Panetta said, it was decided that "to help control the growth of health care costs, which is now almost $50 billion in this department, we are recommending increases in health care fees, copays and deductibles for retirees,"

"But let me be clear that even after these increases, the costs borne by military retirees will remain below levels in most comparable private sector plans, as they should be," he said.

Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made clear Thursday that he supports the plan laid out by Panetta, but admitted it does contain risks. "The primary risks lie not in what we can do, but in how much we can do and how fast we can do it," Dempsey said. "I am convinced we can properly manage them."

Of course, this is all a proposal that must go through Congress. Panetta admitted that getting Capitol Hill to buy into the plan won't be easy. "This is gonna be tough. This is a tough challenge," Panetta said. "It's very easy to talk about deficit reduction. It's very tough to do something that in fact reduces the deficit."

He said he hopes Congress does agree to these changes. "It's also an opportunity for members to show the kind of leadership that the country expects of them when it comes to dealing with this challenge."

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Filed under: 9/11 • Afghanistan • Air Force • Army • Budget • Defense Spending • Dempsey • drones • Iraq • Marines • Military • Military life • Navy • Panetta
soundoff (1,039 Responses)
  1. ReshaRee

    It's easy for anyone whose family has not served a day in the military to agree with these stipulations. The military is constantly cutting corners wherever they can. They even raise fees on my retired mother- in laws healthcare. 23 years of service to the army for what?? To pay for healthcare, of issues she endured while serving a country of ungreatful people. Then my favorite is how they are now sending people home like my husband whom struggle with PTSD but yet do not want to deal with it adequetly; they still want to claim it is not a actual disorder. I wish all of congress and the president would actually go in combat for a month and see what our armed service men and woman actually deal with on a day to day basis...I can gurantee that it will never happen though.

    January 26, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Reply
    • Michaelwg

      i've served and I agree. And for every guy not dealing with his PTSD, there is some jackass who sat in an office his whole deployment who is milking it for all he's worth.

      January 26, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Reply
      • Jim

        A little uncalled for. If they were all combat troops who would do the rest of the work? I respect every compat troop for the hell they have to deal with but calling the non-combat rolls jackasses is a bit much don't you think?

        January 26, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
  2. experiencehe

    what's this publicar crap cnn? YOU ARE IN THE FN U.S.A. jerks!!! submit would be nice...may have to go to fox for that...btw you cnn brainwashed twits... if you ever see their broadcasts overseas, you will be embarassed to have ever even visited their site(s). OBAMANOS!!!
    "Socialism is just the bait for communism."
    RAL 99

    January 26, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Reply
    • Dey took err jerrrbs!

      And yet you managed to figure it out. Don't be such a whining coño.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Reply
  3. Haywood Jablome

    I have poopy undies.

    January 26, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Reply
    • experiencehe

      CNN does that to me too...back to real news FOX!!! no wonder they kick the crap out of this socialists' RAG!!!
      OBAMANOS!!!

      January 26, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Reply
  4. Marek Boudain

    Visions of my bottoms. They can't say "We are broke, we can't continue this way". Lies, lies, and more lies from the government. NASA, Pentagon, everything goes down. Another lie yesterday was "The US economy needs 3 more years to recover". Recover my arse, they are only delaying the obvious outcome, US is as bankrupt as Greece. Greeks thought they were doing well until the last minute, Americans are much more capable of postponing the collapse, the future generations will suffer the consequences of the actions of those that don't face them today.

    January 26, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Reply
    • Dan, TX

      Actually, the Simpson-Bowles plan lays out how to balance the budget and pay off the debt. It's just that republicans and democrats generally don't believe we are in bad shape at all. I guess they still believe Dick Cheney's assertion that "Ronald Reagan proved deficits don't matter". With establishment republicans like that, how do you expect to move faster. Aren't you curious as to why the stock market is doing so well when we are about to go to hell in a handbasket? Maybe the long-term outlook is better than you think.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Reply
  5. M. Smith

    If the administration really wants to save some additional billions in taxpayer funds then it ought to take a close look at the preposterously high tax free monthly so-called 'housing' allowances that are handed out in the all volunteer military.

    How it is even possible that two O-6s with a kid stationed in the San Francisco Bay area are being handed over $7,500 per month tax free for their surmised (obvious multi-million dollar residence) housing needs? It's an outrage, and especially so when this 3-person 25-year in the service family is already being handed cumulatively over $280k per year in base pays alone (not including the other plethora of pays and tax free allowances).

    And the same goes for a single, very early twenty something E-5 sailor or airman stationed in Honolulu or a host of other warm and welcoming climes. S/he gets handed almost $2-3 per month tax free for his/her 'housing' needs instead of being expected to live on his ship or in her barracks.

    Is this a joke. No it is no joke, other than on the U.S. taxpayer. The taxpayer is LITERALLY paying for this fellow's oceanfront Waikiki Beach and/or Key West and/or La Jolla condo. And imagine if two single members pool their housing allowances and become roommates. Now the taxpayer is paying $4-6k, per month tax free (in addtion to thei base pays and a host of there pays and allowances) so two single never-saw-a-moneht-of-combat desk-based volunteers with HS diplomas or GEDs are able to live the life of vastly premature affluence on the tony shores of Waikiki Beach or perhaps the North Shore or La Jolla ALL ON THE BACKS OF THE TAXPAYERS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA! .

    It is far past time that this waste and utter nonsense is stopped!

    All coming from an honorabely dischagered vet (Navy: 1976-1981) and a prior Section Chief in the IRS's CFO Office.

    January 26, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Reply
    • FauxNews

      You should be a recruiter, lol.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Reply
    • Dan, TX

      Why shouldn't the military personnel be treated as well as congressmen?

      January 26, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Reply
    • HRpufnstuf

      You make it sound like military members are swimming in money. They deserve every penny they get for all the bs they put up with. Stop whining about what servicemembers make. There are millions of Americans that WON'T take the oath like WE did. I am retired U.S. Army E7.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Reply
    • Kim

      Very good points. Makes me wish we had some kind of citizen review board for military spending. My son is career Army, currently stationed in German and just spent 6 mos deployed to Djibouti Africa (??) and my son in law is an AWAC pilot. While I am an Obama supporter I must say Ron Paul makes some interesting points about why we continue to staff our European military forces as if the Russians are going to invade Poland any second. Of course, if we pulled a lot of our troops out of Germany then the economy there would REALLY tank. Perhaps that is an unspoken consideration for troop strengths as they are in Europe (as well as around the world).....doesn't make much sense.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Reply
    • D. Miller

      You are a troll and full of exaggeration and false statements.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Reply
    • J

      Well put, hit it on the nose. Also coming from a Army Veteran.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Reply
    • Frank

      I question the validity of your statements. Not sure where you are coming up with many of those numbers, but I think you are way off base there!

      January 26, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Reply
    • Michaelwg

      man Oh man, and I got the Asbestos Barracks in the rainiest part of the continental U.S. Inequality I say!

      January 26, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Reply
  6. jeffrey

    Once again they are trying to fck us retiree's!!! I served 28 years and retired to what was "lifetime healthcare" now I keep paying higher and higher costs for injuries I suffered defending this great nation. Maybe our so called leaders should cut their healthcare and retirement accounts.

    January 26, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Reply
    • M. Smith

      So what, Mr. Self-Righteous volunteer from in the 80s who joined up from most like a rural smnall town with a HS diploma in hand (equals minimum or near minimum wage earning capacity – so run off to the mil as a support staffer and not as a Marine or Army Infantry) precisely did you do in the military? And please cite how any combat action or combat infantry badges did you earn? And how about purple hearts? My money is nara a one of either variety. But please prove me wrong. My money, as a vet, iis that for your last 20+ years you sat behind a series of desks (for the most part).

      The sense of entitlement is choking with far too many prior (and now retired) preudo desk clerks that joined the mil and then opted to stay in until retirment principally because they were too afraid to get out and even try to make it in the real world. Buyt what do I know, right?

      January 26, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Reply
      • Darrel - Retired USMC

        The problem with your assertions is that they are 'entitlements'. Nope, they were supposedly ironclad, guaranteed promises. And besides, even if he was a remington raider, at least he still served honorably.

        January 26, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  7. jack

    How does getting rid of older ships that don't have the latest ballistic missile defense but buying new ones that will have that capability.

    January 26, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Reply
  8. Mike and Cindy

    Increase to retirees?? H-LL NO! We paid for our benefits as few as they are now. Every year the retirees lose more and more of their benefits. It is to the point now that if you plan on going into the military for the benefits...you need to understand..there are practically no benefits any more. HOWEVER, to ask the retirees to make up this debt or ask that the active military take smaller pay increases is STUPID!! The military did not cause this debt yet the military is suppose to pay for it. We pay everyday with our lives!! I SUGGEST THAT EVERY CONGRESSMAN AND SENATOR ALL THE WAY UP TO OBAMA TAKE A PAY CUT!!! They do not have to worry about their family having enough to eat while being deployed! Let them pay for this debt they created!!

    January 26, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Reply
  9. larry5

    This is why Obama appointed Panetta. He knows nothing about the military and is completely faithful to Obama. Obama is good at this and when you hear Panetta speak you can't even see Obama's lips move. Panetta is destroying the military and taking away its ability to protect us. Obama believes that by being nice and bowing to other leaders that peace can be achieved. That has never, in the history of the world ever worked. Obama is setting the stage for war and if he is re-elected he'll get the private security force to, in his words meet his national security goals and with his one world government ideas and open borders he'll be setting the stage for a global disaster.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Reply
    • Mike and Cindy

      YES, I totally agree!! Panetta = Obama puppet. Neither know NOTHING of the military period.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Reply
      • paol

        At least Obama knows how to speak English unlike you.

        January 26, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • paol

      What on earth are you smoking?

      January 26, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Reply
      • Mike and Cindy

        Sorry paol, We can't afford to "Smoke".....we are in the US Military.

        January 26, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
      • Mike and Cindy

        English? Really PAOL?

        January 26, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • Brian

      Wow. What a simple assessment.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Reply
    • Dan, TX

      I completely disagree with your comment. I believe you are incorrect. You gave no examples. Go look for some examples and critically evaluate all aspects of the example you choose before posting. I think you'll agree that Obama has been pretty much on the same wavelength as conservatives like Jon Huntsman on foreign policy.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Reply
    • Dave San Diego

      Obviously you are Anti-Obama and/or cannot read as well. Panneta is proposing cuts that ARE MANDATED by congress. He is prosposing specific ideas to meet the mandate of Congress. Get a grip!

      January 26, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Reply
    • Katrushka

      Also, it's not true that Panetta knows nothing about the military. He served two years in the army with military intelligence. You may argue that that's not a lot of service, and you'd be right, but Panetta's not an idiot.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Reply
      • Michaelwg

        In fact, serving only 2 years PROVES he's not an idiot.

        January 26, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Michaelwg

      Nothing you said, makes any sense, whatsoever. None. Take your irrational fear mongering over to fox news.

      January 26, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Reply
    • David Liao

      If you had bothered to read the article, you'd notice that this is following the blueprint of Robert Gates and to a lesser extent, Donald Rumsfeld, who all wanted to trim the overhead of the Armed Forces.

      January 26, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Reply
  10. jimmer

    you don't have to read past the first sentence............there are no cuts.......just a reduction of the INCREASE.

    Ron Paul....we need you now more than ever.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Reply
    • Mike

      Totally agree. And by talking in 10 year cuts, the number sounds bigger than it is. It's really cutting "increases" by 48 billion a year. Not at all going to make a dent and it's insulting to our intelligence.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Reply
  11. alfranken

    Sounds like the beginning of Ron Paul's foreign policy/military spending to me. The short cut to responsible governing would be electing Paul 2012!

    January 26, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Reply
  12. dreamer96

    In the future every one soldier, will have 4 robots to work with them, to take the chances for them..

    January 26, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Reply
  13. Ed Sr of Dallas Tx

    Don't cut the military personnel....cut some of the super duper weapons and nuclear armament and drones and crap like that and save even more!

    January 26, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Reply
    • alfranken

      Let me guess, you are sitting behind a desk at some military base surfing the web while waiting for your 20 year retirement.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Reply
    • columbus

      Sorry pop, that's old school soldier thinking, today we send in machines and keep highly trained personnel out of harms way as much as we can.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Reply
    • Michaelwg

      Drones just break. People die. Drones FTW

      January 26, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Reply
  14. Frank

    Should there be an optimization of the Armed Services? Absolutely. But it should come from the top down, not the bottom up.

    There is so much waste it is hardly fathomable by most people, and remember folks we are not talking about thousands of dollars, or hundreds of thousands of dollars, or even for that matter just a few million dollars. We are instead talking hundreds of millions of dollars, into the billions of dollars retrospectively.

    What really peeves me is when we have congressmen and senators that not only receive a lifetimes worth of pay, but also all the special "perks", free this and free that, health care, etc..... and then you have the average Armed Services Member that earns such a small amount of money. But yet, they are the ones that are literally putting themselves actively in harms way, to safeguard our way of life. They are the ones that are making sure that this that or the other fat cat on the hill can sleep well at night knowing that they are safe, and making lots and lots of money.

    It is not right that these fat cats get to mooch off of the American Public, and roll in the dough. Enough is enough. Strip their pay to a bare bones minimum, strip away all of the "perks' they get, and the special interest money that is thrown at them. And in return, cycle into the pay of our fighting soldiers. Give our soldiers better pay, and better benefits for themselves and their families.

    I truly wonder what would happen if we put into place strict term limits, and earnings caps, no more special interest dollars etc... Actually made the earnings equal out to maybe 20% more than the average salary for a worker in that particular representatives state that they hail from.

    I can almost assuredly tell you that we would have far less people being enthusiastic about "serving the people". Their true colors, the color of greed, would show through. Because now instead of lining their pockets, they would be living a simple life style, and they would be forced to actually think about the best thing for their constituents and the American public, versus how they are going to make their checking account fatter.

    So lets start from the top down, and get rid of all of this ridiculous spending and waste. And you know what? I don't care about having to hide that we have "black ops" that we have to run to protect our country. I am not saying don't spend the money, spend it. We have to do certain things to protect our country, and we can't divulge the details of those operations. But for goodness sake, lets not just make up stuff, like we paid $500 for a hammer. Just put it as a "black op" budget expense, with no details about vendors, etc... that could compromise the operation. But be honest in regards to the reporting of all of the other expenditures. That way we truly can find the waste, and end it, because anyone that says there is no significant amount of waste in regards to our procurement of military goods and supplies, is just blissful at best and ignorant at worst.

    Taking care of our veterans should be TOP priority. These are the folks that have put their butts on the line for us day in and day out. These are the folks that run towards danger, not away from it. And they do it for all of the rest of us who enjoy the peace and security that is something that we have all become so accustomed to.

    And guess what? Cutting those benefits and coverage's is NOT the way we should be taking care of the issues at hand. Taking care of our troops and their physical and mental needs MUST be of paramount concern to us. We do owe them a little bit more that just the average Joe Blow. And to tell them we are cutting their benefits in one or more ways, when those benefits are already insufficient as well as problematic to begin with, is just not right!

    I challenge the congress and senate to do what is right. I challenge them to make a stand, and say "hey, ya know what, I earn more than I really need to. I could live a bit more simply in life. Take xxxx dollars and put it back into the programs for our vets". It may not make much of a difference in the short term, but it sure would show our troops they really do care about their sacrifices. And lets face it, any difference in the positive for our troops is a good thing, no matter how small. But for the love of God, lets not continue to slip backwards in what we owe them!

    Top down folks, top down!

    January 26, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Reply
  15. Scott

    "Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta unveiled details of a budget plan that slices half a trillion dollars in spending increases over the next 10 years and serves as blueprint for the administration's vision of how America's military needs"

    ...meaning they aren't cuts at all.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Reply
  16. John

    That the Trouble right there ,you are asking this Republican Control congress know has the Do NOTHING CONGRESS to a prove this. It don't weaken are military and at the same time save over 600 Billion. No they won't a prove that because It make since.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Reply
    • Tim

      John,

      Regarding the do-nothing congress you mentioned – Democrats control the senate by a very slim margin. There is enough credit for each party. This is certainly a do-nothing congress. Unless it has been to bailout wall street.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Reply
    • Me

      May I give you some advice? It woudl help your argument if you knew how to spell. Nobody will take you seriously if you can't spell basic words.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Reply
  17. LWZRGHT

    Pull ALL troops out of permanent assignment to Europe. There's nothing happening there. Das Kold Var ist ober.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Reply
  18. Lee Van Cleef

    Love the mental midget comments whining about Obama making the US weak. it's called reading and comprehension kids! the plan is to cut troop numbers down to levels slightly more than pre 9-11. how many people out there would think that our response to 9-11 was weak with a military that had less in numbers than what is being proposed?

    second, outdated vehicles are going to be moth balled and replaced. it's not only cheaper, but it modernizes the military of the future.

    third, this is a plan that is to be executed over the course of 10 years. it isn't happening over night. people that would rather have our young men and women dilly dallying endlessly over in the Middle East with no mission objective are out of their minds. i bet that a majority of our service members would also share that sentiment.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Reply
  19. SeeThruIt2

    Our airlift and sealift capacity isn't determined by the size of the entire Army. It's determined by how much lift you need when an Army division or corp needs to be moved, and how fast they need to get there.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Reply
  20. Chad

    So cut the military and give more food stamps, welfare checks and aid to the poor... hmmmm, doesn't make a lick of sense. I agree with scaling back the military a bit but lets also make some much needed changes to the welfare system. I use to bag groceries and it always pissed me off to bag someone's stuff that paid with food stamps and walk it out to a brand new car...

    January 26, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Reply
    • Luigi

      Since the GOP congress passed and Clinton signed the TANF bill in 1996, the sort of behavior you are complaining about isn't under the domain of the federal government. Look to your own state legislature for reform in this area. (Be angry but be angry at the right people.)

      January 26, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Reply
    • alfranken

      Or how about spending billions putting Iraqi's to work improving their infrastructure bag boy! Wouldn't you at least like to keep your job at the grocery store? You would be on food stamps too. Or maybe you can move to Iraq and get a job there bagging groceries cuz people have a job there.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Reply
      • THE TRUTH

        ALFRAKEN the government those not supply jobs in Iraq it’s the private contractors that do. Just like corporations here, they try to find the cheapest labor, it just so happens that they are the locals. So your statement is incorrect how about you get your facts straight.

        January 26, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
      • Chad

        I wear my uniform with respect and dignity. I have a degree and job skills to leave the military and get a job on the outside but I care about my country enough to serve. Join up and spend a day in Iraq and see what you say then. But no you don't sign up, you just put the military down for the great things we do at the drop of a hat...

        January 26, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
      • SeeThruIt2

        After WWI, the U.S. pulled all troops out of Europe. We were back there fighting about 20 years later.

        At the end of WWII, they had the bright idea of helping to rebuild Europe and kept troops there. But, we did pull our troops out of China, Korea, and Vietnam after WWII. We haven't had another war in Western Europe since WWII. But, a few years later, we were back in Korea.

        January 26, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Tired

      Wasn't that part of the bargain? If the so-called super-committee failed to come up with cuts, that military spending and social programs were to be looked at. Do welfare and unemployment fall under the social program aspects? And if so, when do the projected cuts come for them. I understand there are those that need those programs, but I get tired of seeing some of my neighbors that are on some of those programs scamming them and sitting on their butts waiting for their check to come in and have it spent usually on drugs/alcohol by the time the weekend is over.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Reply
    • Mike and Cindy

      FYI....ther is a sign at the front of all military commissaries that state "WE ACCEPT FOOD STAMPS" and its been there for the past 2 years. That alone should tell you something (are you listening Panetta/Obama?)

      January 26, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Reply
      • Chad

        @Mike and Cindy
        There isn't one person that is enlisted that qualifies for food stamps. the signs you speaks of are for civilians that are allowed on based and able to shop...

        January 26, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • JustinTN

      Welfare rolls in 1994 were 14 million. In 2009 they were 4 million...not quite the spike that you would make it seem.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Reply
      • Chad

        More than 40 million people get food stamps, an increase of nearly 50% during the economic downturn, according to government data through May. The program has grown steadily for three years.

        Close to 10 million receive unemployment insurance, nearly four times the number from 2007.

        More than 4.4 million people are on welfare, an 18% increase during the recession.

        As caseloads for all the programs have soared, so have costs. The federal price tag for Medicaid has jumped 36% in two years, to $273 billion. Jobless benefits have soared from $43 billion to $160 billion. The food stamps program has risen 80%, to $70 billion. Welfare is up 24%, to $22 billion. Taken together, they cost more than Medicare.

        January 26, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • experiencehe

      AMEN CHAD!!! start by drug testing all on welfare!!! OBAMANOS!!!

      January 26, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Reply
  21. LWZRGHT

    Another idea. If we're sending troops to Europe on non-critical assignments, put them on commercial flights that have empty seats. Negotiate with the airlines to fill those seats for a reduced price. No reason for troop transport planes to be flying overseas to Europe, which is perfectly capable of defending itself.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Reply
    • SeeThruIt2

      We don't have troops in other countries to keep bad guys out. What would have happened if we removed all U.S. troops from Germany, Italy, Japan, and Korea right after WWII and the Korea War? What happened after we removed our troops from Vietnam in 1973?

      We have troops there to keep those countries friendly toward the U.S.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Reply
  22. EndWarNow

    Cuts to "future increases" is nothing but smoke and mirrors. Stop nation building. Stop bolstering the economies of doezens of countries around the world with thousands of troops.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Reply
    • S

      Just.....no.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Reply
    • massbytes

      Agree with EndWarNow and a half-trillion cuts in ten years. That is 50 billion a year against our current 1600 billion per year deficit. Big whoop. How delusional is the government to think this matters at all. If someone doesn't get serious with cuts we are going down. Ever increasing debt isn't going to work.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Reply
  23. Tony

    "...slices half a trillion dollars in spending increases..." So nothing is actually being cut, the increases will just be smaller. What a joke.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Reply
  24. unknown11

    Typical. 20,000 more unemployed getting a check from the government instead of working for the check. It is the perfect liberal world.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Reply
  25. Lou

    Maybe I'm missing something here. I don't believe cutting an increase is cutting anything. So basically, Panetta is going to increase his spending on the military but we are supposed to be stupid enough to think that cutting an increase in spending is actually making a cut. Panetta must be talking to Congress and the Senate. They're the only ones stupid enough to accept this. Actually they are probably hailing him for cutting so much and being amazed at his uncanny ability to do so.
    These are the poeple representing us?

    January 26, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Reply
    • S

      Uh, cutting spending in the long-term by buying better equipment and all that. Its like investing in a new car instead of keeping one that breaks down every other week.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Reply
  26. urmomlol

    We must construct additional pylons! However, this policy may require more minerals.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Reply
    • LWZRGHT

      i believe this one is "I CAN"T BUILD THERE."

      January 26, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Reply
    • Katrushka

      Spawn more overlords!

      January 26, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Reply
  27. Ashley

    Another way to cut spending would be to bring ALL of our troops home, and to stop sending them over seas. So what now the government is going to continue to send our troops, and cut their active duty pay. That is awesome motivation for people who's JOB is to protect our country.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Reply
    • Brian

      It is unrealistic to think that all troops can be removed from the field immediately. In fact, there is still a great outcry from those who believe we should have gave a longer or open ended commitment to the stability of Iraq. I feel like the timetable draw down of forces from a war that will never be "won" in a conventional sense is the correct way to disengage from it. There is nothing wrong with admitting an approach does not work and changing it. (i.e. Change from troops to the use of special operations and drones instead of relying on unreliable "allies") Its going to take time. Raises have dropped dramatically in our civil society as well. Right or wrong the military is following suit. I don’t think there is any plan to take away combat pay from our active duty troops. The simple fact is the country spends too much of the budget on military spending.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Reply
    • Mike and Cindy

      EXACTLY!!!!!! This is a case of the stupid (Panetta)leading the blind (Obama)!

      January 26, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Reply
  28. SMR

    I wonder what this means for the Army and Air National Guard?????

    January 26, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Reply
  29. us1776

    Panetta, that's PEANUTS !!

    CUT DEFENSE BY 90% !!

    We live on an isolated continent with friendly neighbors.

    Why we need to spend more on defense than the entire REST of the world combined?

    Massive defense budget has vacuumed up every last tax dollar that we need for many many other things in our society.

    CUT DEFENSE BY 90% !!

    .

    January 26, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Reply
    • urmomlol

      Yeah, isolationism + an underprepared military worked out well for us in WW2.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Reply
      • us1776

        It did. We still won.

        .

        January 26, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
      • urmomlol

        A few hundred thousand dead soldiers and marines later

        January 26, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • unknown11

      May have been true 100 years ago, but no more. Transporattion is too quick now.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Reply
    • K

      Half a trillion less of an increase...did I read that wrong...spending could still go up by $2.5-Trillion instead of $3-Trillion over 10-years is what that means.

      America falls $3-Billion in debt every single day...and we will argue about how to save $140-million over months.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Reply
    • Joe

      Yes why dont we just cut defense all together, because of our isolation there is no way China, Russia, or terrorist can ever get to us here in the good ol isolated USA. You sir/mam are a fool if you believe for one second we would be safer without a military. We would NOT be the United States of America without the protection of the men and women who risk there lives to preserve our freedoms. Why dont we go after outdated social programs that promote people to stay on welfare, fix a tax code that squaders the wealth of the middle class while making the rich richer, start charging corupt politicians and holding them accountable like they do us, that is a very small list of problems. Just becouse the defense budget is the large piece of the pie doesnt mean it is not needed.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Reply
      • Joe

        And FYI, I do support cuts in the defense budget as long as they are done smart without degrading the security of this great nation,

        January 26, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • Joe

      I don't think you understand how many hundreds of thousands of people are employed because of defense work. You will get rid of nearly every small machine shop in the USA and all these people will bring down the economy by being on the unemployment line. Get real or go Home!

      January 26, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Reply
    • Yukon

      "We live on an isolated continent with friendly neighbors."

      Friendly Neighbors? Where are you from? Montana? I live 100 miles from the murder capital country of the world, aka Mexico.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Reply
  30. LWZRGHT

    "slices half a trillion dollars in spending increases"
    How do you cut spending increases? Cut the Budget. Spend less next year than you did this year. It's as simple as that.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Reply
  31. rasty

    Optimizing the Armed Forces is critical. There is so much waste ... simply unbelieveable. while in Kuwait we had a project to destroy containers filled with equipment... faster.. we could only destroy 2.4 containers a week... we need to be at 4 containers a week.
    My beef is that we could save 3 times as much if we improved the military process, rather go the easy route and cut manpower and equipment.
    Quick example of a military process in need of improvement: The ONS process. Because of a typo 3 Navt PT boats were shipped to Afghanistan (LANDLOCKED), once they arrive in Kandahar no one knew what to do with them... so guess what... DESTROY !!!
    Save money on the process.... not the inputs.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Reply
    • nwtiki

      We should get together and swap stories about how many perfectly good items we tossed over the side of the ship. Just to make room for more.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Reply
    • Rick

      Money is wasted by the contractors that serve the military...big business for them. You CANNOT replace BOOTS on the ground regardless of drones and what not.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Reply
  32. Darrel - Retired USMC

    I find it ironic that retirees are to be squeezed again. I say again because, when I retired it was with the promise of free health care for life. Then they decided to make us pay for our health care (if we wanted the same level of care and costs we were accustomed to.) However, they fail to take a few things into consideration, such as medical retirees. I was retired medically from the USMC for conditions related to my military service (both service connected and combat related). So basically, what they are saying is that they want me to pay for my own medical care for injuries sustained in service of my country. I guess because we aren't any use to them anymore we just plain don't matter.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Reply
    • The1calleddoc

      I feel your pain. I truly do.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Reply
    • Fairplay99

      Are you not in receipt of disability retirement? You are not alone. Your sacrifice is also deeply appreciated.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Reply
      • Darrel - Retired USMC

        In answer to your question, yes, I am drawing a disability retirement. However, because I draw a VA disability rating of 80% (60% of that combat related) my military retirement is cut by that amount. And, 80% sounds like a lot, but, it's only 1602 a month. Not exactly riches.

        January 26, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • sambo

      I never served. Thank you to all who protected me and my family. My boy served but was never sent to a war zone. I believe any military person who served in a war zone(doesn't have to be in combat) should have free healthcare for life. Those who did not go to a warzone should have very good healthcare at very reduced cost;but not free.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Reply
    • BC68

      Semper Fi!

      Don't worry Marine, the congress will take those benefits you aren't given any more so they won't go to waste.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Reply
      • Darrel - Retired USMC

        The sad part is, you're correct.

        Semper Fi

        January 26, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • Joe

      Any parent that lets their kids go into the military is a fool. The way you are treated once your out is terrible. Your used and then tossed away and forgotten. Ask anyone who served if they would let their kid enter. Proud to serve doesn't mean its the smart think to do when in the end they screw you

      January 26, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Reply
  33. bob

    Thanks to Obama, a handful of guys did in about 18 hours what bush couldn't do in 8 years with the entire army. Bush actually officially gave up pursuing Bin Laden.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Reply
  34. nwtiki

    Why is everything "Over 10 years". Why not NOW?

    January 26, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Reply
  35. LJ

    As a former Reserve Service member AND as a taxpayer I do not support hefty defense budget cuts for the reason that we do not live in a world of cherubs and angels sprinkling us daily with rose petals while gentle music plays in the garden. Those of you who say cut the military and cut the benefits of serving our great nation need to pop your heads out of your butts...pronto! There are still many threats to our way of life that many of you obviously cannot fathom. Stop and think before you go stabbing the men and women of our military who bravely keep the wars off of our soil so we can continue to live free.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Reply
    • Becka

      Well said!

      January 26, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Reply
  36. experiencehe

    leave it to the DIMocRATS to water down our military and not touch entitlements...typical of a socialist administration!!! OBAMANOS!!!

    January 26, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Reply
    • Geesh

      You say you want to GOVT spend less, well here it is, they are trying to spend less. Oh wait, you want them to spend less on other things, not guns, or tax breaks for the rich. you cannot have it both ways

      January 26, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Reply
    • sayer

      "...his plan meets Congress's mandate to reduce Pentagon spending by $487 billion in the next 10 years." The Democrats did not cut the budget. Congress cut the defense budget. This is the DoDs plan to meet those cuts and still defend the country. Even if a republican were president, they wouldn't have a choice but to cut the defense budget.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Reply
    • guess again

      Yes cutting spending on the worlds biggest military...what a terrible idea

      Get a grip on reality

      January 26, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Reply
  37. yneemee

    Why does CNN, MSNBC, ABC and other "news" outlets keep writing about "cuts" – a cut means a reduiction in spending not a reduction in future spending.

    It's like complaining that I only received a 10% raise when expected a 30% raise and it had to be "cut" by 20% – guess what – I still received 10% more than last year but the "news" media just doesn't get it.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Reply
  38. ghostclown

    The last time they announced plans for big military spending cuts was September 10, 2001. That announcement was followed the next day by false flag attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon which ushered in a decade of mind-boggling military spending. These guys want to go to war but they also want to look like they are avoiding it. So here we go again. First they announce plans to cut military spending. Next there is an attack on a US target which will require a massive (and expensive) retaliation. Anyone who protests the retaliation or questions the authenticity of the initial attack will be branded "unpatriotic" or accused of not standing behind the troops. And, of course, our civil liberties will be further restricted in the process for our own protection. This is a formula.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Reply
    • RasPutin

      I think "conspiracy theorists" like you are being used as tools by the government. You put out these ridiculous ideas and they use them as a screen to hide the real conspiracies they are up to.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Reply
    • Fairplay99

      You must be deranged! False flag attacks. Zero respect for all those victims. Please, just read your comic book and leave the rest of the world alone.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Reply
  39. RasPutin

    What we have here is true malarkey. They don't have the guts to actually cut the military. They are just pretending to do so. What we have is a suggestion we REDUCE THE INCREASE in the annual budget. IT STILL GOES UP!

    January 26, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Reply
    • jiwat

      Does everyone realize the amount of jobs this will cost???

      You all are quick to cut military spending but you don' realize they are single handly the biggest source of employment in the WORLD. This money employs people not just in the military but Lockheed, Boeing, Northrop, General Dynamics, Rockwell, Pratt and Whitney, GE etc.. and every person that works for companies that supply these companies.

      There are 10' of millions employed globally by the pentagon. Just not directly.

      Lets day they decide not to purchase the F-35. So the people at Lockheed loose first. Then perhaps Honeywell, BAE or whoever supplies the flight systems, then perhaps Alcoa for the aluminum used, then Pratt and Whitney or GE because of the engines. The the workers at the mines digging the aluminum or titanium ore. The people that produce the canopy. Then the makers of the tires for the fighter. The makers of the weapons.

      And the list goes on and on. And that is just one project. Now cut 10 projects. Uh oh we have an unemployment problem.

      This country is not made on bankers, financialists, doctors, lawyers, baristas, starbucks,Wal-Mart etc.

      It is made on science, technology and manufacturing. Until all of you others realize this our country will continue to fall.

      I say cut medicare, medicaid payments to the doctors, paying for people to get degrees in Art, Political Science, Language etc and raise taxes on the rich and tax close loopholes.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Reply
  40. Sagebrush Shorty

    Buy more nukes and use them as required.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Reply
  41. petemg

    Yupper we know the change that Obama wants, us to be defenseless so that when his Muslim friends want to take us over they will have no problems at all.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Reply
    • My name is Jose Jimenez

      It's probably safe to assume your IQ is about the same as your shoe size.

      newt = a low life form frequenting cold, damp, dark places surrounded by rocks while avoiding sunlight.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Reply
  42. rrock

    Lets see, 500 billion over 10 years is 50 billion a year out of a current budget of 800 billion a year. That's less than a 10% cut. And that is all they can cut out of a bloated military budget? A joke right?

    January 26, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Reply
    • The1calleddoc

      My job is on the line because these cuts after die hard dedicated service to this country. 3 deployments later I have to fear getting seperated from the job I devoted my life and my famillys to to save some money, for what?

      January 26, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Reply
  43. AR

    Cuts half a trillion of INCREASES? Are you kidding? You're balancing the budget by cutting INCREASES!?!?!? This is a JOKE. The only person in the whole damn country who takes this seriously is RON F***IN PAUL. Where are the rest of the phony Republicans arguing for Fiscal Sanity!?

    January 26, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Reply
  44. vinnyz

    I honestly believe we get paid fairly well, the service people who I have seen have money problems are the young dumb ones who go to bars every night or get a $45,000 car when they only make $17,000 a year. Or the Married ones who can't seem to get their wives to work but they can blow all their husbands deployment money

    January 26, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Reply
    • A Military Wife

      Get their wives to work??? Seriously??? Do you even have a clue what it means to be a military spouse? Let me tell you something buddy...I'm a college educated military wife and the wonderful US Air Force sent my husband and family overseas for a 3 years stint in Japan...once arriving in Japan we spent nearly $2400 on first & last months rent and deposits (no base housing availiable for 1 year) and $3000 on a car (no US cars can be shipped into Japan). So we were paying car payments on cars in storage, not expensive cars either, plus insurance on those cars, insurance on our household goods in storage because we had a weight limit on what we could take to Japan...thus forcing us to buy new funiture when we got there. We had rent that was upwards of $1200 a month for a 500 square foot house, a $500 a month electric bill plus another $200 on other utilities.

      Now...did I work? Well, I tried...there are a limited number of jobs for English speaking spouses overseas...not to mention the 8 months to 1 year wait to get day care.

      So buddy...you need to know all the facts before you start spouting off about miklitary wives!

      January 26, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Reply
      • My name is Jose Jimenez

        Sorry lady...your husband wasn't drafted.

        January 26, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
      • A Military Wife

        No, he wasn't drafted...I was defending the statement that was made about military men "getting their wives to work". I have no complaints about our 18 years in the US Air Force and yes I said "Our" because I'm just as much a member as he is. I'm proud to pack my bags and live wherever the military wants us and I don't complain. We have been fortunate that the US Air Force has afforded us a lifestyle of travel and have job security during times that seem bleek for others and I wouldn't take back one minute of it...oh and I'm also a vet myself and damn proud of it...to volunteer to support & defend the people of the US is not something we take for granted...even though some people would never have the balls to do it themselves!

        January 26, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • jeffrey

      Your an idiot with no military experience

      January 26, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Reply
  45. walter

    Cuts in increases in spending do absolutely nothing to address our 15 trillion dollar debt. At what point are we as a country going to be so far in the hole, we wind up like Greece?

    January 26, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Reply
  46. Big_D

    Contractors increased by 256 billion a year under Bush and Cheney, most from Cheney's own company. We need to cut the contractors and have a self sufficient military that is ready without being held up for more money.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Reply
    • Roger

      That crap the DOD hired contractors because they either couldn't do the task or they just didn't want to do the task I'm a DOD contract and I can beleive all the work that is given to the contractor just because the Govie don't feel like doing it or they have to many meetings to go to. So don't blame the contractors they are the ones do most of the work in most of the federal agencies.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Reply
  47. Matt Miller

    People, let's not be fooled; this doesn't make our military smaller in any way, it just cuts in half the military's budget INCREASES. They will grow by another $500 BILLION!

    January 26, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Reply
    • Lilbitga

      You are wrong. The cuts to the military started years ago. Most sign-up and re-enlistment bonuses were completely done away with approximately 3 years ago. Plus the Navy just cut like 8000 personel. Everyone that had served in the Navy for 7 to 14 years had their files reviewed by the Enlisted Review Board who determined that 8000 of them would not be selected for retention. Men and women who had decided to dedicate their lives to serving our country were suddenly told that they were no longer needed. While that may sound good to some in theory, the reality is that we lost many excellent men and women along with their years of advanced training and experience. One of the sailors that was cut had twice been Sailor of the Year. It was like the review board just threw all the files on a table and randomly picked out 8000 of them without even looking to see how well some of them had served the Navy. Eney,meney, miney moe! Instead of doing away with experienced personnal, that had already received tens of thousands of dollars worth of training, they should have just put a freeze on any new enlistment. Now they will spend even more to train all the new enlistes who have NO experience!

      Housing/living/food allotments have been cut. They reviewed the cost of living in a specific area. The higher ups in their less than infinite wisdom decided that single sailors, who already receives less than a married couple, were not subjected to the same cost of living so all the single sailors had their housing/living/food allotments decreased. A one bedroom apartment cost the same regardless of whether one person is living there or two. The grocery store doesn't ask if you are single so that they can give you a discount on your food purchases. The same goes for gas, clothing, utilities and everything else. I have come to the conclusion that the Navy brass are idiots and if cuts were necessary that would have been a very good place to start!!

      January 26, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Reply
  48. AmericanSam

    All presidents do that. Bush took a record number of vacations.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Reply
  49. M1sf1ts

    Cut Everything. We can afford NO Sacred Cows.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Reply
    • Sagebrush Shorty

      Does that include welfare?

      January 26, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Reply
      • experiencehe

        heck no, these commies want everyone sucking the gov't TIT!!! they are the people, along w/ big labor and left-wing freaks who vote for them!!!
        OBAMANOS!!!

        January 26, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
      • Luigi

        The Welfare budget is $0. Hard to cut that. Perhaps you mean something else. (Look up Welfare in Wikipedia and learn.)

        January 26, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
      • Lilbitga

        Luigi, I suggest that you use something besides Wikipedia for looking up factual information. There is most definately a Welfare budget in the US Federal Budget for Fiscal Year 2012. Their are a couple of sites that give you real facts! As long as we are on facts, how about the fact that 51% of all immigrant households use at least one major Welfare Program and 28% use two or more programs, such as food stamps, WIC, housing/rental assistance, Medicaid, TANF and others. They are all forms of Welfare.

        January 26, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
      • Vera Waitress

        The only people sucking the US Government's tit are the war for profit corporations who are making hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars a year in profit. Look at the stock prices of Haliburton, General Dynamics, and all the other war profiteers! We are literally bankrolling these war for profit welfare recipients! We're giving them free food and free money, and they turn around and squander it on CEO bonuses! Then they turn around and have mini baby corporations and we have to bankroll them too!

        January 26, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
  50. fish

    The Re-pubs will just come in next year and reverse it all.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Reply
    • CJ

      The Republicans want to cut taxes and cut Social Security but not the Military and keep the wars going.
      How Christian of them. Jesus would be proud.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Reply
    • Vera Waitress

      THE US SPENT HALF A TRILLION DOLLARS LAST YEAR ALONE ON DEFENSE! WTF? Yes, you read that right. Our defense budget is half a trillion dollars PER YEAR!

      Only a half a trillion cut over ten years? That's like cutting one year out of ten. Not good enough. The US needs to cut 4 TRILLION AT LEAST over the next 10 years! We can't afford it!

      January 26, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Reply
  51. adam

    half a trillion over 10 years is nothing! We spend millions per day. I want to see major cuts like 3 trillion over 10 years!

    Don't give me this cr&p!!!!

    January 26, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Reply
    • freeme10

      Perhaps, just perhaps, there are people in charge that know a bit more about this than you do, Adam. What do you think?

      January 26, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Reply
    • Luigi

      Are you proposing that the Secretary of Defense doesn't act in a fashion directed by Congress and approved by the President? If so, why should the Secretary not follow lawful instructions by his employer? If not, what are you proposing?

      If you don't think the amount of cuts is sufficient, why are you complaining in the direction of the Secretary and not in the direction of Congress?

      January 26, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Reply
      • Lilbitga

        Leon Panetta only served in the United States Army for 3 years 1964-1966. Personally I would rather have someone in that position with much more military experience making decisions, instead of a politician like Panetta taking orders from a President that never spent one day in the military!!

        January 26, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • Daniel

      Half a trillion over 10 years is nothing? That's 136 million a day.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Reply
      • Vera Waitress

        We spend six hundred thousand million per year on defense! [600 billion per year, as per wikipedia.] That's 1.6 BILLION DOLLARS PER DAY! WAKE UP!

        January 26, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • bczu

      We spend 500 billion more than China on "defense" the largest army in the world.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Reply
      • bczu

        per year...

        January 26, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  52. Bugs

    No biggie. The country has always cut military spending between wars. And it has always had to play catch-up when a new war starts.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Reply
    • SeeThruIt2

      In 1979, why did Pres Carter have such a hard time deciding what to do about the Iranian Hostage Crisis? Maybe the state of the military 6 years after Vietnam tied his hands.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Reply
  53. Mark L.

    The US Navy SEAL Team is the Elite of the Elite !! They are absolutely the Best of the BEST !!

    January 26, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Reply
  54. CJ

    Did anyone notice that they said the would cut Defense increased spending. So it looks like they are trying to make this look like an actual cut but instead they are only not increasing funding.

    Our Military is much too large and we spend more today than all the other countries in the world combined.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Reply
    • steve

      No. It's just semantics. "his plan meets Congress's mandate to reduce Pentagon spending by $487 billion in the next 10 years." That says it all.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Reply
      • CJ

        48.7 Billion per year in Military cuts does not impress me much.

        January 26, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Luigi

      The total budget for the military is decided by Congress and the President, not the Secretary of Defense. The total budget decision has already been made. All the Secretary is doing is following orders from Congress to figure out where the money goes. Ie, he's doing his job. Give him a break.

      If you want to be mad at someone, choose Congress. They are used to it with their "lofty" approval rating. Perhaps you should vote against your incumbents even if you like them.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Reply
  55. Heroicslug

    How about you cut the welfare budget in half, and let the freeloaders bite the bullet instead of the armed forces? And how about giving NASA a budget worthy of the name while you're at it?

    Glad these goons will get voted out in a few months. I don't care if it's Paul, Gingrich, or even that idiot Romney. Anybody is better than Obama. Just as I predicted – change wasn't good.

    And why does this comment form have a Spanish-language button? I'm not on the Mexican CNN site. "Publicar"? Really? Get some competent coders, CNN. Jeez.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Reply
    • Dan, TX

      We certainly need to do more budget cutting, and we certainly need to let the temporary tax cuts expire for everyone. But not one republican or the president has proposed it, so, hard to see why a republican is better than Obama. Really, a permanent base on the moon? Come on, I can't take you seriously.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Reply
      • Heroicslug

        Why can't you take a moon base seriously? Since when did one of JFK's visions become a joke? Hundreds of products you use today were made possible, cheaper, better, or more compact because of research done in space.

        A moon base would be an important stepping stone to mars, and could provide Earth with cheap, clean power in the form of energy rich Helium-3.

        January 26, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Dobro

      Spoken like a true republican mo ron. Chin ga.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Reply
    • bczu

      500 billion a year on "defense". China is the closest with 114 billion a year.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Reply
  56. rexedie

    2800 a month is high on the hog rent.... aside from that.... taxpayers should realize that people who manufacture weapons of war....have to manufacture reasons to use them (iraq) (afghanistan)...... last year the pentagon was given a budget of 600 billion..... and to all fifty states combined....the fed allowed a budget of 50 billion .... something is way out of whack..... they've got people so afraid of their own shadows....no one thinks intelligently... why is it so many dont mind wasting trillions on war..... but hate to help americans survive....thanx to no jobs....and wall st criminals..

    January 26, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Reply
    • Dobro

      ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

      January 26, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Reply
  57. FoReal

    Let's straighten out the US and place military in high crime areas. I live in a city ravished with gangs, so let's clean up the cities and ship the criminals to Iraq... provide them with a gun and some canteen and let them do what they like best..... "bang". Thus tax payers not paying 44k a year to provide for ONE inmate. There will be 44k less babies born to bad parents.....business will then come here, so then there will be little jobs here. This will balance the budget in a year and provide money for our military families........

    January 26, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Reply
    • M1sf1ts

      As Bruce Willis said in the "Seige:

      "The Army is a broad sword, not a scalpel. Trust me, senator – you do not want the Army in an American city.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Reply
    • steve

      That specifically violates the Constitution.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Reply
    • govspy

      Yeah that sounds great; I've heard that line before, conscripting our convicts to war, except for the fact that we already cannot control our All Volunteer Army as it is; see: Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, pissing on dead enemies, the fact that a female soldier is more likely to be attacked by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire... Need I go on? Do you think those problems would be better or worse with the addition of the All Convict Army?

      January 26, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Reply
    • Dan, TX

      Your on the right track, but they ought to be placed on the US-Mexico border. We should institute a draft and get a few hundred thousand extra 18-20 year olds on the line as well. We can seal the border while they are being trained. And they can build a fence during their training for no additional labor cost at all.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Reply
  58. not really

    you need to understand that the members of the military are not poor, we were not forced into this way of life, most of us just answer the call of our country that most of America is to afraid to answer. we are not godless men, we do not kill just to kill, we answer and follow to a higher standard, a higher meaning in life, how can you sit here and bitch about the things we do, would you rather have them done to you by someone, we do the things your afraid to, we give up our freedoms so you can have yours, we give our rights so that you may use yours, and if the need is there i will willing give my life so you can have yours. so again i ask you people why do you sit there in your safe homes and bitch about it, when you dont know the half of it, just what your precious CNN says. grow the fuck up and play your part in life just like i have played mine.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Reply
    • Jason

      Well said, but I'm not tracking the CNN dis. The article above has very little commentary as is almost all reporting of facts. That is, what's being done with the budget.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Reply
    • objectiveguy

      Thank you for your service! This is just another way for Obama to gut the military while weakening our defenses, and America's preeminent position in the world. And he tries to make it sound like he doing us a favor. Without a strong military, occurrences like 911 will become commonplace. No thanks, Obama!!!

      January 26, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Reply
      • govspy

        Hey objective guy,

        Really? You think 9/11 would be commonplace? Are you kidding me? People like you, who have fallen for the fear mongering by media like Fox News are the reason we spend this much on military and non on health care or education. We are not under a daily threat of attack, and you're a moron for believing it. We could do with half of what we spend on military, and we would still have the world's best military.

        January 26, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
      • sambo

        @GOVSPY....Hey we are talking about healthcare for military here.....not healthcare for the general public. Obama has screwed that up and given 15000 exemptions to that law when it hits the tracks in 2013. as for education, we have been throwing billions at that since the 60's. Look at the status today. our kids can't read, do simple math nor do they understand simple chemistry. the cause.....the teachers unions...can't jetison bad teachers..not allowed to evaluate their performance..........AS for military healthcare ....those in warzone should be free for life

        January 26, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Allen55330

      Well said sir, well said! Just wait until our country is in crisis once again and us service members will sacrifice once again for the lame and lazy average American Citzen.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Reply
    • realPerson

      That pedestal you've placed yourself on seems to be impacted. Maybe see a proctologist?

      January 26, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Reply
    • Dave San Diego

      Such hostility towards the very people who PAY your salary, your retirement plan, your VA healhcare beneifts, your food and lodging during your enlistment and time fighting overseas if you even did at all, your supplies, your ammunition and weapons, etc. Dont think for a minute that just because you are/were in the military that you answer to a "higher" standard & meaning of life! What a crock! I like most Americans paid are dues by PAYING are own way through college and sometimes grad school, pay our dues after graduating at entry level jobs and work are way up. Some go own to be lawyers, doctors, dentists, etc. I appreciate as do ALL Americans your service to our country, but just because you served dont for one minute think you are "above" those who have not served. Because without us, you would not have even had a job in the military nor a pension or any other kind of entitlements that OUR taxes paid!

      January 26, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Reply
      • T.J. Bray

        Well said, Dave. It's not just the military that give up their lives for the better of the people. I'm grateful for them, I really am, but firemen and police officers answer that same call on the home front. They don't want or need special treatment either.

        January 26, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • M

      So you have to be a member of the military to "play your part in life", as you specifically said? I'll tell you, there are countless people in the U.S. (and the world) making the world a better place through their work in their professions than you ever could dream of. And they don't have to carry a gun to feel big. For instance, scientists researching cures for cancer, to name one of the millions of examples. So you do the things everyone else in the country is "afraid to"? Is it that they're afraid, or is it that they just don't agree with everything you do? Maybe they're educated and cultured and have a different view of how to make the U.S. (and the world) better that doesn't involve armed conflict. You've clearly been brainwashed well. I've never seen someone so full of themself and proud to be a pawn of the U.S. Government. Did you ever end up finding those WMDs in Iraq, by the way?
      Anyway, you're welcome for your pay that comes from the taxes of all the people you just badmouthed. But oh well, all the military people in my life have an enormous amount of class and are not at all full of themselves, so I'm sure you're just an anomaly and I just wasted a few minutes of my time typing this to you.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Reply
  59. bbstacker7072

    You would be able to lower the budget considerably if you would quit sending there troops all over the freakin' globe. you can't always assimilate people into the 21st century. They have lived in the dark ages too long. Quit trying to use the military to mold a people into what you want them to be. If these countries have people who want freedom..let them fight their own war...we did!

    January 26, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Reply
    • objectiveguy

      That's not the point. When they become a threat to America is when we need to take action. Allowing fascist countries run by insane dictators to have nuclear weapons is not acceptable, because certainly they will be used against us or our allies. Yes, we need be sure to protect oil supplies (until we can figure out how to do without middle eastern oil), and we need strong defenses to serve as a deterrent to these dictators from attacking us.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Reply
      • Dan, TX

        why do you think nuclear weapons would be used. The Soviet Union was as bad as Iran is now, wasn't it? They had plenty of nuclear weapons. Why didn't they use them? If you think Iran's leaders truly believe their entire population can be sacrificed as martyrs, I think you grossly underestimate the corruption, greed, and selfishness of Iran's leadership.

        January 26, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  60. JWoody907

    Seems like logical cuts to me, as a civilian Military Historian. Standing down from active war footing in Iraq while drawing down in Afghanistan its common practice for the US to reduce troop levels (see the draw-downs post Vietnam, Korea, WW2, WW1), retiring a small number of elderly surface combat ships early will not unduly harm our Navy as the Ford-class and America-class are soon to come out, and the twin-variants of the LCS still have multiple copies on order (albeit reduced), and the USAF has plenty of air-combat and logistics power to combat any threat the US faces in the near term (including China).

    I disagree with cutting pay raises for troops who are already paid too little, when the easiest fix for that would be to belay the acquirement of 1-2 F-35s per year over the lifespan of the project, or cutting 1-2 LCS's over the life of their production. There is little room I think for the Army or Marines to cut equipment budget considering they are badly in need of refitting post Iraq and Afghanistan where Strykers, Abrams etc were thoroughly run through.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Reply
    • JWoody907

      It's also worth noting that redeploying 2 brigades from Europe back to the States is good economic, military and foreign relations policy as we no longer need to fear Soviet aggression against Europe, and the expense, and legal nightmares that occur with troops based overseas outweigh the minimal benefit of having us troops there.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Reply
  61. Retiree

    They want to increase the medical co-pays, deductibles and costs on the retirees that have served for 20+ years. How about having Congress members, which sometime serve only one term, pay for their healthcare and their family members' healthcare more.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Reply
    • Frank

      Agreed! I would love to see the congress and the senate take some deep pay cuts, pay for things like health care, etc...

      I wonder if not only those things happened but also some term limits were put in place, how many of these goobers would we still have that were willing to "serve the people", when they could no longer line their pockets?

      My distinct feeling is the herd would get thinned fast!!

      January 26, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Reply
    • RasPutin

      Better yet, make them buy private health care with its deductibles and fine print limitations, like ordinary individuals. Then they might realize that universal health care administered by the government is the only real fair way to go.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Reply
    • Navy24years

      I'm the wife of a 24 year Navy retiree. My husband went to Nam 3 times. I understand cutting budgets , but on the backs of retirees that have planned on this coverage for years is not right. It's different if you had that option ahead of time. It's like making the seniors bare the weight when we already have a limited income.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Reply
  62. MASTRODAMUS

    Everyone, google the definition of Santorum. It's an actual word with a real meaning.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Reply
  63. a disgrace

    america is going to have to elect a president who will work on creating jobs instead of going on vacation and having parties for celebrities at the white house....

    January 26, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Reply
    • RasPutin

      If I remember, Bush spent a record number of vacation days for a president.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Reply
    • DAC

      ... former President Bush (W.) took more vaction time away from work than any President in the last 50 years!!! (documented)

      January 26, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Reply
    • John

      Obama has done more than for the American worker than all of the GOP presidents before him combined. The GOP and the Wall Street boys destroyed America. Under the GOP and Bush 750,000 jobs were lost per month. How quickly you forget how things were under the GOP when they ran the Govt. You are in denial. The GOP only care about the 1% and are the elitist party who could care less about the American worker......

      January 26, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Reply
      • MazeAndBlue

        to John.... I totally agree....

        January 26, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  64. Peter

    Ok people, lets act like we are all on the same side and not like the pinheads in D.C. When we had two wars going at the same time the talking heads all cried about how it strained the U.S. millitary to a brink all the while talking about what was being missed in regaurds to the next threat. Now they want to reduce the numbers of boots on the ground while not talking about reducing foreign aid (which IS out of control) earmarks, or the benefits of non-military workers(and no I'm not talking about the clerks or police , firemen etc.) I think its funny how everyone has foregotten Mrs. Obama's very costly shopping trip and all the other trips the tax payer has to pay for.I say "Keep the boots and toss the over amount we the tax payers "give" away to other countries "despots" and shopping trips and put the money to better use"

    January 26, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Reply
  65. rasty

    Optimizing the Armed Forces is critical. There is so much waste ... simply unbelieveable. while in Kuwait we had a project to destroy containers filled with equipment... faster.. we could only destroy 2.4 containers a week... we need to be at 4 containers a week.
    My beef is that we could save 3 times as much if we improved the military process, rather go the easy route and cut manpower and equipment.
    Quick example of a military process in need of improvement: The ONS process. Because of a typo 3 Navt PT boats were shipped to Afghanistan (LANDLOCKED), once they arrive in Kandahar no one knew what to do with them... so guess what... DESTROY !!!
    Save money on the process.... not the inputs.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Reply
  66. The true 1%

    As a currently serving officer with two combat tours under my belt, I have to disagree with pulling the rug out from our retirees. Why increase their copays and increase fees? They've served honorably and now they're going to pay a price becasue the other 99% of Americans who DON'T serve want to save money?

    It sickens me that our leaders continue to try to want to mold military pay and benefits to the civilian sector. What other profession risks life and limb for every other citizen? What other profession forces you to go live overseas for years at a time away from family and friends? What other profession does NOT allow you to quit if you don't like it? What other profession comes close? The military and their families sacrifice WAY more than the average American will ever know, yet they're now the target of massive cuts.

    Let's not break faith with the guardians of freedom who've sacrificed so much. Let's ensure we have a strong and viable military capable of dealing with the future threats that we can forsee and can't forsee. A lot of people are calling for drastically reducing military spending, but these will be the same folks who'll blame the administration in charge when another 9/11 or WW3 break out, accusing their leaders of neglecting national defense. China, Russia, Islamo-fascists, and other threats we can't fathom are still growing strong. For people to say these countries are not a threat have never lived outside their little town, city and state.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Reply
    • rasty

      here here... 100% behind you... how much can an increase in the Co-pay really save... very short sighted.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Reply
    • Frank

      Great reply, and very well thought out! I agree with what you say!

      January 26, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Reply
    • Retiree

      Completely agree with you Sir. A veteran myself of 20+ years and get tired of Congress messing with current and retired military.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Reply
    • Big_D

      What other job gives you a lifetime of benefits for a few years service?

      January 26, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Reply
      • Rhoadsr

        Any job with a pension, most union jobs, civil servant possitions, etc....... Military members only get the retirement, if they retire from the military.

        January 26, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
      • Just another Guy

        The person behind that post has never really served.

        January 26, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
      • MazeAndBlue

        Your a little_d

        January 26, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
      • Lilbitga

        They have to serve a minimun of 20 year of active duty to receive military retirement. There was talk of increasing it to 30 years but I don't know if that was put into place or not.

        January 26, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • Larry

      The Constitution does not recognize a professional army. It should not be used as one.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Reply
    • Dan, TX

      I agree with your sentiment, however, reality is not as friendly. Government spends too much. Costs have to be lowered. Military budgets are not being cut more than budgets elsewhere, if anything military budgets are being cut less. Unfortunately, we'll just have to suck it up until we start paying off the debt. Then, we'll do the best we can to restore benefits and salaries to the highest possible level for our brave military. But, military personnel are government employees, and the private sector, not the government is the most important thing to focus on if we want a strong economy. We will need much more cutting across the board, entitlements – like social security, medicare, medicaid, will have to be reduced. But the military needs new weapons, and to pay for it, Congress (republicans and democrats) says we need to sacrifice salaries and benefits to soldiers.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Reply
  67. MazeAndBlue

    I trust this administration regarding security and foreign policies. Just look @ the facts. Most of the saving will come from ending 2 wars and Europe deployment. Obama 2012!!!

    January 26, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Reply
    • Bob

      Obama 2012? I'd rather vote my dead cat in!! Steve the Cat 2012!!

      January 26, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Reply
      • MazeAndBlue

        Get a life..Get a job.

        January 26, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
      • Bob

        awwww what is wrong? A little sore are we?

        January 26, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Dan, TX

      Yeah, Obama vs McCain – no choice. Obama vs. Romney, again, no choice. Obama will have my vote. Romney is like a wishy-washy Obama. It's Romney's health care plan for heaven's sake. Romney is lying when he says he'll get rid of Obamacare.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Reply
    • Bob

      Steve the Cat for President 2012!!!

      January 26, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Reply
  68. Aeroman

    Those of you complaining or worried about the downsizing need to further educate yourselves...

    The reduction levels will STILL put us at a larger military than before 9/11/01. Before 9/11, were you afraid at the size of our military? The rest of the world definitely wasn't, I don't know why any of you would have been... The U.S. military will still be able respond to threats anywhere they arise and defeat them with decisive victory. That's a fact you can't get away from. To think othewise is ridiculous.

    If you're worried that we won't have the strength and manpower to fight more than one war or a single multi-theater war, you need to look back at history. The size of our military was only a fraction of what it will be after these present-day reductions before World War II. But following the Pearl Harbor attack, in the midst of the Great Depression, our economy was and industry was put on a war-footing and our military quickly became the largest it's ever been and one of the largest in history. We can and would do that today if the extreme situation arose. Yes, it would require the implementation of the draft and it would require our factories to start pumping out combat boots rather than Jordans, but it would be done.

    But despite all that extremism, no one in the Pentagon or the White House is saying that we COULDN'T fight in more than one place at the same time given these present-day reductions. It would just make things more constrained and difficult until the level could be increased again to appropriate levels, which often happens on its own after a major incident (take the aftermath of 9/11, for example).

    The point is, don't ever underestimate the resolve or the capacity of the United States and its Armed Forces to meet and defeat the threats to this country, because it will be done without any doubt.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Reply
    • csmdale

      Aeroman, Exactly what branch did you serve in and when. Why is everyone "uneducated in your opinion?

      January 26, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Reply
    • Wade

      I agree with most everything you wrote. I do think the military will still be in great shape and these changes sounds reasonable. But the comment about the Jordan's and the factory switching to make combat boots have to disagree with. They probably would be switched to make Combat boots but depending who the country we are having issues with, may determine if the chinese are wearing those boots. Unforunately shoes is one product that Americans don't really make any more, how many other products would be affected?

      January 26, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Reply
  69. VAisforlovers

    In response to the fiscal year starting Oct. 1st- only a month before election day... Why does election day have to be in november anyway? Bad weather in some parts of the country make it hard to get to the polls AND many people are sick around this time with the cold weather changes coming in. I've been really sick on election day before and it is not fun!!!

    January 26, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Reply
  70. lolol

    US military will put american citizens in FEMA camps

    January 26, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Reply
    • Aeroman

      Yeah, right after the CIA whisks you away tonight for giving away their secret....

      January 26, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Reply
  71. JA

    What are they going to cut? One less drone a year? 10 years 1/2 Trill we are spending over 1.5 Trill more than they earn each year.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Reply
  72. Neo

    Here i thought the article meant it was be reshaped as an Octagon!

    January 26, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Reply
  73. Mike

    SOLUTION SOLUTION....every shut up and pay more taxes!!! SIlence....crickets....kind of what I thought...so, you have two choices....trim some obsolete programs or pay more taxes....choose.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Reply
    • Reason Prevails

      Well said. I'd cut the budget in half, if I could cut my tax bill in half.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Reply
  74. vinnyz

    The first thing you have to realize is that atlest for Marines we have cut way back on single servicepeople getting extra money to live off base. Second, they are not just walking in and saying pack your stuff your fired, they are making it harder to re-enlist so that trims the fat. Harder recruiting means less enter than are leaving through EAS or retiring. The Marine Corps was at 180,000 all the way up to about 2007 and we were fine. Now we have people who should have never been allowed in and have become soft.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Reply
  75. Jeff

    Hey think about this all you parents with boys 9-17, with all these cuts in troop levels. The next major conflict we get involved in, your friendly neighborhood Congressional Rep will need to vote for a DRAFT to staff up. We won't have airlift capability for heavy equip – that goes by boat – we will send our kids into battle on a chartered 747 or DC-10 with a rifle and a basic load of 240 rounds – they won't have equipment because the Navy got smaller and they had no Aircover to protect the ships as they transited a strait, like Hormuz. No enemy in their right mind, fortunately many are not, will give us 3-6 months to get equipment into a theater of operations in the future.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Reply
    • Jardeder

      Their shouldn't be another major conflict if they U.S plays their cards right. No need to be aggressive against other nations.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Reply
      • RallyX

        It's hard not to laugh at the man who predicts that there will be no more war if we "play our cards right." It's like suggesting that your plan is to never die. No more war ever would be wonderful, but pretty much impossible unless you suggest we conquer and subjugate the entire planet first.

        January 26, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Jake

      we don't have airlift capability? we have more airlift capability than any other country and a lot of countries combined, which is part of what gives the u.s. military the best, largest and fastest strategic capability, including more than 100 C-5's, 200+ C-17's and 500+ C-130's. i was a paratrooper and we still have plenty cargo aircraft to go around. don't go into sealift capability either, i was in SDDC and worked with MSC and we have more cargo ships than people think we have, let alone a navy that's larger than the next ten largest navy's combined.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Reply
      • SeeThruIt2

        The U.S. military also covers the entire Earth (which other countries do not).

        With all of that airlift and sea lift, how long did it take to get all of the forces into Saudia Arabia in the first Gulf War? (ANSWER: About 6 months.)

        January 26, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
      • Jake

        yes, you're right, it took six months to move two corps of seven divisions and support brigades, two MEF's and whoever else they sent over, but how long would it take the russians or chinese now, to air/sealift 541,000 troops(roughly the number we had in desert storm) to canada to invade the u.s.? now we know they wouldn't do that and it's just an example, but just say they want to for kicks, i bet it would take much longer. and that's military sealift ships, not commercial.

        January 26, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
      • caw

        And that's not including the Civilian Aircrafts. The Government has a right to require airlines and delivery companies to provide their aircraft for deployments if needed. It's part of the loan program that helps them finance the aircraft to start with.

        January 26, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • SeeThruIt2

      I liked the part where they're cutting the AirForce because of the reduced size of the Army.

      How much airlift does it take to carry the 82nd Abn Division into combat? And how much air cover do they get from the tactical air squadrons? (Answer: Obviously less of both since the rest of the Army is smaller.)

      January 26, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Reply
    • T.J. Bray

      Wow you couldn't be more off, Jeff. How about this...we stayed out of stupid, unnecessary wars. Then nobody has to worry about their equipment.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Reply
      • Bob

        Is that you Osama back from the dead?

        January 26, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Dave Mishem

      A basic load is 210 rounds (7 magazines of 30 rounds each). Pretty much everything else in your post was wrong too...

      January 26, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Reply
  76. Chris

    Panetta promised full pay raises for fiscal 2013 and 2014, but he said, "We will achieve some cost savings by providing more limited pay raises beginning in 2015." Just to translate that: 1.x% military received so far was the big full pay raise that will be cut! How does that compare to annual pay raises in Congress of about 10% – 15%? And for all others who are naive enough to think the troop reduction will be an overall spending decrease...those 60K something positions will mainly be filled by Civil Service employees *lol*

    January 26, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Reply
    • Reason Prevails

      Congressmen do not get an annual raise of anything near 10-15 percent. That is simply not true. Don't spout ignorant comments you know nothing about.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Reply
      • Sailor101

        Have you had your head burried in the sand or something. It is a matter of public record, congress and possibly the Senate have routinely voted themselves pay raises (and or increases in "non-salary" bennifits) of that amount and more.

        January 26, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • RallyX

      Pay increases from 2000 to 2010, Congressional Research Service
      2000: 3.4%
      2001: 2.7%
      2002: 3.4%
      2003: 3.1%
      2004: 2.2%
      2005: 2.5%
      2006: 1.9%
      2007: 0.0%
      2008: 2.5%
      2009: 2.8%
      2010: 0.0%
      2011: 0.0%
      2012: 0.0%

      So you said 10-15% yearly – I would like you to locate your numbers in the table above. We await your acknowledgement. I too would like to fire these guys based on performance, but let's do it based on fact and not sloppy misinformation.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Reply
  77. adikhed

    this administration is bringing this whole country down so what is a little more from a bunch of morons

    January 26, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Reply
    • Paul

      Well, we stopped losing jobs, gained about 3 million in the last 2 years. Wall street still standing. We have an auto industry. DOW has roughly doubled. Osama dead, terrorists weakened. We have a long way to go, but it's getting in the right direction. Stop complaining.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Reply
      • heyitsme

        Um, I dont know where you live – but no we have not stopped bleeding jobs, because if we did, we wouldn't have needed to extend the unemployment for another 13 weeks. So beacuse it's not in the news, you forget about it? Totally stupid. We have not GAINED anything, we actually raised our ceiling which gives the false impression of gain. Just because Wall Street is standing doesn't mean it's functioning and properly at that. I think you need to go back to school, pick up a book, or something, because that's without a doubt the scariest comment I've read in a long time. As long as the news stops reporting everything – you are okay with it and will sway your vote – that's what this is about.... STUPID!!!

        January 26, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
      • AmericanSam

        @heyitsme We continue to have a net gain every month.

        January 26, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  78. IrritatedServiceMember

    Cutting jobs in the military,cutting our pay in 2015, and that is supposed to make us more lethal, battle-hardened and agile?
    He's 'saving' money, so its ok, right?

    January 26, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Reply
    • Doug Breault

      How about taking some of the money we are sending to rogue countries like North Korea for aid, or countries that we shouldn't be sending aid to because they hold a bazillion dollars in US bonds (China), and paying the money to our soldiers to avoid cutting their pay. The solutions are so simple it's mind boggling why they are not being enacted. "We the People" have to start taking control of this country again. We are starting to see the beginnings of this. Obama, ironically, is causing it to surface.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Reply
      • Reason Prevails

        Their pay is not being cut. Period. That's it.

        January 26, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Reason Prevails

      Military pay and benefits are quite generous. By the way, if you disagree, it is an all-volunteer force.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Reply
      • Stephanie

        I agree that pay and benefits are generous but only for the upper ranks. That's not so much the case for our enlisted even up through the mid-level NCO ranks. Some of them qualify for food stamps and their children qualify for reduced lunch program.

        January 26, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
      • Glenis

        And you served in what branch of the service?

        January 26, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
      • Sailor101

        I served in the Navy from 1980 – 2001, many of the benifits that I had when I enlisted are no longer available to those enlisting today. And as a retiree, our benifits disapate year by year even though when we enlisted we were "promised" that we would have those bennies for the rest of our life...so the point of this tirade is that life in the military is not really what most civilians dream it to be.

        January 26, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • JMHam

      that's not what it says. it says, "We will achieve some cost savings by providing more limited pay raises beginning in 2015." stop trying to get people all fired up.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Reply
    • experiencehe

      yep, he'll gut the military so he can keep all his gov't tit folks reliant on big obamanomics!!! our socialist in chief won't touch entitlements or do ANYTHING to actually stimulate the economy. he will go down as the biggest disaster we've had as POTUS in our history. makes W and carter look like geniuses!!! btw-the only reason he got bin laden was a seal team prepared under bush and gitmo info... btw-leftwing idgets, has your president kept his promise on gitmo... just more ideological rhetoric from your LIAR!!! OBAMANOS!!!

      January 26, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Reply
  79. Jim

    I have been a member of the US military for 19 yers and understand the need for the cuts. What I do not understand is why the government and congress do not look at their own benifeits for cuts also. Most US Senators make $125k a year. The best part is that if I was a one term Senator (spend 4 years in office) I will get that $125k for the rest of my life. How is it fair to cut military retirement benifeits and not cut those of Congressmen and Senators?

    January 26, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Reply
    • Norm

      Thank you for your service, and you are absolutely right. Huge disconnect between the people and the aristocracy that is our government.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Reply
    • Reason Prevails

      A Senatorial term is 6 years, and, contrary to your claim, they don't get 100% pension for life. By the way, in this country, you are free to make as much money as you want. So if you want 100k+ per year, go get a 100k+ job.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Reply
      • Jim

        I understand that anyone who wants to make the money can if they try. And I probably will look for a six figure salary when I retire. All I am saying is that instead of just going after the military, they should look at all government retirement programs and give cuts appropriately. I am not one to look for a free handout. And in all honesty, retirees from the military do pay for health care, it is just at a discounted rate for the most part. I am all about making proper cuts to eleviate the deficeit. I just ask that it is taken from all areas.

        January 26, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • trigger589

      To be blunt its because they make the rules, and dont care about the people that protect/ elect them.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Reply
    • Reasonably

      While I totally agree with you let's not forget your retirement pay and benefits which you get for life.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Reply
    • Not so fast

      Sorry Jim, you're busted by Snopes:

      http://www.snopes.com/politics/socialsecurity/pensions.asp

      January 26, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Reply
      • Jim

        Yeah, I looked into it more and I was wrong about the retirement of COngress and all that. I do stand corrected on saying they get the 100% of their pay.

        January 26, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • Myles

      I dont understand how cutting the military budget less than 8% and mostly on the backs of vet benifits is a good thing! Reducing the size of ground forces will help but 50 billion less a year when we spend over 200 billion more a year now than in 1999 we are not looking at the big picture! And we should cut capability before military pay and vet benifits! No one is attacking America in an outright war anytime soon and with half our strength we still have more fire power than any other army in the world.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Reply
      • Jim

        I agree with you. It would be more benificial in the long run to make cuts elsewhere then through retirment cuts. Numbers is a good thing and equipment would work. They need to focus our budget on technology instead of numbers. You are correct that we will still be as powerful with less people. Trust me, I would rather have brighter, highly trained military then a mass of numbers that do not know their jobs.

        January 26, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  80. Longhorn93

    America's Military supremacy and domination depends on technology and weapons development. Drones and Robotics are the future and we don't need as many soldiers anymore. Obama is increasing the spending in this area which will ALWAYS provide the US a necessary edge!!!!!!!!!!! Wise decision and I would like him to shut down SOME of the 750 bases in 150 countries as well

    January 26, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Reply
    • Hexdragon

      There is this SciFi story that I read (and some Engineering professors have their students read it) in which an advanced civilization lost a war due to their SUPERIOR technology. It seems that every advancement they did had an weakness that the enemy took advantage of...

      January 26, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Reply
  81. RU Serius

    "The Navy will also delay buying a dozen new ships by a year or more to save money in the short term"

    You mean: Just let me use the short term savings as a talking point to help me get re-elected...then you can buy 12 ships plus interest.

    January 26, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Reply
    • Me

      12 outdated ships by the time they get them too

      January 26, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Reply
    • Stu in Iowa

      Or, when the economy finally rebounds completely we'll buy them then when we can afford them. You know, spend money when more money comes in?

      January 26, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Reply
  82. Wylie-Mike

    The President 'using' the Military's budget to finance his 'Green Jobs' preferred businesses is 'Wrong'. Stealing from the military budget to prop up his activism is theft and an undermining of our National Defense.

    January 26, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Reply
    • Jardeder

      Taking something from something that doesn't need to be there is not stealing. It's called allocating your funds elsewhere where they are needed.

      One of the biggest problems of the U.S is their inability to understand they don't need to funnel trillions into their military. For people that think you will be attacked.. grow up, another country wont attack, and never will. Even despite the U.S's aggression.

      January 26, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Reply
      • retiree

        We are not going to be attacked? Wow.....where were you during 9-11?

        January 26, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
      • Glenis

        How quickly we forget about 9/11..... Another country wont attack? Seriously????

        January 26, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
      • Professor Hubert J Farnsworth

        He means by Conventional War. Last I checked, terrorism wasn't a single nationality. The republic of Terrorism isn't a real nation. Yes, a nation cn fund terrorist activities, but America response doesn't have to be by wasting trillions when a prolonged and devastating drone siege is much more viable then risking 200,000 troops.

        January 26, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • crusader12

      too bad, huh? why look after the people when we could make joining the military the only viable option to make a living in the US and then use the poor to mercilessly destroy other countries at the behest of the filthy, disease ridden Jews? You f*cking idiot, we finally have a president who is willing to say: America is spending way too much on its military and you are going to bitch about national defense? Whose going to invade us, Iran? Stop being a moron, the next four years of leadership in this country is going to determine how the next five to eight generations of Americans will live. If corporations want to wage war, make them pay for it. Oh, now suddenly Haliburton isn't so tough, huh?

      January 26, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Reply
    • Brian

      The military cuts are not undermining the military. I'm a sorry but you need to educate yourself on budget allocation and compare our military expenditures with the rest of the planet. I am pretty sure you have no idea what "green jobs" are in the first place.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Reply
  83. D-fense

    Just why do you think America HASN'T been attacked by another country? OUR MILITARY!

    January 26, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Reply
    • Me

      And most countries don't have the ability to project substantial power long distances

      January 26, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Reply
      • ConernedNetizen

        I am afraid you are all a little off-base. The military is ridiculous. Even Predatory drones and other mechanized conflict is a foolish enterprise. Why blow up a country when you can hack its infrastructure and bring it to its knees. What of EMP weapons that would make a multi-million dollar drone just fall from the sky (hmm... Iran?)

        And don't forget state sanctioned assinations abroad. Too bad the only countries that seem to be doing that are the US and Israel. If we are going down this stupid path of further geo-political instability... let's at least do it proper. information system based warfare and surveillance, and quadruple the number of special ops teams available any given time/theatre. what we can't cripple electronically or economically, we will assassination using a cellphone full of Semtex (see Israel). STOP WASTING MONEY AND DESTROY YOUR ENEMIES ON THE CHEAP AMERICA.

        Chop that sweet tax dollar black hole we call a Defense Department to the nub.

        January 26, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
      • EatYouAlive

        ConernedNetizen = Stupid muslim with agenda and spell checker.

        January 26, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
      • Jim

        ConernedNetizen
        You say to increase the SpecOps as if they are easy to generate. Most that try are filtered out of the programs and to just arbitrarily quadruple their numbers would dilute their effectiveness. Having more of them will do nothing in a real conflict anyways as they are "specialized" for particular tasks.

        January 26, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
    • Jardeder

      They have no real reason to as of yet. Other countries aren't as violent towards humanity as the U.S is.

      January 26, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Reply
      • Me

        You mean most countries sit on their hands and do nothing about world problems

        January 26, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
      • Doug Breault

        Would you please name a conflict where the USA went in and out of the blue picked a fight with someone who didn't deserve a beat down?

        January 26, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
      • Huh?

        Typical naive bleeding heart garbage. The US simply takes care of the problems the rest of the world just wants to ignore, pretend does not exist, or are too much of a coward to address. Then, when we remove oppressive and murderous dictators and regimes, you have the nerve to whine with some ridiculous statement that we are dangerous to humanity. You should seriously consider growing up, and seeing what is really going on out there in the world...away from your cozy life provided by the very people you open your ignorant mouth against. You are welcome.

        January 26, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
      • EatYouAlive

        durka durka

        January 26, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • sonny chapman

      It helps that America has 2 vast oceans on each side & inhospitable terrain both north & south of us. Maybe God did bless America ?

      January 26, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Reply
  84. rad666

    In addition, Obama is going to send 2,500 troops to Australia. That is cutting spending?

    January 26, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Reply
    • Jardeder

      No that is sending troops to Austrailia, not cutting spending.

      Does he need to send troops there? Probably not, I don't think the world is going to come to a grinding halt if 2500 troops don't go

      January 26, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Reply
    • Brando

      Yes that's cutting spending. Most of our Pacific bases are still spread across tiny remote islands captured during WWII which are expensive to supply and maintain. Moving more troops to Austrailia means much cheaper supply chains and more partnership with Australia which was a big contributor to military force in Iraq and Afghanistan. Closing or reducing the naval/marine presence in remote islands goes along with our retirement of outdated naval ships.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Reply
  85. Me

    Never understood why foreign countries were not paying us for the protection. About time to pull out of Europe completely..

    January 26, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Reply
    • Doug Breault

      That's a darn good point. Everyone gets everything for free from the USA. Let's stop that.

      January 26, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Reply
    • rad666

      Plus most of them receive aid from America is some form.

      January 26, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Reply
    • Mullah Fullah Bullah

      If we are to be their mercenaries, let's get paid like one.

      January 26, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Reply
    • Chris

      Well there was this litte event called WWII.....

      January 26, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Reply
      • TimeForChange

        Last I checked WWII ended over 65 years ago. Time to come home.

        January 26, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
      • JustSaying

        here is a key word Chris – deterrence. Come home now and our children will deal with it. Next word – dependence. Like it or not, we can no longer consider becoming isolationist. So we need to find a balance (presence w/o over investment). And in 10 years, adjust again because the political landscape has changed. Our threats are smaller (v/s nation states), more organizationally based.

        January 26, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • dbarak

      I can think of several reasons we'd be protecting allies in Europe (and Asia):

      1. We have forces pre-positioned closer to potential conflict areas.

      2. It's easier to train with friendly forces when we're already there.

      3. It keeps nearby potential enemies on their toes.

      4. Helping smaller countries with their defenses helps keep them as allies and eliminates the need to approach other countries for assistance – China and Russia come to mind.

      I don't know what sort of financial arrangements are in place for basing our troops in other countries, but I would imagine that they're contributing something. If not financial, then in some other form.

      Or I could be wrong about all of it. ; )

      January 26, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Reply
      • JA

        You said it perfect in step 1. Why do we always go looking for a fight. Let the fight come to us. Then attack and kill the entire country like japan. They haven't messed with us again have they? Set an example once and no spending money. and i disagree with any war unless you are attacked first.

        January 26, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Tiger Trout

      Oh, for heaven's sake - they're giving us permission us station troops in their countries so we can be closer to strategically important countries. We have bases in Germany and Turkey, for instance, to have easier access to the Middle East. How do you think we wage wars so many thousands of miles away?

      January 26, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Reply
    • sonny chapman

      The Mafia charges for protection. We did collect from others in the 1st Iraq War.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Reply
    • PvtJoker

      Awful nice country you've got their, Lithuania... be a shame if something happened to it...

      January 26, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Reply
  86. Johnnie Dingo

    Um, Go Steelers and blame Canada yo!

    January 26, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Reply
  87. rad666

    Have a RIF and cut the payroll now.

    January 26, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Reply
  88. Andrew

    We have to stop spending HALF our federal budget on defense.

    January 26, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Reply
    • Out There

      Right – because we need to spend 95% of income on Federal care of the population.

      January 26, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Reply
      • Brando

        95%? NO. But, it doesn't make much sense to spend more money defending and building schools for Iraqi kids than our own right? If we aren't investing in America, there won't be much to "defend" in a few years. Looks like you might have come from one of the schools we cut funding from, otherwise you might understand math and common sense a little better.

        January 26, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Glenn

      According to who you ask defense spending is between 19 and 23% of our current federal budget. We pay far more for entitlement programs. However, I am sure that you are not concerned with accuracy and are just looking to advance your own poltical agenda. Honest discussion usually works better then throwing out made up numbers.

      January 26, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Reply
      • sonny chapman

        Entitlement Programs: Govt. programs that are funded by taxpayers specific to those programs. Most have had FICA cut out of their paychecks each week since they were 18 years old. You're damn right they're entitled to those benefits. Don't let Fox News cram their agenda down your throat w/out a fight.

        January 26, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Bill

      In 2010 we spent 20% on defense (wikipedia and other sources)

      January 26, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Reply
  89. Luke

    Is this like the opposite of the draft??

    January 26, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Reply
  90. tickedofftroop

    Glad to see that they have decided a 1.9% raise is to much when inflation outpaces that nearly every year. Way to support your fighting men and women!

    January 26, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Reply
  91. Stephanie

    I am concerned about the SecDef "recommending increases in health care fees, co-pays and deductibles for retirees." We have already paid for our health care with our service. To increase the cost to to break faith with those of us who answered the call and stayed for a full retirement, often at the expense of financial security that I see my brother and my civilian friends enjoy. If I had left the military after 10 years and bought a house when my brother did, I too might be without mortgage debt at 45 years old instead of facing 25 more years of a mortgage at age 53. I was honored to serve, but I expect my government, my country to honor their obligations to me and every other retiree who was promised free health care for life. We've already accepted "low cost" in lieu of "free." Don't equate us to the private sector or even to federal civilians. Our service and our sacrifice is different, and health care in retirement is part of our "delayed compensation" we were promised.

    January 26, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Reply
    • nannimoe

      SecDef "recommending increases in health care fees, co-pays and deductibles for retirees." sure stick it to those who can least afford it. As usual the middle class gets hit again. Yet, everyone in Congress get a free ride on health care.

      January 26, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Reply
    • Mullah Fullah Bullah

      The days of your employer or ex-employer paying 100% of health care is over.

      January 26, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Reply
      • In It Until...

        Military health care has NEVER been FREE. I've served for 11 years so far and have paid every month for my heath care, granted not as much as other heath care plans – but you get what you pay for.

        January 26, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
      • Navy24years

        I agree. Sad but true. But TriCare it free for us retirees now.

        January 26, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
      • Navy24years

        Sorry I left out a word. TriCare is not free for us.

        January 26, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • Civilian forever

      So get your retirement at 65 like the rest of us and not at 40. I agree former military retirees should get health care at low cost for life (military service can easily wreck a persons health), and existing retirees should be grandfathered. But I don't see why we should be paying people to retire at 40 with a pension that starts immediately. Nobody else gets that, and the country simply can no longer afford it.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Reply
      • Stephanie

        The military is not the only place you get a retirement after 20 years, paid immediately. Most police and firemen also get it, for the same reason the military does....it's a physically demanding profession that requires strength and endurance...which we had to prove we had on at least an annual basis (AF) if not more often (Army and Marines).

        January 26, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • Toni

      I agree with Stephanie, my father was in the Army for 30 years before retiring. He has often said that one of the reasons he went in the military was the liftetime benefits promised to him. Now, they are trying to cut his benefits?? Congress should be the ones taking a cut in pay and benefits! They work how many months out of the year? They are not the ones going off to war and protecting this country and after only serving 4 years (i think) they have lifetime benefits that are far better then want the military get. They are there to serve the people of this country and all I am seeing anymore, is the politicians serving the politicians.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Reply
      • Dave Mishem

        Everyone keeps talking about these life long benefits package that were "promised". Promised by who? I certainly didn't promise them, and wasn't even alive. There are no sacred cows any more.

        January 26, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
      • Another Retired Voice

        The Military Retirement Medical Benifit has already been reduced by requiring participation in Medicare Part B, which requires a preimum to be paid, in order to get Tri-Care for Life, which is what they call retired medical benifits for the military now. Free Medical benifits for life for the service member and his spouse was one of the most touted benfits offered to obtain the signature each time for an extension of service until enough time for retirement was reached. (Minimum of 20 years) I served 27 years and when I turned 65 was placed on Medicare part B and billed over $300/month as long as I continue to work. (Income testing to get benifits already earned) Keep it up and it will be a problem to continue to get America's finest to stay in the service if you can even get them to join when the economy improves. You can create some serious unintended consequences with failure to honor promises that the soilders have fulfilled their part for and the Governement decides to screw them out of.

        January 26, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • retiree

      Amen....Stephanie
      You hit the nail on the head
      I get so weary of hearing from a public sector that is not even aware of the sacrifices military personnel make everyday. Count on it. As soon as America lets its guard down, we will be in another conflict.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Reply
  92. Sgt Paul

    82,000 Marines and Army Troops Unemployed???????
    Yeah thats real smart.

    January 26, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Reply
    • Jeff

      Smarter still would be to understand the proposal before crying wolf. The reduction will come from slightly fewer new recruits, not mass layoffs.

      January 26, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Reply
      • babygirl

        tell that to the 40,000 Active duty Army folks the SMA i s targeting

        January 26, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • PO2 Ben

      It's what the Republicans have been asking for, for over 4 years.

      January 26, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Reply
    • Stu in Iowa

      While of course not all of them, many can find good paying jobs in security. And I don't mean warehouse security either. Retirees from the Armed Forces make excellent personal and commercial security guards. Think rich people, events as an example.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Reply
    • BobbyBrick

      Additionally, cutting in half the number of troops in Europe and bringing them back to bases here in the US means they now get to spend that money here on our economy instead of other countries. Should be a nice little boost, especially to the areas surrounding the bases.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Reply
      • Bob Waters

        Insignificant boost since most of the big money is spent on foreign contractors in upkeep of the bases. It's just a massive cost savings and we need to do more of it. Everyone seems conflicted on how many bases are actually overseas but its roughly 150 countries which seems like a lot. It seems like it's long road to bringing the troops home.

        January 26, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
      • Ketoe

        The basis of military cuts is not soley from the President, but based on who in Congress supports the President. Many congressional members know the military is stocked with bad contracts and over spending, but what congressperson is going to allow the president to cut military contracts in their districts. Not a one, they all will make the speech, but none will make the cust that affect their districts.
        Secondly, cutting medical support for retirees is like McDonalds cutting the paper wrapper on forks and spoons. The cost is so small in the grand scheme of things that it dont matter, juts sounds good. However, I dont think any member of congress or president should make any cuts to medical cost, unless they make the same cuts to all branches of goverment. We cant be safe while the armies are protecting us, yet when they retire, we say thanks, but you gotta pay for saving out tail.
        Finally, stop speaking on the welfare issue when its bogus talk and setup to divide those who fall for the tricks. The cost of welfare in the federal budget is way to high, but necessary, however when folks talk about welfare, it is did in a tone of helping the poor and minority, or as Newt like to say food stamps, but welfare is more than that, but no one wants to discuss it. Welfare includes billions of dollars the goverment pay farmers not to farm, billions of dollars that the goverment give to those rich guys who create jobs, to help them start the business. Let me see, a millionaire gets a tax break on his income, looks to start a business, ask the fed for money to buy the land, then gets a tax break to build the company, then gets a tax break for 10 years to get going, then all the profits he keeps because, he gets another tax break on the money he made and investment, thats welfare.
        We as americans will become better neighbors and supporters of each other when we learn facts and truths, and stop making wild statements about which we know nothing of which we speak. The democrats and repubs will bash each other to keep their base excited and angry at the other side simply to push their agenda accross, we as americans need to stop falling for the hype and start understanding the process.

        January 26, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • Bob Waters

      Yeah, as if they have no marketable skills outside the military. I earn twice as much as I ever earned in the military and most of the people I work with are prior service.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Reply
  93. Chris in SA

    This makes me sick. What makes you think the world is a safer place today than 10 years ago? Osama is dead? The stresses on the military and their family is already too much and now you want to do the same job with half the resources. Unless you a cyborg Army, this is going to be bad. Well done Commander-in-Chief. Well done.

    January 26, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Reply
    • Jess Sayin

      A cyborg army is precisely the direction the Pentagon wants to go. Why waste human lives when we have the technology to accomplish the same results without putting our best people in danger (and save money too)? For the US to waste half of our budget on an on-the-ground military is ridiculous in this day and age. Finally, we can see the military moving into the future. I salute President Obama for making practical decisions with our budget.

      January 26, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Reply
    • EdiotWatcher

      Troll. Punk. Arm chair warrior. Go suqk newt

      January 26, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Reply
      • experiencehe

        GO BLOW A GOAT!!!
        OBAMANOS!!!

        January 26, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Chris in SA

      Technology is allowing us to accomplish more with less but we are very far from winning a real war without troops on the ground. In particular, modern warfare where the enemy hides amongst the general population, we need human intell, boots on the ground, to win these battles. Plus, how much do you think the price of a cyborg would be? Well, $12,000 hammers, so...

      January 26, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Reply
    • experiencehe

      OBAMANOS!!!

      January 26, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Reply
  94. M-man

    Waste, waste, waste. That has been the MO for the military for many years. We can't afford it anymore. Time for drastic military budget cuts. We don't have to play policeman for the world.

    January 26, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Reply
    • josh

      Except we still will paly that role and now the military will be even more stretched thin and overworked.

      January 26, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Reply
    • Doug Breault

      You make a good point. Let's pull back out of a few of these dung holes we're in fighting wars that will never be won or finished. That alone should allow us to continue at the current burn rate without putting soldiers on the street or reducing the size of the military. And yes, things should be tightened up to avoid waste, but in a smart, measured way. (Um... why does the publish button on this page read "Publicar"... is that fn Spanish? Did I get teleported to fn Mexico when I blinked, wtf? I think I'm going to puke.)

      January 26, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Reply
      • julio enrique cisneros banuelos lopez

        You are a racist. Ive read 3 comments from you that lead me to that conclusion. My guess is that you are proud of it.

        January 26, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • Scott

      M-man – the military doesn't make policy. That comes from the White House and is paid for by Congress. There's no MO for the military except trying to keep Soldiers alive in a complex and dangerous world.

      January 26, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Reply
      • lexxius

        Do you even understand what MO means is in this context?

        January 26, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  95. DF

    What a wonderful thing. Downsize our Military and announce it to the world. Which dumb ass in Washington thought this was a good idea?

    January 26, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Reply
    • John "Johnny mop" Price

      Even a down sized American military is still huge compared to every other military force on earth.

      January 26, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Reply
      • nannimoe

        Oh yeah right, check out thre size of China and N Korea's military

        January 26, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
      • tNT

        Reducing does not neccessarily mean downsizing. It also includes increased efficiency. With the increased number of UAVs, there are less requirements for pilots and other support staff. Another specific example are the new state of the art Littoral Combat Ships (LCS), which has a crew of only 40, and will be replacing both the FFG (crew of 176) and the MCM (crew of 90) class ships. Additionally, the new generation DDG-1000s, which has a crew of only 170, will be replacing the current DDGs, which has a crew of 300.

        January 26, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
      • Mark

        That might be true depending on who we had to fight-
        Currently active and reserve US is just under 3 million and not all carry a rifle
        North Korea has over 8 million in reserve- China plenty
        Notice none of these countries rely heavily on air or navy assets.

        January 26, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • Not a dumbass

      Hey genius, other countries actively monitor the size of our forces. This is not a secret

      January 26, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Reply
    • Brian

      I think they know what they are doing – unless you have some insight into military issues at the executive level. I dont think downsizing is going to affect our strength so there isnt anything to fear on that front. Its not as if someone is going to invade us now that we are "weak".

      January 26, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Reply
      • Bob Waters

        He's just trolling. He has no clue.

        January 26, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Jeff

      Some of the coments here illustrate exactly why we need to spend less on our military and more on education. Few things are more indicative of a declining country than increased spending on police, military and prisons, while spending on science and edcuation is decreased.

      January 26, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Reply
    • Aeroman

      Those of you complaining or worried about the downsizing need to further educate yourselves...

      The reduction levels will STILL put us at a larger military than before 9/11/01. Before 9/11, were you afraid at the size of our military? The rest of the world definitely wasn't, I don't know why any of you would have been... The U.S. military will still be able respond to threats anywhere they arise and defeat them with decisive victory. That's a fact you can't get away from. To think othewise is ridiculous.

      If you're worried that we won't have the strength and manpower to fight more than one war or a single multi-theater war, you need to look back at history. The size of our military was only a fraction of what it will be after these present-day reductions before World War II. But following the Pearl Harbor attack, in the midst of the Great Depression, our economy was and industry was put on a war-footing and our military quickly became the largest it's ever been and one of the largest in history. We can and would do that today if the extreme situation arose. Yes, it would require the implementation of the draft and it would require our factories to start pumping out combat boots rather than Jordans, but it would be done.

      But despite all that extremism, no one in the Pentagon or the White House is saying that we COULDN'T fight in more than one place at the same time given these present-day reductions. It would just make things more constrained and difficult until the level could be increased again to appropriate levels, which often happens on its own after a major incident (take the aftermath of 9/11, for example).

      The point is, don't ever underestimate the resolve or the capacity of the United States and its Armed Forces to meet and defeat the threats to this country, because it will be done without any doubt.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Reply
  96. Carlos

    I'd rather see cuts in Defense than cuts in Social Security, Medicare and other programs. Our Defense spending has grown exponentially and it's out of touch with the tough economic reality this country is going through. The only time I remember we were attacked [putting aside the 9/11/01 terror attacks] by another country was on Dec. 7, 1941 by Japan. All the other wars we got involved none of them we were directly attacked by another country [.e.g., Korean war, Vietnam war, neither Korea nor Vietnam attacked U.S. soil as neither did Iraq] .

    January 26, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Reply
    • josh

      I haven't had a single problem in finances. The military pays me fine and takes care of me. The military is the best social welfare program our country has. Prove me otherwise.

      January 26, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Reply
      • Chris in SA

        I'm a veteran and support the military 100% but your statement is asinine. Yes the military gives you a salary and some benefits but what do they ask in return. You work whenever required in any environment. You routinely train in difficult and dangerous environments. You basically, blindfully follow orders that could result in injury or death. You must be separated from your family for extended periods of time. You must limit your freedoms as guaranteed under our constitution. You must go to war, when called upon. And few social welfare programs come with potential death as a requirement. In all, a lot to ask of people for such a small salary.

        January 26, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Tom

      Carlos, check your facts before you post.
      Defense spending in the United States has fluctuated in the last century, rising from one percent of GDP, peaking at 42 percent in World War II, declining from 10 percent in the Cold War to five percent today.
      http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/past_spending

      January 26, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Reply
  97. Doug Breault

    Great idea.. let's decimate the military budget, because after all, the entire world loves the US and wants to make peace with us. (What planet are we on? Good grief.) Sign me up for the revolution when it starts against these morons "leading" us. Leading us into "what" is the question.

    January 26, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Reply
    • rad666

      Which nations have actually attacked America? Which nations are going to attack America? Which boogieman are we defending against?

      January 26, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Reply
    • John "Johnny mop" Price

      The military spending is still several hundreds of billions higher then any other countries. Who is going to attack the United States..answers simple..NO ONE... It would be suicide and all other countries know this.

      January 26, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Reply
    • mforrest

      "Decimate?" Do you have any idea what you're talking about? Panetta is proposing cutting $33B of a $684B budget. That's less than 5%. Go talk to some folks in middle class America who have had to take 50-60% pay cuts to stay afloat and then come back and tell me how you justify using the word "decimate."

      January 26, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Reply
      • Doug Breault

        You have a point if that is the size of the slice. I stand corrected. Anything Obama does has me suspicious, I don't trust the guy or his administration as far as I could throw him. I have a gut feeling he is up to no good.

        January 26, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
      • Jim

        The cost of war is still set; if there is less money to spend on it the difference will be paid for with more blood. Less money for the military means less people, less equipment and less training....all of which will cause more deaths. Enjoy your welfare check as it probably cost someone their life.

        January 27, 2012 at 12:33 am |
    • JH1

      This is precisely why they use these inflated numbers totalled over a period of years, because people don't understand what's actually being said and just see "big number."

      500b / 10 years = 50b / year. A drop in the bucket.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Reply
  98. M. Smith

    If the administration really wants to save some additional billions in taxpayer funds then it ought to take a close look at the preposterously high so-called 'housing' allowances that are handed out in the all volunteer military.

    How it is even possible that two O-6s with a kid stationed in the San Francisco Bay area are handed over $7,500 per month tax free for their surmised (obvious multi-million dollar residence) housing needs? It's an outrage, and especially so when this 3-person 25-year in the service family is already being handed over $280k per year in base pays alone (not including the other plethora of pays and tax free allowances.

    And the same goes for a single, very early twenty something E-5 sailor or airman stationed in Honolulu or a host of otjher warm and welcming climes. S/he gets handed almost $2-3-4k per month tax free for his/her 'housing' needs instead of being expected to live on his ship or in her barracks.

    Is this a joke. No it is no joke, other than on the U.S. taxpayer. The taxpayer is paying for this fellow's oceanfront Waikiki Beach condo. And imagine if two single members pool their housing allowances and become roommates. Now the taxpayer is paying $4-6-8k, per month tax free so two single volunteers with HS diplomas or GEDs are able to live the life of vastly premature affluence on the tony shores of Waikiki Beach or perhaps the North Shore all on the backs of the US taxpayers.

    It is far past time that this waste and utter nonsense is stopped!

    All coming from a vet and a prior Section Chief in the IRS's CFO Office.

    January 26, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Reply
    • Still Serving

      Poor sour grapes guy...

      January 26, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Reply
      • M. Smith

        Sour grapes? Not by a long shot. I was with the IRS for years. Now why should the U.S. taxper be on the petead for this objectively wasteful spending that rweaeds upwards of 20-30 BILLIOB per year? I'd like to see you seasoned resonse. Good luck.

        January 26, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
      • M. Smith

        As an honorably discharged veteran (Navy: 1976-1981), every single veteran since the draft was abolished in 1973 volunteered into the military. And most joined with HS diplomas or GEDs in the hope to improve their lot in life.
        And what's wrong with that? Absolutely positively nothing. In fact, the military recruitment advertisement campaigns for many decades have focused on this one aspect of military service.

        But there's another fact that rarely gets mentioned. And it is this. The vast majority volunteer NOT as combatants but rather into one of the legions of (very much needed) support roles and fields. And most members never carry or
        fire a weapon after boot camp, much less actually served in combat. And stating this fact DOES NOT disparage or diminish their service. It merely clarifies and distinguishes it from the actual war fighters who are among the
        Infantry, most Marines, and all Navy SEALs.

        In recent years, all volunteer military pay and tax free allowances have gotten completely out of hand. Opting to enter or to stay in the all volunteer military was never ever, until recent years, intended to be an entryway into the middle and upper income classes. But that is exactly what has occurred. This is the model in third-world nations, NOT HERE!

        Mid-level officers easily garner six figure levels of cash compensation. Higher level officers, most of who sit behind desks, are raking in $200k per year and more. We're creating literal millionaires in the ranks. It's beyond
        preposterous.

        And the new 9-11 GI Bill is extremely generous. It is too expensive to the taxpayers. And it is far more generous than what vets gained after WWII or any other American war. Full rides for themselves or their kids at the highest
        cost state universities with a tax free housing allowance of upwards of $2-3k per month for 4 years. Unreal. Unimaginable. Far too expensive.

        January 26, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
      • Army Spouse

        M. Smith
        I am a little confused about the six figure salary comment concerning mid-level officers. What is your definition of a mid-level officer? A mid-level officer would be a Captain with over 8 years. They make $66,444 per year. When a Captain is a company commander they are typically in charge of anywhere from 80 to 300 soldiers (depending on the company). What does the typical person who is in charge of that many people make? For some reason it seems you think an O-6 is a mid-level officer. Usually it take 25 years plus to reach that level, and many officers do not. When an O6 is in command they are in charge of a brigade, which averages at about 2000 soldiers (again, depends on the brigade). What do CEOs of 2000 people make? An O6 makes $118,404- again- many officers do not obtain this rank- it is hardly a mid-level rank. My husband is only an O4- and I don't think he will stay in for O6. He's been to four Iraq deployments, left us to deploy when my daughter was 3 days old, and turned around and deployed when my son was 12 hours old.

        January 26, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • Fred

      Seeing as how they risk their lives fighting for us, I'm more willing to let them live in afluence versus paying the bloated salaries of our corrupt congressmen/women.

      January 26, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Reply
    • nosepicker

      If there is no housing on base, Chief, don't they go live on the economy anyway reguardless of where they are stationed. Isn't $2K a month around Honolulu average rent?

      January 26, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Reply
    • First Shirt

      Times change, my friend. This isn't a 'live in the barracks' world anymore. We expect our Airmen, Soldiers, Sailor and Marines to be adults, and we ask our GED/HS diploma-having young men and women to put themselves in harm's way when they could choose not to. Instead of attacking them, why don't we look at how much Section Chiefs at the IRS make and what you actually contribute to society.

      January 26, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Reply
      • M. Smith

        Again, >$7,500 per month TAX FREE to support a 3-person family's MULTIIMILLION DOLLAR surmised "housing needs" in San Fran 9and scoes of other safe and welcming climes. And this dual married desk-based couple is allready being paid by the US taxpaers >$280k per year in base pay alone. Why shouldn't we (the US taxpayers) expect these pseudo bean couting desk clerks to use their own darn salary to pay for thier own housing just like the rest of the American public (who does) and who pays their salaries in the 1st place?

        And why should a HS-educated 22-year old Navy or AF cookie baker live the high life off the backs of the taxpayer in a tony condo in San Diego/La Jolla or Wakiki Beach.

        The fllor is all yours.

        January 26, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
      • Jim

        M Smith
        You keep bringing up this figure and I keep correcting you. Mil to Mil couples do not both get BAH. In that case only 1 will be paid the BAH and the other will not. It's been a long time since 1981 and the military has changed. With all the cuts every member of the military is expected to deploy on a pretty regular basis. This means that non-combat role military goes on the deployment with little to no training in combat and is not prepared for what they face.

        January 27, 2012 at 12:43 am |
    • Hobbie

      M. Smith, not my fault that you work for the IRS. We all make life choices. You chose to be a dog sniffing IRS agent.

      January 26, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Reply
    • Hobbie

      M. Smith you are a F - A -- G -- G -- O -- T !!!!

      January 26, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Reply
      • M. Smith

        No, actually I am a prior 12+ year jounrneyman pipefiiter in the US shipyard industry, an alumnus of the hyper competitive and prestigious Presidential Management Fellowship Program, a prior Exec Directtor of a biomedical non-profit, and prior Section Chief in the IRS's CFO office, and a caring and thinking and grad-school educated U.S. taxpayer.

        Now respond coherently to the issue or go back into your corner, little man.

        January 26, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
      • Mary P

        And I'm CLEOPATRA! See how easy it is to become anything with a few types of text. You failed miserably in lying about one thing, so sorry, won't believe you on anything else! Even if I believed you in all this – sounds like you can't hold a job! LOL 5 years here, 5 years there, 3 years here... maybe you just lied too much with the others as well! I also wouldn't brag about "grad educated" squat, since you have a real issue with spelling and grammar.

        What is a "jounrneyman pipefiiter" or a directtor anyway?

        January 26, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
      • Jim

        I can make up a bunch of "jobs" that I have done too...watch

        I was the president of super scissor manufacture paper cutter
        I built mail boxes in Ethiopia for 16 years
        I was a Jr member of the ultra super prestigious walnut cracking co called "nut buster"
        I can go on but I think I made my point....oh I also don't think you were in the Navy for 30 years because you can tell when someone was in the military

        January 27, 2012 at 12:54 am |
    • 11B01P

      Don't bullshit us. The garbage you are spewing must be cited. I, nor anyone I knew, in the military was receiving BAH of that caliber. Fools like you are the reason why veterans are constantly getting shafted regarding many of our contractual agreements we have with the .gov, while politicians get paid like kings, and many, many, welfare families are willfully uneducated and unmotivated.

      What is it like to see the world through a logical kaleidoscope?

      January 26, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Reply
      • First Shirt

        Of course, he picked some of the highest cost of living places in the world for dramatic effect, but our Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) is based on local cost of living. Just because it's a 'warm and welcoming climate' doesn't change the fact that the were FORCED to go there due to their military obligation. I, for one, loathe hot weather, so I wouldn't enjoy an assignement to a place like that. When it's all said and done, our allowances put us mostly on par with our civilian counterparts. Your bean counting, desk riding Colonels you like to tout around are the equivalent of CEOs and CFOs, with the same scope of responsibility.

        January 26, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • Mike

      Congrats. You served 5 years... I spent more time than that in the desert.

      Get a clue.

      January 26, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Reply
    • Hobbie

      M. Smith is a d-i-c-k-s-u-c-k-i-n-g douche.

      January 26, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Reply
    • wagnot

      Hey dumbass, if it is so good, get off you lazy ass, join one of the military services and start living the life. I would really like to hear back from you after you've spend 18 months away from your family living in a tent (a very fine one at that), not knowing if you are going to be the next casualty. Before you have the right to criticize, you must live the life.

      January 26, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Reply
    • chad

      M. Smith,

      You are an idiot. I received 2500, for housing in hawaii. My rent was 2800 unless I wanted to live homeless on the beach. And dont forget the 5 deployments living in tents or conex's. So, we can have cheap gas! And by the way the military pays taxes too

      January 26, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Reply
    • Stu

      Why don't you check your info first before you go spouting off random numbers for BAH. Take a look at the calculator here: http://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/bahCalc.cfm. An E-5 stationed in Honolulu does NOT get $2-4K per month for BAH. Single E-5s get $1700 and E-5s with dependents receive $1900. I (as well as anyone else that has lived in Hawaii) guarantee you that this amount does NOT get them a luxury Waikiki condo facing the ocean. While your point about married O-6s stationed in San Francisco receiving $7500 in BAH is legitimate, do you honestly know a couple like that? I have never seen mil-to-mil couples that high in rank in my past 8 years in service. Usually, one gets out in order to take care of the kids. Furthermore, how many military members are there that actually have San Francisco as a duty location? I would wager very few. Maybe a few folks at ROTC units in universities and some recruiters in the city. Not more than a few dozen if that. And I guarantee that there aren't tons of O-6s rolling around the city either.

      January 26, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Reply
    • Hobbie

      I WOULD LIKE TO POINT OUT THAT SEAMEN SMITH WHO SERVED FROM 1976-1981 SERVED DURING THE PEACE TIME AND NEVER GOT SHOT AT OR BLOWN UP LIKE I DID IN AFGHANISTAN.

      BTW YOU'RE WELCOME FOR ALL THE CRUISE TOURING YOU GOT TO DO AS A SEAMAN. I HOPE YOU GOT AN STD FROM EVEY PORT OF CALL YOU MADE IN YOU PATHETIC COLD WAR SERVICE!!!!!

      January 26, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Reply
    • Hobbie

      I WOULD LIKE TO POINT OUT THAT SEAMEN SMITH WHO SERVED FROM 1976-1981 SERVED DURING THE PEACE TIME AND NEVER GOT SHOT AT OR BLOWN UP LIKE I DID IN AFGHANISTAN.

      BTW YOU'RE WELCOME FOR ALL THE CRUISE TOURING YOU GOT TO DO AS A SEAMAN. I HOPE YOU GOT AN STD FROM EVEY PORT OF CALL YOU MADE IN YOUR PATHETIC COLD WAR SERVICE!!!!!

      January 26, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Reply
    • Mary P

      Sir, you are ridiculously ill-informed and there is NO way you are a vet. TWO O-6's? Name me a husband AND wife who are O-6's, Colonel's. At the best case scenario, they are 25 years or MORE in. They are in charge between the two of thousands of soldiers to boot. There NO rank that gets $288k base pay! An O-6 current 2012 base pay is $10,300 a month. $124k a year. You were only about 60% off for someone so intent on lying. So you are telling me a husband and wife, both managing to make Colonel with 26 YEARS of service, commanding thousands of troops is "making too much" and somehow manages to have an underage kid at... at best 50 years old assuming they went STRAIGHT to an Academy at 17. And for YEARS first starting, they were getting a pittance? Not to even MENTION the training and time away from family – of apparently TWO Colonels?

      And REALLY? Hawaii as your choice, of course for BAH. It has COLA there, the costs are outrageous but we *need* to maintain Navy presence. BAH averages $3000 a month for an O-6 (some counties quite a bit less). And frankly, because of Officer mobility, MANY choose to stay ON base because there are often times where they will be stationed for 2-3 years.

      As for a "single E-5", since my hubs retired at that rank, even WITH dependents, we got $1100 a month in Colorado Springs, a median priced market. In Georgia we only got $750. Mind you, WITH dependents, rates are lower for singles.

      And how DARE someone have a *gasp* roommate! Are you going to complain when two waitresses get an apartment together that the food costs too much?

      Nice try on the LIES to cause FAUX outrage. But you failed miserably you lying sack of... well, manure.

      Signed, Air Force Wife, Navy granddaughter, Army daughter and Army niece.

      January 26, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Reply
      • Mary P

        Oh and feel free to check with the DoD website for 2012 rates. It would behoove you to do so. At least you can come up with a more believable lie.

        January 26, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
      • Mary P

        And one other tidbit – if they have a dependent anyway, only ONE receives BAH with dependents, not both. The figures don't just double. The lesser of the two gets a single rate.

        January 26, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
      • First Shirt

        I actually do know two mil-mil Colonels, but you're right, they are exceedingly rare.

        January 26, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
      • Don

        I worked for a Navy Captain who was married to a Marine Corps Colonel (who picked up 1 Star General during that time), so it happens, but that is only case I knew of in my 20+ years in the military.

        January 26, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
      • M. Smith

        Mary,

        As a vet (Nacvy: 1976-1981) and the son of a WWII combat US Marine, GET OFF your high horse. Now kindly articulate a reasoned analysis why the US taxpayer should be compelled to pay the princely sum of $7,554 per month TAX FREE to two married O-6s who are CUMULATIVELY being paid by the US taxpayer in excess of $280k per year in base pay alone, both of who function as desk-based bean counters in a San Fran office for their sumised 'housing' needs.

        The floor is ALL YOURS!

        January 26, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
      • First Shirt

        Because those two Colonels are willing to fight and die for your right to complain about how much their *gasp* tax free housing allowance is. The BAH system is designed to cover cost-of-living expenses. A single Airman living in that area might find his tax rate bumped up to unmanageable levels if his housing allowance was taxed. Seriously, if this is all you have to complain about, then consider your life pretty good.

        January 26, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
      • First Shirt

        And the only one looking down on us from his high horse is you. I'm sure you served your 5 years in the 'nacvy' honorably. You want a reasoned response, fine. Look at the pay and allowances for a Fortune 500 executive. Now, check his tax rate. As the recent political urinary olympics has shown, many of those people pay much lower taxes then the average US citizen you are so passionate about defending. So in essence, much of their income is tax free. And they don't even have to run the risk of an IED or sniper to earn it. Nice work, if you can get it.

        January 26, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Don

      Get a clue M. Smith, the BS you just put on this page is nowhere close to accurate. Try looking at the DFAS site for pay scales before you try and act like you know what you are talking about. MORON!

      January 26, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Reply
      • M. Smith

        The ony moron, if you, dude.
        BA, MPA, law school
        journeyman pipefitter for 12+ years in the US shipyard industry.

        No respond to the issue or shut up!

        January 26, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
      • First Shirt

        All that education and yet you still don't know how to type. Sad.

        January 26, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  99. rad666

    October? 1 month before elections? What a coinkydink.

    January 26, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Reply
    • Brandon

      No, it has nothing to do with the elections bozo. The DOD fiscal year starts October 1st of every year. The budge through 9/30 has already been established.

      January 26, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Reply
      • rad666

        Why wait? Starting cutting the spending now.

        January 26, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
      • rad666

        Start**

        January 26, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • Jonathan

      Just happens to be when the legal financial new year starts. Not much more than a coincidence. Since it would make no sense to try and implement it within an fiscal year.

      January 26, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Reply
    • nosepicker

      Dod fiscal year starts Oct 1st...the money has already been spent.

      January 26, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Reply
      • rad666

        They have already passed out paychecks to the military until Oct?

        January 26, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
      • Luke

        You can't start cutting in a current budget... The fiscal year budgets are designed for that year, which means a lot of the budget is probably tied to events throughout the year. If you were to put these "cuts" into affect right now there would not be enough money to fulfill their current budget. Now you might say well how about they cut those events, but just like everything the has to deal with governments (state, city, federal) nothing is done right away or cheap. For example look up the price that federal government pays for a single hammer for a US solider...

        January 26, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Jonathan

      Because that would require restructuring the entire yearly budget all ready approved and being spent. Plus you can't just snap your fingers and wallah! you're saving money. It's probably going to take until atleast October to even begin to transition these savings and implement them.

      January 26, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Reply
    • Chris

      October 2013....in case you didn't read that part before you commented. 2013.

      January 26, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Reply
      • rad666

        Uh, Oct 2012, is the start of the 2013 budget year.

        January 26, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
      • Mike

        Fiscal year 13... which starts October 2012.

        Heh...

        January 26, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
      • VAisforlovers

        Why does election day have to be in november anyway? Bad weather makes it hard to get to the polls AND many people are sick because of the cold weather changes coming in. I've been so sick on election day before that I couldn't even vote. Boooo.

        January 26, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
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