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 (1,041 Responses)
  1. ed102

    A message to the troups and defense civil servents from the Obama administration, 'Thanks for your service over the last decade of war. I know that you sacrificed much, saw loved ones be maimed and even die in combat. Now don't let the door hit you on the arse on the way out.'

    January 26, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Reply
    • alfranken

      Oh and better idea is to keep sacrificing them for no good reason. Get a grip

      January 26, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Reply
    • Chinatown

      No, actually it's more of a way to say that the wars we've been waging for the past 10 years, Nationbuilding, is unsustainable and probably the dumbest strategy we could try and do

      January 26, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Reply
  2. YEAH-I-KNOW-ALL-ABOUT-IT

    All BAH and BHA allowances are PUBLICLY AVAILABLE on the DOD website. M.Smith's #s are absolutely CORRECT!! I personally have a family member who attended the USNA and received a Bachelor's degree (free of charge and received a payment stipend BTW for every year of college) as well as a Master's degree (free of charge + full salary +free medical benefits + free and non-taxable housing benefits) on MY tax dollars. He and his family have now been on "shore duty" in San Diego for OVER 5 years. He pays NO INCOME TAXES in CA because although he owns a home in CA he can still claim his "official place of residence" as NJ. Since he earned no income in NJ – he pays NO INCOME TAX in NJ either. As an O-5 with 16 years in the military he receives a TAX-FREE Basic Housing Allowance of over $3600/ month which is about $43,200/ year. This is in addition the $85,000/ year in salary and also $300/ month in BAH which is also TAX FREE. He also pays NO $$$ for healthcare for himself or his family (stay at mom wife + 2 kids). He, his wife, and his kids pay no co-pays to see the doctor, to get prescriptions, or to go to the ER (which his wife is at constantly for every minor issue because it's FREE!! And you thought the illegals in the ER were bad?). In the civilian world, a family of 4 pays over $15,000/ year in healthcare costs alone. They also partake in TAX FREE shopping at the MANY military exchanges throughout SD county (which feature the latest designer handbags, clothing, electronics, and whatever else you would find in Nordstrom) as well as reduced price gas for their TWO over $40,000 vehicles. They also needed to provide absolutely NO $0 down (other than closing costs) for their home purchase and do not have to pay ANY PMI since our FEDERAL GOVERNMENT guarantees their loan.

    In compensation alone, this guy is making over $150,000/ year!!! And how much does he pay in taxes on that $150,000?? HE PAYS NO STATE TAXES and PAYS < $10,000/ year in Federal taxes!! Oh and by the way – no student debt and he can retire and collect a FULL MILITARY PENSION (before the age of 45) in < 4 years.

    Being in the military is definitely a difficult life for SOME – but definitely NOT for ALL. Stop complaining military and miltary wives – you guys have it a heck of a lot better than most these days. And BTW if it's SOOOOO BAD. Why are you still in?? Get the F$%K OUT and save some tax dollars!!!

    January 26, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Reply
    • alfranken

      It's called the GOP welfare plan.

      January 26, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Reply
    • w

      obviously you have no idea what you are talking about. how awesome is it to be away from your family from 6m-1.2y every couple of years with the chance of not returning home. also that doesnt include train up. And your lucky to live somewhere nice, most of the time its in crapholes and you may have no say. if its such a great life, why arent you serving????

      January 26, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Reply
      • YEAH-I-KNOW-ALL-ABOUT-IT

        If I had ANY idea what a freaking amazing set-up this is – I would have signed-up through the military academy and gotten in as an officer NO PROBLEM.

        January 26, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • Really?

      Tell that to the wifes, and kids of the soldier's, airmen and marines that died in combat...your post makes me sick.

      January 26, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Reply
      • YEAH-I-KNOW-ALL-ABOUT-IT

        Hmmm... let's see... who decided to put your loved ones into combat in the first place?? That would be YOU!! Not saying the benefit isn't deserved only saying it should be TAXED!!

        January 26, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • Dh

      . You show me a job in the real word that takes you away from your family for a year to get shot at. Where you work 18 hour days. He also has a master degree. Equate that to a real world job and how much would u get paid. Look at how much they have to pay contractors in Iraq. What a jackass.

      January 26, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Reply
    • cptslty

      You obviously have no idea what you're talking about. He did get a "free" education at USNA, but for that education he had to sign a contract to serve his country for a set number of years after he got his degree. That stipend he got while attending USNA sure is a big one. Since he would have gone there back in the 90s, he was probably making anywhere from $50 a month to $300 a month. That's a lot less than people get off of unemployment. On top of that, he also had to give up most of his freedom while attending USNA.

      For his current pay, your friend is probably taking home about $150k a year. This may sound like a lot to you, but as an O5 in the Navy, he's probably managing the same number of people that someone who makes several hundred thousand in the civilian world would make. My director at the company I used to work for was making roughly $150k a year, and he only had about 50 people working for him. The CDR has probably had at least 200 people working for him at one time.

      Rather than giving a one sided story about the military, you may want to look into the full story. You're obviously one of those guys who has just enough knowledge to be dangerous.

      January 26, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Reply
      • YEAH-I-KNOW-ALL-ABOUT-IT

        So KNOWLEDGE = DANGER?? Interesting theory....but I digress. I would like to RE-ITERATE FOR the UPTEENTH TIME that I am not questioning the benefit. I just don't think it should be TAX FREE!!

        January 26, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • YEAH-I-KNOW-ALL-ABOUT-IT

      Not saying he hasn't sacrificed but there are MANY, MANY, MANY, MANY hardworking Americans who spend 6 to 12 months away from their familes so that they can provide a roof over their heads and food on the table. And they DON'T get TAX FREE INCOME because of that.

      Not EVERYONE in the military is getting shot at – ALOT are living quite large in DC, California, Hawaii, Italy, and Germany. I know many PERSONALLY – so sorry – cry me a river about your horrible fate in life. Like I said – if it's sooooo bad – get out. No sympathy here!!

      January 26, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Reply
      • YEAH-I-KNOW-ALL-ABOUT-IT

        And yeah I know PLENTY of people with Masters degrees, doctorates with > $200,000 in school loan debt that would LOVE to have been paid that $50 to $200/ month ON TOP of NOT paying for school.

        January 26, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • TrueBlue42

      E-5, no dependents, Honolulu, 2012 BAH=$1,701/month.
      http://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/Docs/perdiem/browse/Allowances/BAH/PDF/2012/2012-Without-Dependents-BAH-Rates.pdf

      O-5, with dependents, San Diego, 2012 BAH=$2,871/month
      http://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/Docs/perdiem/browse/Allowances/BAH/PDF/2012/2012-With-Dependents-BAH-Rates.pdf

      O-5, 2012 Basic Pay = $8,504/month ($102,048/yr) E-5 2012 Basic Pay = $2,662/month($31,944/yr).
      http://www.navycs.com/2012-military-pay-chart.html

      The facts prove both you and M. Smith completely wrong. Either you can't read the publically available sites you mentioned, or you're a liar. Neither is acceptable.

      January 26, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Reply
      • YEAH-I-KNOW-ALL-ABOUT-IT

        Idiot!! Look at years of service DUMBA$$

        January 26, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
      • YEAH-I-KNOW-ALL-ABOUT-IT

        O-5 with dependents AND 16 years of service...Not in the military are you??

        January 26, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • Retired Cheif Petty Officer

      Spoken poorly by someone that more than likely has never served a day, try it you might like it or better yet it may open your eyes to the fact that what ever the people of this country pay those who protect them and thier freedom the cost is worth it even for folks like you who wine about thier pay and benifits. I was promised a hard job, long hours, serperation from my loved ones and all for the chance to sereve my country with a promise of free health care for life and 50% of my base pay after honorably completing 20 years of this idealic and comfie life style. In fact the 50% of base pay is not enough to retire on for any enlisted rank and my free healthcare has disapeered as we now have to pay for it and it is consistanly the target of those in congress who think that pensions and benifts of our retired military members is just another piggybank like Social Security where they can reduce the benefits but still wave the flag and expect folks to flock to join the services. I thnk not and those that think its a cake walk i say belly up to the table and get yourslef a big heaping plate of reality. CPO Retired Navy

      January 26, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Reply
    • rory wong

      IIs this the plan from the l% offering to the 90%? Your life is worth nothing except to work for the military and we will provide you with a better future to invade other country and build military artillery

      January 26, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Reply
  3. BubbaTheBald

    The military industrial complex gives far too much money to politicians for there to ever be more than "cuts to increases in the defense/military budget". The US spends far more than any other country on the military. Sequestration would be a good thing for the military budget. Cut the entire US budget equally. That's fair. I am not a liberal. I am a veteran and I think that further cuts to the military budget are in order. It's bs to keep thousands of troops in Germany, Japan and Korea. If the need us there, let them pay us to be there. The US can no longer afford to be the worlds police. We need to pull back.

    January 26, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Reply
  4. mcam1

    Where did all the money go? Where is all the money going? They need to do a better job explaing where all the money is going in terms we can all understand.

    January 26, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Reply
    • Peter

      This 500 billion went to George Bush's folly alone. Strange how this "Cut" only covers GW's increases while we still have tens of thousands of troops defending Europe from somebody?

      January 26, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Reply
    • neal

      id sure like to see that BLACK BUDGET..for AREA 51..and the fancy toys CUT..you'd SEE the budget AT LEAST cut in HALF!!! RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT.....congress need's to stop the blank check for the military crap.

      January 26, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Reply
  5. Army SGT

    I am a single SGT (E-5) on Active Duty. If I were to factor in ALL my military compensation, for a 56 hour work week I make 18.75 an hour. That's based on Regular Military Compensation, which assumes I live off-post and receive a housing allowance. This is not the case for most soldiers in the pay-grade of E-5 or below. We live in sub-standard barracks rooms approximately the same size as a college dorm room, with a roommate. When you factor that in I could make more money working at McDonalds, doing less work. So for all of you curious, this is the average life of an enlisted member of the Armed Forces with 4-6 years time in service.

    As far as cuts go, they need to come from everywhere. The wealthy need to pay taxes at the same rate as everyone else, congress needs to take a hard look at making sacrifices themselves, better evaluation of candidates for welfare and unemployment, as well as the military. There are plenty of 'dead-wood', malingering soldiers not earning their paychecks. Anyone in the Army knows at least a dozen overweight, lazy, PT failures just leeching the taxpayers. The military needs to cut the fat, not the brains and muscle. Its really that simple.

    January 26, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Reply
    • Priorities

      Bless you for your candor and insight, Sergeant.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Reply
    • Chinatown

      Teachers get paid dirt too.......If the pay was higher in the military, there would just be more mercenaries in it rather than ppl who believe in supporting their country

      January 26, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Reply
    • YEAH-I-KNOW-ALL-ABOUT-IT

      Totally agree!! Glad you're admitting to the "FAT" out there!! And Thank YOU for your hard working service!!

      January 26, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Reply
    • BubbaTheBald

      Thanks for your service and you make some good points. The one benefit the military gets that not many civilian jobs offer any more though is lifetime retirement. That is worth quite a bit. I'm not saying retired military don't deserve it because I think they do, I'm just saying it's a very good benefit the military offers. I am a USAF veteran and my father is a retired USAF Lt. Col.

      January 26, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Reply
    • alfranken

      Sorry to tell you but your 56 hours are of little work but standing around doing not much. You would get fired in the private sector. I've seen how hard you guys work. When you are in combat that is a whole different story but if you're not, then you're a waste of money - so welcome to the real world that the rest of us have to deal with.

      January 26, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Reply
      • Army SGT

        Wow, I'd love to see how many of 'you' can power balance and course correct a satellite. Don't worry, I'll be getting out soon enough, so you can pay the military to pay a contractor to pay me upwards of 200k/yr, Cheers!

        January 26, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
      • AJK

        Im sorry who do you think you are? based on you comments it seems you know next to nothing on what the military does and its exact purpose. just because your welfare check allows you the luxury of purchasing internet access doesnt give you the right to tell this gentleman who has dedicated his life to the military that he is lazy and doesnt do any work. Do me a favor and look around your trailer park and think about all the hard work and dedication you have put into your life before criticizing someone else. You are lucky that the military not only protects all the women, children, men, and everybody who is proud to be american but also lazy, ignorant, subhuman slobs such as yourself

        January 26, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
  6. Priorities

    When they had to operate on a shoestring in the Revolution, an armed citizenry known as the Minutemen formed a cornerstone that worked in tandem with a vastly underfunded and undermanned General Washington. Things are different today, of course. But it can never be forgotton that the ragtag military and militia of the day walloped the strongest military machine that had ever existed on the face of the earth. If, God forbid, our nation weakens militarily to the point that an armed incursion becomes possible; then let's hope a well armed citizenry will be able to hold their own in the face of that time of unspeakable terror.

    January 26, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Reply
    • MoreWeaponsThanGod

      What??? How in God's good name will we ever have to worry about weakening our military strength to the point that every able bodied man will need to grab their rifle???? Seriously, does anyone realize how massively the USA has overspent on Defense??? Almost make you believe that we did this as a way to benefit companies like Halliburton....

      January 26, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Reply
      • Priorities

        Thank you for your reply. Very few people are aware that as recently as WWII our west coast, for a period of time after Pearl Harbor, was exposed enough in military terms that an invasion from Japan could have conceivably rolled as far east as Chicago before being stopped. Fortunately, Japan was unaware of just how vulnerable we were at that time. And I have always speculated, because it would be impossible to know for sure, that the fairly well armed citizenry of the day made us look like less of a plum to be easily picked.

        January 26, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
      • MoreWeaponsThanGod

        I didn't know that. How much more do you think we should increase our Defense spending so that I don't have to sleep with one eye open at night?

        January 26, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
      • Priorities

        MWTG... I don't actually think we have the option to increase military spending now. I firmly believe we must be as strong as practical at all times; but of course not wasteful. In fact, frugal is a better concept. I was in the Army in late 60's, early 70's, and the pay was meagre. In spite of that, I saved money every month; while many of my comrades in arms in the same circumstances were perpetually going into the hole. In all areas of life, personal and governmental, it comes down to common sense. I saw plenty of examples of spending on military related – sometimes barely related – non-necessities that I'm sure contributed to some of the debt our nation so long carried from that period (in addition to the expense of some of the "great society" boondoggles of the day). One thing of lasting value that will always have my gratitude is the education-related component of the GI bill. I think our nation as a whole benefitted immensely from that program.

        January 26, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
      • MoreWeaponsThanGod

        Priorities- I agree with you on the GI bill. And I salute you for your service to this country. I truly do.

        However, I believe we need to make a significant reduction in our military spending.

        January 26, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
      • retiredAF

        When I was assigned to the Pentagon a few years back 65 cents of every tax dollar was spent on non-discretionary items, i.e. welfare, social security and the remaining was used for discretionary spending, i.e. 4 branches of the military, DoS, arts, etc... Where could we find the greatest cuts? I can give you countless examples of people milking welfare, perfectly capable of working but instead staying home to get drunk and do drugs. Yes, I really know those people. I can also give you examples of people on welfare that are working their backsides off to make a better life for their familes. Most people in the military work very hard, 50-60 hrs a week are nothing and yes some don't. The reality is we can make cuts in the military. We don't need all the bases we established after WWII anymore. That would not only reduce the active duty but the countless civilians that support those bases and reduce the amount of US dollars that support local economies in other countries.

        And for those who say we rape other cultures and still their resources, why is the middle east so flush with money? Yes there are a lot of poor, but it seems there is a lot of money concentrated with a few. That disparity is a problem they must deal with, not the result of American imperilism.

        January 26, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
  7. 2 + 2 = 5

    How does the Department of Defense get away with saying they are "cutting" half a trillion dollars over they next 10 years when the reality is that they will be spending more mony each each year????

    Since when did "cutting" mean "we won't increase our spending at such a drunken reckless pace..???

    January 26, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Reply
  8. Arden Cogar

    I believe in Obama and all he has done, and is doing, for the people of the United States. Please folks, stop and think for yourselves and stop just regurgitating all the nonsense the Republicans are saying. They are not thinking with their heads but rather with their ????? Come to think of it, they just aren't thinking period.

    Militarily our President Obama has accomplished far more with far less coast than his predecessor. That is a verifiable fact.

    /thank you, Mr. President ... you shall have my support, and my vote, in this next election.

    January 26, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Reply
    • josh

      A 6 trillion dollar deficit added to the Nationa Debt in 4 years. What exactly would you call that? I'm not defending the Republicans because they are just as guilty. Maybe its time for us to usher in an Indepedant.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Reply
  9. Randy

    The military (and the military spend) is still way too big. It costs more then the rest of the world military combined or something like that. And for what? To 'defend' the USA? That's not credible. We can defend the USA for far less. It's the outdated imperialistic policemen of the world concept, based upon some arrogant sense of superiority over everyone else. We should mind our own business, reduce the military far more radically then this, and use the balance to a) pay off some debt and b) restore some of our crumbling infrastructure. Well' that's my take on the situation. This plan is not enough.

    January 26, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Reply
  10. Burm

    take a look at medicare and medicade spending if you want to see something that needs cutting as well.
    Laughing at the moron that cannot count that claims our deficit is only about military spending

    January 26, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Reply
    • josh

      How about we start with Congress. I mean they are the people who pass the spendning bill. Military spending is a problem. But I don't see how the hell people think that cutting the Defense Budget is going to help out a lot. Its called people who don't know what its like to live on a budget.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Reply
  11. SallyinChicago

    Twas a time many decades ago, you went into the military because it was the only place to get discipline and a pay check. Now they are downsizing, where is the poor rural and urban young man to go?

    January 26, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Reply
    • josh

      Its called the unemployment line. Several are doing it these days.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Reply
      • Jack Be Humble

        Unemployment payments are pased upon what you have paid in. Young people who have never had a job have never paid into the system... so no soup for them.

        January 26, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • pfauenauge

      The poor lad from teh farmland has to go to school like all of us have to do. I came from the farm land and traveled 8000 miles to America. WOrked hard and sved every penny. No car no dates no social life. After 4 years I had enough to pay for 4 years of college. Yes, even the poor lad form treh farm can do it if he is willing to work. The military is a place to die not to live and teh US Government is not the place you want to be. They will let you down. So, to hell with Washington and teh Government.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Reply
  12. josh

    lower pay raises for the troops? I guess as a soldier I can live with that. I'm just curious if Congress is going to vote to lower their pay raises as well.

    January 26, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Reply
    • Anchorite

      I'd like to see them just clean up the VA. Stop putting people in charge with a history of lying to military families, and fix the hospital system. The IHS is run like a Swiss clock, Congress' health care is great, why are the VA hospitals almost as dangerous as no medical care at all?

      January 26, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Reply
      • jimrytown

        I won't be able to list all of them, but at VAKC in the past three months I have been to and recieved services from Cardiology four times, Neurology three times, Optometry twice, had a BE and Colonoscopy, six Testerone injections, and seen my Primary Care Physician once. Every physician, every nurse, every technician and most of the administrative staff have been nothing but competant and professional. I've yet to see any of the horror stories from which these claims of an innefficient organization springs. Of course as a military brat I have spent half my life in this particular brand of socialized medicine and I'm sorta used to it. My son was born at the USAFA Hosp.

        January 26, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
  13. Funny

    People bItch about the cost of social welfare when the US spent 687,105,000,000 in 2010 alone on military expenditures. Don't even try to argue that the reason for our debt is anything other than military spending.

    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures

    January 26, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Reply
    • melissa

      Well if yo don't like the expenditures may you should go like some where else. The military is proctecting our boarder, but may not for you.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Reply
      • Joshua Ludd

        Why should someone go live somewhere else if they don't like the way our government spends our money when we supposedly live in a democracy? Also, the military doesn't protect our borders. Thats border patrol and ICE. Our military protects our borders.... by bombing and shooting poor brown people in near-third world countries on the other side of the world. It seems to be all our military has done since WW2 ended.

        January 26, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
      • Chinatown

        For our border? you don't even know what you're talkng about

        January 26, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • Funny

      It's not for our border you idIot, it's for bombing mud huts in small, poor, central Asian countries!

      January 26, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Reply
  14. josh

    What do I see wrong with this picture? I see unemployment rising in 2 years and if a Republican is President I see him getting the blame for it.

    January 26, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Reply
    • JEBUW

      Well, Obama is getting the blame for unemployment, bail outs, housing market issues, the budget and many other things he inherited from the last administration. Maybe you should talk to your Republican leaders in making changes that would encourage business to create jobs here rather than in Mexico, China, India, etc instead of only talking about unlimited profits. Just a thought.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Reply
      • josh

        Maybe before we blame Bush for putting us in 5.1 Trillion dollars in Debt in the span of 8 years. Maybe we should ask Obama to stop criticizing him for it when he will have nearly 6 trillion dollars in debt in 4 years. Just a thought.

        January 26, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
  15. brian

    His last name is Norris and we need only one of em...

    January 26, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Reply
  16. Karen

    I can support all of the cuts with the exception of the pay raises...OUR MEN AND WOMEN IN THE ARMED FORCES ARE DESERVE HIGHER PAY RAISES NOT REDUCED ONES!!!!!! i

    January 26, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Reply
    • Robert Laughing

      ALL MEANINGLESS when the incompetents in the White House, State Department, and Pentagon CANNOT deal with goat and water buffalo herders along with poppy growers and rice growers. The Air Force is great at bombing friendlies or civilians, while spending $800 on hammers, $1200 on toilet seats, and WHAT is that OSCENE cost of the F22 – one that corrodes the cockpit instruments/electronics, AND...cuts off oxygen to the pilot????? Yes, to the pilot, resulting in at least 2 crashes of a plane that was costing$150 million EACH, but now costs a whoppingly obscene $425 MILLION EACH. Panetta, is proving to be as duplicitous as t'he battlefield commanders....remember Westmoreland and the infamous 'Light at the End of the Tunnel?????

      January 26, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Reply
  17. Leon

    You know what is more costly than dead soldiers? Maintaining a military strong enough to prevent soldiers from ever having to come to harms way. I'd much rather spend the money here.

    January 26, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Reply
  18. Angel

    $487 billion in the next 10 years . Why I believe its going to happen? BECAUSE OBAMA KILLED OSAMA (who was believing in that ?) HE DID IT,

    January 26, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Reply
    • Funny

      He's tough.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Reply
    • mcmasehere

      Correction.....Bush's plan and chosen Seal team killed Osama NOT OBAMA. That is why Obama called Bush once Osama was located. Obama needed guidance and Bush provided it. It was all on the news and Obama stated this very thing on TV and in the news.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Reply
    • Kaine

      Yep...sorry have to agree with mcmasehere. Obama did credit Bush with the capture of Osama. I watched it.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Reply
  19. nwtiki

    My wife get $100 per year to spend in her clasroom.

    January 26, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Reply
    • Anchorite

      Wow, she got a raise?

      January 26, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Reply
    • me

      So she can raise dummies who are stupid enough to join the military.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Reply
      • melissa

        Wow so who is the stupid person look in the mirror. I can't believe you even said that.

        January 26, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
      • Funny

        Melissa, you are a different kind of stupid – the kind that comes with a 3rd grade edumakshun.

        January 26, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
  20. rick1948

    Keep in mind that to cut "$500B in spending increases" is not the same as $500B in spending cuts. It just means there will be less increase each year.

    January 26, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Reply
  21. paxloki

    song, dance

    smoke mirrors

    that okd Jedi mind trick

    January 26, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Reply
  22. mcmasehere

    OMG.......It IS true...Stupid is a disease~

    January 26, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Reply
  23. hansdick

    A cut in spending increases. Ha!!! How about a cut in spending?

    January 26, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Reply
  24. me-a-name

    half a trillion dollars in spending increases

    the reason why big government will continue:
    no cut to current spending

    January 26, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Reply
  25. sunsudo

    So we want to cut funding and cut our troops while increase spending in the form of 99+ weeks of unemployment and more welfare. Welcome to the third world country " the Socialist Republic Welfare States of America."

    January 26, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Reply
    • Cedar Rapids

      So you have an issue with spending money on the citizens of the country and cutting the money spent on the nation's 'war marchine'?
      Interesting.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Reply
    • Funny

      So you'd rather spend the money on foreign wars rather than helping people here at home? Think about that, seriously, and then re-comment.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Reply
  26. donna

    Interesting that Obama is following plans outlined by Paul for the military, yet Republicans won't vote for Paul because they don't want to see a foreign policy that will be the same as Obama's if Obama wins a re-election. It's the cart before the horse – first they have to win the oval office, and they can't do that with Newty boy or Mr.1% Romney. Their only chance is being wasted on some false impression that they have a chance without Ron Paul, lol!

    It gets better every day for Dems.

    January 26, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Reply
  27. BSH

    Read between the lines – $487 billion over 10 years is under $49 billion each year. That's less than 10%. This is NOT a significant or meaningful cut in Pentagon spending. It's merely the end of massive increases. That's net enough.

    January 26, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Reply
  28. Deployed

    Nothing makes me smile more then reading all the support we get from the home front. It's nice to read the attacks, and the comments. Makes me feel good in my tent here, I just got back from walking .25 mile in the cold to a potty break in the hole in the ground. I left my wife and kids last June and hope to come home some day. Hoping to survive. Thank you for the support america, and thank you CNN posters. You guys are what makes this job worth it. /sarcasm off

    January 26, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Reply
    • Jeebus $aves

      Nice spin Skippy. No one's attacking our troops. So stop pretending to be one.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Reply
    • spikemanlou

      Hey Deployed, not everyone is like these no loads on these sites, I for one support you and all military 100%. You are doing a job that most of these bloggers would be to scared to do, they would run home crying to mommy. Keep up the good work and may God keep a watchful eye over you and the rest of the military. Sincerely a Retired Chief Petty Officer.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Reply
    • Katherine

      I don't totally understand, but I am an Army wife (hubs home in Nov). I have found that most people that make rude/ignorant comments here have never serve anyone, but themselves a day in their pathetic lives. Chin up, you are supported and respected, in our home, ALWAYS!

      January 26, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Reply
    • MilSpouse

      My husband is in the Army, and I stand by all of our troops, here and overseas. I appreciate all the military service members do to protect us and our freedom and rights (even though some use theirs in a bad manner). Until these naysayers have family over there, they will never understand! Keep your head up, know that there are those of us who are proud and have your back. I personally would like to put the others in front of you over there. Let them dodge a bullet or IED and know just how hard you guys have it.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Reply
    • biglio

      mhhh, so what's exactly the job you are doing? Because people outside the US really really have a hard time understanding it......

      January 26, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Reply
    • Anchorite

      Nobody asked you to join. We never found any WMD's, Osama's dead, along with nearly a million innocent civilians. Time to get a real job.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Reply
      • melissa

        I would just love to you in the Military and work the long hours and then still have to do PT whcih my consist of a 10 mile run on a daily bases. I believe some people have no idea what the military does and how hard it is on the families that are apart of it and I myself hold my head high that i was able to be apart of the military family. Now why don't we see you get a real JOB!!!!!

        January 26, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Seconded

      I had to spend 6 months at a time, 7 days a week, 12-14 hours a day in a metal "hotel", then crawling up to my rack just to listen to F14's, A6's, and FA-18's take off not 40 feet from my head. And honestly, I think I had it easier than you.

      To all ya bas sids out there with the crappy comments about the military, try walking 10 miles in my shoes let alone this guy here. You pansy a-'s wouldn't last 2 days.

      - ex AT1

      January 26, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Reply
  29. Jeebus $aves

    We've been wasting trillions abroad when we could better use that money to create jobs here at home rebuilding America.

    January 26, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Reply
  30. May

    This plan is going to hit not only the military but all the contractor forces as well and ultimately increase unemployment. This plan will only serve to tank the rest of the economy that this administration has already crippled with the budget increases from bailing out wall street, the banks and car companies. If they really want to save some money, they need to abolish the pension plans that elected officials get along with the proposterous health care they receive. They should cut the educational department, not the programs or salaries of teachers, but the department itself and the pension plans that teniored teachers get, its criminal! Some of them were fired and they are still collecting a pension. We as Americans need to get informed and put a stop to this entitlement business. If you failed in your job, you shouldnt get a pension. Period. Other programs in the federal govt should go too, the national endowment for the arts (NEA) and many other ridiculous agencies and programs – too many to type but dont cut our security – this is beyond foolish!

    January 26, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Reply
  31. Mark

    Unchecked military spending is a parasite on the back of the American taxpayer. Cut military spending and invest in a couple of good nukes. The next, great war is not going to be fought on the ground.

    January 26, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Reply
  32. Kerry

    Finally a President who had the guts to do this. Thank you.

    January 26, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Reply
    • May

      Oh, lets praise a guy who increased our deficit but cut our military – that doesnt make sense. He is tanking our economy and what you enjoy as freedom will soon be gone if he keeps it up. Dont be foolish, he has grabbed our hand and is running towards a cliff – it will be too late if we let him continue. Please wise up.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Reply
      • Nic

        Right, because its even better to increase military funding that Romney is suggesting. You know we have to keep that well oiled war machine going...so that the investors in Haliburton, etc who profit off war don't go to the poor house.

        January 26, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
      • tom

        Very clever May. Spoken like a true right wing troll who writes half-truths, twists and outright lies.

        January 26, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  33. Jeebus $aves

    We should be investing in smarter children (education) who grow up to create inovation and economic growth instead of smarter bombs that just go boom.

    January 26, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Reply
  34. scranton

    Come on in China, the water is fine.

    January 26, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Reply
    • AhhPures

      y u no likee chinee man ? !!!!!

      January 26, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Reply
  35. Jeebus $aves

    Many of the great civilizations of the world crumbled when their economies could no longer sustain the amount of resources spent on their military.

    January 26, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Reply
    • Mark

      People seem to forget the lesson of history, I guess it's more convenient. Look at the Roman Empire, they even started outsourcing their military.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Reply
  36. TRH

    Finally. They can save several trillion more by scrapping the F-35 JSF program which is troubled and over budget. But, and even more important, this plane and the F-22 Raptor aren't needed in the world of today. They have no mission.

    January 26, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Reply
    • Glider2001

      TRH, I assume from your comment that you have no military experience, no knowledge of military history, and for sure no knowledge of how military forces support our foreign policy.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Reply
      • TRH

        Please explain....just don't dump and run.

        January 26, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
      • TRH

        Right on the "no military experience", wrong on the no knowledge of military history, and history in general. Now I'll make an assumption....you agree with the Neo-Con philosphy.

        January 26, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • tom

      "F-22 Raptor aren't needed in the world of today. They have no mission."

      I disagree. Next generation aircraft are always needed and always have a mission.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Reply
      • TRH

        And what would that mission be? Air superiority over the Al Quaeda air force? Or maybe those massive high-tech fighter squadrons of the Taliban? Please tell what the JSF or Raptor can do to a semi-literate religious fanatic planting an IED? Or, a brain-washed teenager wearing a suicide vest?

        Do you know what the most effective plane was in Gulf War I? The low, slow A-10 Warthog which by the way the all-knowing Air Force brass wanted to mothball because it wasn't an AirSup aircraft i.e.supersonic, fast, and sexy.

        Now....if you want to say that we need these aircraft to project power throughout the world and to say we have the best weapons in the world (which I believe we already have) then yes...to support that neo-con philosophy you are quite correct.

        January 26, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
  37. greatpet

    ...cuts half a trillion dollars in spending INCREASES.
    enough said!

    January 26, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Reply
  38. Chinatown

    Finally! A look into the future, instead of our decades old strategy of nation building and foot soldiers.....this is the plan we need, more drones and Special Forces and CIA covert Ops, not having the military be a way to support high school dropouts and former criminals to get a job.....Pretty soon we'll just have robots doing the slaughtering for us, and a human military will be obsolete.....This is a military I can support!

    January 26, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Reply
    • Canisminor

      Not sure what the rules are now, but when I was on active duty in the 70s, 80s and 90s high school diplomas were required for enlistment and a criminal record was disqualifying. Given the economic conditions today, I can't imagine that would have changed. While I agree that there is a need for serious reductions in the military budget and complete revision of the military mission, your case would be better served if you did some basic research instead of regurgitating snippets that you hear on the street.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Reply
      • TRH

        Yes....I don't think Seal Team 6 is composed of high school dropouts and/or convicted felons.

        January 26, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • KC

      It hasn't changed from the 70's and 80's Canisminor. Chinatown is just a communist. You absolutely cannot get into the military without a highschool diploma. I think they accept 1 or 2 GEDs per year...thats the only exception. As far as criminal records go, a felony conviction permanently disqualifies you from military service. All you anti war/anti military people out there don't have to like it....but before you start talkin trash and hugging trees, just remember the only reason you can do that is because of all the people who have given their lives for you to have the freedom to be an ingrate.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Reply
    • Tim

      You have to have a deploma to get into the military now. If you have a feloney conviction you can not get in at all.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Reply
  39. bearced

    With all of this talk about cutting defense why don't they look at the bloated buearocracy at the DOD. Too many agencies with too much redundancy and too many unqualified over paid employees! I work with these people every day and it is very frustrating.

    January 26, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Reply
    • tom

      And to extend your thought further, I fail to understand why it seems to be almost a tradition for presidents to put civilian cronies who have little or no military experience as their Secretary Of Defense. At least our current DoD (Leon Panetta), was an Army First Lieutenant, although experience at a much higher rank should be the minimum in my opinion. Some of them have never served a day not even as a buck private! It makes no sense to me that we do this. It shows how archaic some of our government's practices are – meanwhile we keep saying we are the "best democracy in the world". Well regardless of the accuracy of that assertion, I think there is plenty of room for improvement.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Reply
  40. KKDenver

    Heck, it seems all we need is Seal Team 6!!!!! GO BOYS!!

    January 26, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Reply
  41. Jeebus $aves

    Bush more than doubled military spending. We now spend more on our military than the next 10 nations combined. We don't need it. Especially when we can't afford to fix our roads, bridges, educate our children, or provide health care for the elderly.

    Republicans are quick to complain about spending but refuse to let anyone cut into their bloated, wasteful, military spending.

    January 26, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Reply
    • Scott

      Don't just blame Republicans. Democrats are just as culpable here. The only significant politician willing to admit the truth is a Republican.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Reply
      • Nate

        Try Bernie Sanders–not revisionist historian Ron Paul.

        January 26, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
      • alex

        LOL – Good one.. Some people do believe that everyone else is stupid dont they. But little do those people realize that the biggest idiot is the one they see in the mirror every day...

        January 26, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
      • Scott

        Good point, I'll give you Sanders. There's two.

        January 26, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  42. Pete/Ark

    ok...cut back on regular active troop strength...then my daughters National Guard Combat Brigade(facing its 3rd deployment) can look can look forward to leaving thier jobs 3 or 4 more times in the next decade because "our current manpower is insufficient to deal with this new crisis...". I've heard this all before.

    January 26, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Reply
    • JamieIRL

      What is the new crisis?

      January 26, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Reply
      • Pete/Ark

        The ones which will keep cropping up every 12-24 months.

        January 26, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
      • Iconoclast

        You mean the manufactured crises whenever we see an opportunity for more oil?

        January 26, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
      • tom

        Iran will be next, then Syria. We won't stop until we have destroyed all of Israel's enemies for them. At the expense of your pocket and mine (and lots of American blood). LIttle Iraq with Saddam was NEVER a threat to us, neither is Iran EVEN IF THEY DEVELOP A NUKE.

        January 26, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • Josh

      No disrespect but that's what she signed up for.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Reply
      • tom

        Not exactly Josh. They are told that the guard will be called up only for EMERGENCIES. The problem is, this is left up to the president to decide and Bush wanted his little war so bad that he abused it.

        I guess NOBODY should sign up since in your opinion there should be no limits. Where would that leave us Josh? I doubt we can depend on YOU.

        January 26, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • tom

      Pete/Ark,

      Your point is well taken. If we are going to cut back on active military then our overseas commitments must also be cut back. National Guard is really supposed to only be called up for a state or national EMERGENCY. Optional wars (ie. Iraq and Afghanistan never attacked us...) DO NOT qualify as emergencies in my opinion. We should never have gone into Iraq and our time in Afghanistan should only have been spent hunting down Al Qaeida. Nation building should not have been part of the plan.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Reply
  43. Jim970

    The money saving plan also will charge retirees more for the promised free medical care and will raise copays for the promised free prescriptions. But, what can we expect with a democrat president? National defense is one of the highest requirements in the Constitution but one that Obama (and other democratic presidents) have no problem with ignoring.

    January 26, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Reply
    • M. Smith

      Your comments are as uninformed as they are foolish.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Reply
    • KKDenver

      This commander in chief is the most devoted and intelligent to occupy the office in generations

      January 26, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Reply
    • Jeebus $aves

      Why do you pretend to care when it's so clear that you have no clue what you're talking about?

      January 26, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Reply
    • Jeebus $aves

      Why do you pretend to care when it's clear to everyone that you have no clue what you're talking about?

      January 26, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Reply
    • andy

      Jim, actually Obama has had more military success with fewer casualties, than the previous president had with a trillion dollars and thousands of American dead. It seems your argument about Democrats and military preparedness is weak. Obama is getting the job done.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Reply
    • w

      genius, it is congress that cant come up with cuts and is forcing the military to cut back on 1 tirllion dollars. has nothing to do with the prsident. you obviously arent very smart

      January 26, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Reply
    • Noway

      Boy are you paranoid. Our armed forces could wipe out any country in the world, without buying any more s**t in the next ten years and with half the force to do it with. A handful of elite seals are a bitch to be to be sure. You probably complain about the budget too! Wake up. NOBODY is going to attack us.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Reply
      • Nate

        Darn right, why would anybody attack us? They're dead on arrival if they do, and we have the support of most Westernized countries if that even were to happen. It's ridiculous to think that we need such a large and unnecessary military. To defend against what??

        January 26, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • spikemanlou

      Are you retired military? I doubt it because I am and I was never promised FREE medical for life, what I was promised was that I could go the the VA for free (no thanks) or I could go to my nearest base for free, but then I would have to wait behind the active duty, their families, then the reserves and their families and then if there was room at the inn I could be seen. If you are retired military then I would suggest you go get off your lazy butt, get a job that has benefits and get your medical through them like I did and am currently doing. I doubt you are retired military though because you are to much of a whiner and feel that everything is owed to you. Grow up, read the news and realize that the economy is hosed up and the government can't take care of your lazy @$$ any more.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Reply
      • tom

        Thanks for your service and your medical care SHOULD HAVE been free for life! I would be willing to pay more taxes to see that happen.

        It makes me sick to see all these armchair chicken-hawks, most of whom never served! Like Dick Cheney, who talked real tough but got a deferment from being sent to Vietnam! Fine patriots they are!

        January 26, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • cawi

      So, let me get this straight. You blame a democrat president because you aren't getting free health care?.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Reply
      • Leslee

        Oh, that was good!

        January 26, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • Glider2001

      Jim970, that comment is just plain stupid.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Reply
    • tom

      Really Jim? Exactly what is being ignored in "National Defense" by Obama? The key here, as you said yourself, is "National Defense". Was removing Saddam because Israel feared him, required for OUR defense? Is Iran a threat TO US? Do we need to keep troops in Europe (Soviet Union is long gone), the Philippines, Japan, etc.? Is that necessary for OUR DEFENSE? No it is not. Lets call this what it is. We keep troops overseas to make sure the climate is favorable for your rich Conservative Money Men to reap the profits while little guys like me pay the taxes.

      Next time you open your mouth, be honest for a change.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Reply
  44. jon

    The bottom line is there will soon be thousands of unemployed vets competing with the few jobs left out there. This couldn't happen at a worse time. In addition civilian contractors will begin layoffs soon as well

    January 26, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Reply
    • Tyler

      Couldn't come at a worse time? I beg to disagree sir... it's not tomorrow yet.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Reply
    • Pete/Ark

      The newly "laid off" regulars can find temp work in Arkansas taking over the jobs 3900 Guardsmen will leave for thier next scheduled deployment. They can rotate from State to State like migrant workers...it's like fixing a broken leg with a bandaide .

      January 26, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Reply
    • John

      Civilian employees won't be laid off, they aren't cutting funding to the DOD. And with less money going towards the military, perhaps the government will focus more on fixing bridges, roads, etc and put the money elsewhere. Ta dah! Jobs.

      Think before you comment.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Reply
  45. Reticuli

    One of the first times ever a news outlet has accurately relayed this type of information. "Defense Secretary Leon Panetta unveiled a plan that cuts half a trillion dollars in spending increases over 10 years" Most people would be outraged if they knew how much the military industrial complex is constantly enlarging itself and then this complex moaning when there's a cut to the amount of increased money they WON'T be getting later. As much as I disagree with some of Ron Paul's ideas, he's forced CNN to be truthful on this. I remember a decade ago when studying political science how much it was considered a joke how inaccurate the media was, particularly CNN. It was and in many ways still is, an infotainment outlet staffed by beauty pageant women. Cuts are almost never cuts. It's deceit to simply call it cuts. It is an intentional attempt to mislead. To lie. To distort. To produce opinions in the minds of people based on incorrect information.

    January 26, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Reply
    • FatSean

      This plan doesn't even cut the current budget, just reduces future increases to the budget! What a joke!

      January 26, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Reply
      • davec.0121

        Actually, if you had read the article carefully, it clearly states that the budget is $33 billion less than this year's budget. Sounds like a cut to me.

        January 26, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  46. Jeebus $aves

    We spend more on our military than most other countries combined. It's not sustainable and it doesn't make sense unless the plan is to keep invading countries lik Iraq which is likely if we elect another lunatic Bush wannabe Republican.

    It just doesn't make sense to keep spending this much on the military when we can't afford to fix our roads and bridges, educate our children, or take care of the elderly.

    January 26, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Reply
  47. 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 like candy 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 in the berthing areas on his ship or in her already constructed and available 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 honorably discharged vet (Navy: 1976-1981) and a prior Section Chief in the IRS's CFO Office.

    January 26, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Reply
    • Jhonny

      you should probably check the going bah and allowances rates because your numbers are way off. These people barely see their family and work long hard hours. The allowances they get and nice housing benefits is a blessing. Without it, idk where I would be. These allowances barely make up for the lost time with their familes and children and wives. If you really truly were a service member you would not be speaking this way. This is a shame.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Reply
      • M. Smith

        YOu response is utter and complete nonsense. Every figure I cite is taken right off the 2012 BAH tables posted to the internet. And YES, two married with 1 kid desk-based O-6s in a San Fran office are getting handed >$7,500 per month TAX FREE for their purported 'housing' needs. What an absolute outrage to the US taxpayers!

        No apologies offere about expsoing this entitlement festering trash. A vet and a prior Section Chief in the IRS's CFO Office.

        January 26, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
      • Bob

        Have you bothered to compare an O-6 job description and total compensation package with a comparable civilian job?
        Then have you compared the responsabilities and hazards encountered by the O-6? Their pay package pales in comparison with their civilian counterparts. And an O-6 is not the average serviceman.

        January 26, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
      • YEAH-I-KNOW-ALL-ABOUT-IT

        Johnny – Maybe YOU should re-examine YOUR numbers. All BAH and BHA allowances are PUBLICLY AVAILABLE on the DOD website. M.Smith's #s are absolutely CORRECT!! I personally have a family member who attended the USNA and received a Bachelor's degree (free of charge and received a payment stipend BTW) as well as a Master's degree (free of charge + full salary +free medical benefits + free and non-taxable housing benefits) on MY tax dollars. He and his family have now been on "shore duty" in San Diego for OVER 5 years. He pays NO INCOME TAXES in CA because although he owns a home in CA he can still claim his "official place of residence" as NJ. Since he earned no income in NJ – he pays NO INCOME TAX in CA. As an O-5 with 16 years in the military he receives a TAX-FREE Basic Housing Allowance of over $3600/ month which is about $43,200/ year. This is in addition the $85,000/ year in salary and also $300/ month in BAH which is also TAX FREE. He also pays NO $$$ for healthcare for himself or his family (stay at mom wife + 2 kids). He, his wife, and his kids pay no co-pays to see the doctor, the get prescriptions, or to go to the ER (which she is at constantly because she doesn't have to pay for it!!). A family of 4 pays over $15,000/ year in healthcare costs alone. They also partake in TAX FREE shopping at the MANY military exchanges throughout SD county as well as reduced price gas for their TWO over $40,000 vehicles. They also needed $0 down for their home purchase and do not have to pay ANY PMI since out FEDERAL GOVERNMENT guarantees their loan.

        For compensation alone, this guy is making over $150,000/ year!!! And how much does he pay in taxes on that $150,000?? HE PAYS NO STATE TAXES and PAYS < $10,000/ year in Federal taxes!! Oh and by the way – no student debt!!

        Being in the military is definitely a difficult life for SOME – but definitely NOT for ALL. Stop complaining military and miltary wives – you guys have it a heck of a lot better than most these days. And BTW if it's SOOOOO BAD. Why are you still in?? Get the F$%K OUT and save some tax dollars!!!

        January 26, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
      • Bob

        A note for the references to Housing Allowance being non-taxable–Military housing allowances were raised to save the government money by limiting pay raises and thus the basis for retirement compensation. Complain all you want while the majority of non-military built equity in housing, a reduced feature of the economy now, military moved without that opportunity.Usually every couple of years except when deployed to combat situations. Then it was more often. Maybe you should complain that combat pay is tax free too.

        January 26, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
      • YEAH-I-KNOW-ALL-ABOUT-IT

        Again BS – investment in real estate is a zero sum game!! You do better investing in the stock market (or a pension in your case) over 30 years then getting back ANY investment return on real estate. Why don't you talk about how much equity that civilians built up in the past 5 years in SoCal – ummm that answer would be -40%.

        Combat pay is deservedly tax free. BHA is also should NOT be excessive, and should NOT be TAX FREE.

        January 26, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
      • YEAH-I-KNOW-ALL-ABOUT-IT

        Hmmmm and exactly which pay limitations are you referring to? You mean the 3.5% raise you just got for the next year while inflation was < 1%. Riiiiiiiight.......

        January 26, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • Jeebus $aves

      What do you do when you're not lying?

      January 26, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Reply
      • M. Smith

        Evey single GD figure is taken RIGHT OFF the GD BAH tables for 2012.

        January 26, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • melissa

      Well 1st my husband is retired after 20 yrs 86 to 04 and next to the last duty station we lived in Hi for 3 yrs and lived in crappy housing, the housing cost we would have received was $1900 a month which didn’t get us nothing. We also lived in Ca for 4 yrs as a E-5 and housing was $750.00 but our rent was $1000.00 a month and that was living on post thru a apt complex and took us 1 ½ to get in housing. Out of 20 years I say 16 was living in housing due to the cost of living. Believe it isn’t all living it up believe me.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Reply
    • JoeyB

      yep tax free, tax free for a blank check written to the governement for everything up to and including their life, you ungreatful POS, sitting in your cush office with your biggest worry is if starbucks has the next flavor out, not the 9 months a yr we spend living in 10 people tents pissing in water bottles dodging mortars, all this so your pathetic waste of life can insult us

      January 26, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Reply
      • M. Smith

        As a peacetime enlisted vet of >30 years ago, the reason I make the distinction is to counter the myth, yes the MYTH that is not only nearly omnipresent in today's media but is far too often parroted and claimed as 'theirs' by far too many ADs and/or recent times non-combatant vets. And I and others who simply know better are sick of tired of reading or hearing the UTTER FICTION that all, not most, not even a majority, but ALL of those who volunteer into today's military have faced or will face enemy fire or actual danger.

        For goodness sake, as a US Marine, you certainly know better. And I and millions of others (mostly vets) know better too. It is an undeniable FACT that the vast majority of ADs (1) choose to enter NOT as combatants, and (2) never have and never will see one second of combat or face enemy fire of any sort at any time in their mil service.

        Does stating this objective fact in any way disparage or insult their voluntary service? OF COURSE NOT! The mil needs volunteers of all sorts. But it DOES factually counter the prevailing commonly held perception previously mentioned. And in my view those that grasp and cling onto this UTTER FICTION does disparage and does insult the service of the relative
        few who DID sign up and/or actually served in combat and REAL danger!

        In my view, the only people whose shorts get tied up in a knot about this UNDENIABLE FACT are those that have attempted or continue to cling onto that utter fiction and lie for whatever reason. And there will be no apologies
        coming from me.

        January 26, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • Pete/Ark

      People who think like you are the reason this combat Marine resigned from the IRS in '83.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Reply
      • Pete/Ark

        and by te way peacetime-squid my tour was '68-'74

        January 26, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
      • M. Smith

        $7,554 per month tax free so two desk-based bean counting all volunteer O-6s with a kid can live in and buy a multi-million dollar residence in posh Banker's Hill on all the backs of the US taxpayers. You've GOT to be joking to agreeing with this crap, fella.

        January 26, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
      • Don

        You are correct about the BAH rates for two 06's, but chances are you will not run into many married O6's in the military. It is rather difficult being most bases have about 5 at any given time. An O6 often is often the installation commander and is housed on the base. Also what do you think fair pay is for somebody in charge of 2k-4k people. This is much less than a civilian counterpart who is going to have the same education level.

        January 26, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Marine GySgt

      If you would have done your homework before running your ill informed mouth you would have seen that the Basic Allowance for Housing is based upon rank and service, It is based on the average housing costs within the area. I am stationed in Southern California and do not know anyone that can afford to live in La Jolla or the beaches of Waikiki. It is true that an 0-6, the equivelent of a medium size companies CEO in relation to responsibilities, personnel, and assets does get a housing allowance that will buy a fair sized home, is still paid far less then thier counterparts in the civilian market. You were in at a time of peace and based on your follow on job, I am sure that you know all about desk jobs and paper pushing, but after 10 years of combat you will be hard pressed to find someone that has not been to combat in this Volunteer force. We volunteer to risk our lives so the least we can ask, is for a decent place to live.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Reply
      • YEAH-I-KNOW-ALL-ABOUT-IT

        BS Dude!! I know PLENTY of military and ex-military who live in LaJolla, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Coronado, etc in MULTI-MILLION dollar properties.

        January 26, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
      • M. Smith

        CEO my rear end. Most of them are de facto desk clerks who aspire after retirement a double diippng desk job in a hyper inbred DOD org. You are not fooling me, fella. An no, most mils HAVE NEVER EVER seen any combat! Where are their CIBs, their CABs or any other combat badge or award! No most miles, AF and NAvy, are de facto desk clerks.

        January 26, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • Jim

      With Mil to Mil only 1 of the O6's gets the BAH you don’t add them together. An O6 also does a job that is on level with being the CEO of a major company only CEO's of major companies get paid millions every year.

      You also have no idea what you are talking about and have never lived a life in the military. You just did some research (badly I might add) on the highest paid locations people are stationed. You're a fool if you think the military pays 1 cent more than they have to for housing. Most of the time bah doesn't cover the cost of the average house in a location.

      And what plethora of tax free allowances are you talking about? Is plethora stupid speak for 2-3 depending on the situation?

      January 26, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Reply
      • YEAH-I-KNOW-ALL-ABOUT-IT

        BS Jim – The military was increased the BHAs in SD county by an average of 10%/ year for the past 5 years whereas housing prices in SD county have fallen an average of 40% in the past 5 years (and almost 50-60% in the South Bay where most military live). Don't argue with people who know all the ins and outs of this scheme.

        January 26, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • YEAH-I-KNOW-ALL-ABOUT-IT

      THANK YOU M.SMITH!! ABOUT TIME SOMEONE STARTED BRINGING THIS TO LIGHT!!

      January 26, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Reply
      • Jhonny

        YEAH-I-KNOW-ALL-ABOUT-IT.

        You have no idea what any of these people go through. Mostly because you have never done it. You don't think I know where to get all the info about the pay I receive. You are hilarious. You and all your ranting and raving about numbers and figures you think you know won't change my pay and allowances. I sacrifice irreplaceable time away from my family and social life to serve my country and live a decent life. I won't stand for some civilian telling me I do not deserve my pay. So what if we don't pay taxes on housing allowances and some other benefits. We get taxed just like you on everything else. You are a jealous immature boy who does not have the selflessness to serve your county. You have lived your life full of freedom but has not paid one minute to help preserve it. I suggest you join and see how our lives are before you rant and rave about the nice things we can have.

        January 26, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • Michael

      It's nice to brandy about code words and vague descriptions but let's put your statement in real terms.
      an O-6 is a Colonel in the Army and the pay scale is (per month) 2 yr = 5596, >3 yr = 5963, >4 yr = 5963, > 6 yr = 5986, >8 yr = 6243, and >10 yrs 6277.
      When I used the DoD 2012 BAH Calculator for several of the San Francisco Zips I come back with an average $4338 for an O-6 with Dependents and a $3252 for an O-6 without Dependents . So I'm not sure where your $7000+ number is coming from.
      Average rent in the San Francisco area, for a single bedroom APARTMENT can range from 2100-3300 a month. San Francisco is HUGELY expensive real-estate wise. So $4338 doesn't seem extreme for actually living IN San Francisco versus an hour or two away. It also doesn't seem absurd for someone who would be considered senior staff.
      Even a "desk jockey" gets deployed and endures some risk of death. They lose irreplaceable time with their families, they risk any number of physical and mental traumas, and they endure the constant possibility that they will have to uproot their families at a moments notice for the next assignment and their "perks" and opportunities are held in balance with all of those negatives that apply.

      January 26, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Reply
      • M. Smith

        Dillweed,

        ADD their GS two allwances up. And YES, they total to over $7.5 GD each month tax free. One de facto desk clerk gets the "with dependents" rate and the other desk clerk gets the "without dependants" rate. Get a GD Life, jerk.

        A vet and a PMF alumnus, and a GD journeyman marine pipefitter for over 12 years!

        January 26, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
      • YEAH-I-KNOW-ALL-ABOUT-IT

        Michael –

        I think the key point you are missing here is TAX FREE!! That would mean you PAY NO INCOME TAXES ON THAT $4388 per MONTH. Let's whip out your handy dandy calculator and see what $4388 is worth when it isn't taxed (like what happens in the REAL world where we pay our RENT AFTER WE PAY TAXES). $4388 x 12 months = $52,656 of TAX FREE INCOME. Now let's add that to to your O-6 base salary of > 10 years (because you don't get to O-6 without a sig # of years in the military – more likely base salary will be higher since more years in the military) of $75,000.

        Now keep that calculator out Michael.... The current amount of 2011 taxes you would pay (without exemptions, deductions, etc) on $75,000/ year is approx $11,000.

        Now let's ADD that TAX FREE benefit to base salary and see how much you would pay in taxes $52,656 + $75,000 = $127,656. The current amount of 2011 taxes you would pay on that amount (without exemptions, deductions, etc) is approx $25,000

        So you are saving over $2000/ month in taxes because this BENEFIT (paid by TAXPAYERS) is NOT considered TAXABLE.

        If you go back to that original $4388/ month and add the $2000 that CIVILIANS PAY in that tax bracket – then you can easily see that you are getting a benefit that is REALLY $6388/month (almost $7000 if you didn't notice).

        SIMPLE MATH!!!

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

        Smith...you don't add BAH together for mil to mil, only 1 of them will get the bah and the other will not. This is how i know you're full of it with your "I was in the military" statemnt. If you were you'd know this

        January 26, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
      • YEAH-I-KNOW-ALL-ABOUT-IT

        MATH JIM !! MATH AND TAXES !! I KNOW they don't teach you military guys about taxes but maybe you should take a look at the calcs and see if you can understand the MATH at least!!

        January 26, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
      • Jim

        YEAH-I-KNOW-ALL-ABOUT-IT
        You're right, the military does have some tax perks. I'll tell you what, when the general population is put in a war zone on a regular rotation they can have the same.

        Your main points are also talking about a very small portion of the military. How about you look at the average E-3 to E-5 and work your math, see if it adds up as well. As I'm sure you know high ranking officers do have it quite a bit better than the majority of AD enlisted.

        January 26, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
      • Jim

        YEAH-I-KNOW-ALL-ABOUT-IT
        ok so now you're trying to make a wide statement about military, I'm sure I know much more about math than you ever will...that aside I pay taxes at a much higher % than your claim

        January 26, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
  48. urmomlol

    We require additional vespene gas!

    January 26, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Reply
    • conexes

      best comment ever

      January 26, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Reply
    • MOOGLY

      LOL starcraft

      January 26, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Reply
  49. Shane G

    We only need one base in every continent in the world to be used as a staging point for any military conflict. Then double the amount of troops at those bases by pulling troops from closed bases. And then double the size of our Navy and have floating Army bases that contain 5,000 mobile troops per ship ready to be mobilized in an instant. We then will have the capability to respond to any threat in the world in a reasonable amount of time. Send the remaining troops to secure our borders.

    January 26, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Reply
    • Scott

      Floating army bases? What would be the cost of defending one of those from a cruise missile attack?

      A few billion in Tico's maybe?

      January 26, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Reply
      • Nate

        They have this already. It is called the United States Marine Corps' MAGTF. Specifically, a MEU (Marine Expeditionary Unit) can deploy up to 3,000 Marines anywhere in the world within 24hrs notice. Depending on the mission, the Marine Corps can also deploy a MEF (Marine Expeditionary Force) 4,000-5,000 Marines to anywhere in the world within 48-72hrs. These MAGTF's are designed to seize a beach head and then continue the fight, while being self-sustaining, for at least a week.

        January 26, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • Andy

      Did you even bother to think before typing that comment. I mean really, how much do you think DoD would spend on just logistical costs alone for those bases. Do you think soldiers would just eat out in town in Libya, they require mess halls, or go to the local store for goods in Egypt, bases require exchanges? And are all of these troops single? What about housing? If not, how do we supply electricity and water to barracks? The list goes on...

      Besides the obvious logistical costs for bases in every country (remember, this is the important part, we are trying to cut spending), why do you think we went to the Middle East for a second time? People DO NOT want more U.S. military in their countries. And yes, the MEU does exactly what you suggest, that is one of the primary goals of the Marines (Expeditionary Warfare). Here is a quick life lesson for you. Think before you speak.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Reply
  50. REG in AZ

    Panetta's proposed budget sounds really good for cost cutting and for maintaining an up to date, effective fighting force ... one other important area I would like to see is cost cutting realized from waste, abuse and corruption elimination.

    January 26, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Reply
    • oneSTARman

      [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y06NSBBRtY&w=420&h=315%5D

      January 26, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Reply
  51. alex

    Finally some intelligent planning. The Key to a strong nation is a strong economy, rational and fair foreign policy. Read history – every empire collapsed by over stretching itself.
    We have to invest in new technology and better training. But we can not sustain the type of military sending we have been doing for the past 10 years. The war in Iraq was totally uncalled for and cost us 3 TRILLION dollars, which could have been used to invest in the future.
    Congrads to Obama, Penetta and Hillary for some very smart defense and foreign policy moves!!!

    January 26, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Reply
  52. lefty avenger

    Attack as many countries with oil as we can and steal it for Exxon and BP? Create drug wars to wipe out thousands of human lives so that Big Pharma can peddle their opiated drugs? Come now Leon, there's no deviation from this plan.

    January 26, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Reply
  53. David D.

    These aren't really cuts. They are just slowing down the rate of increase in defense spending. We spent $300 billion in 2001 or 3% GDP, the last time we balanced the budget. We spend $700 billion today or 5% GDP. This is almost a decade of 9% annual increases. We defend Europe and the global sea lanes as well as ourselves. Perhaps getting Europe to defend itself will stimulate its economy, just like we do here. We are the first empire in history to fund itself with debt rather than tribute.

    January 26, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Reply
  54. Dell Stator

    Lets see, 5 trillion in defense spending at least over 10 yrs, savings,, 1/10th that. 10% cut, and it takes 10 yrs before we realize it, no doubt 90% in the 10th year. I can cut defense spending 10% in half that time. Tell all defense contractors, you want the job, cut 10%, or we find someone that does want to work. Heh, that's what I was told when I was fired and could only find work, THE SAME WORK, for HALF THE MONEY! Then freeze all pay. Tough on the soldiers, yep, beats being let go though. Tell them the facts of life in the civilian work force, that you work for what the boss want to pay, when he wants to pay, you do whatever you're told, sounds like the military, well, the difference is when the army dosne't want you shooting someone up, they don't say go home today so they don't have to pay you, oh, and the military get health care, a pension......

    January 26, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Reply
    • Buzz Mann

      "and the military get health care, a pension"......And shot at and maimed and separated from families and psychologically damaged and..........

      January 26, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Reply
    • FatSean

      Shot and maimed? Only a small percentage. Away from families? LOL! Don't like it, don't enlist!

      January 26, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Reply
    • Sarge1

      Back in the 70's soldiers were told if you make the military a career and then retire after 20 years you will have free medical care. later they come out and said, sorry but we lied, it was never in writing, so now you will have to pay. Now they are wanting to increase what we, as military retiree's pay, as well as not give cost of living raise. This part of the budget is put in to appease the Veteran hater Mickey Cantor, he has said he would rather spit in the face of a vet than help

      January 26, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Reply
  55. US-Soldier

    One before 9/11 the united states was at a all time low in military stregth. The terrorist saw an opportunity and they took it, doesnt take an idiot to figure that out. Weak Country? Hey Lets attack... Before 9/11 you all felt the same about the military, you get paid too much, your drop outs, your spending of money does nothing.. After 911 the public yelled and screamed, where was our military? We didnt have the strength to do much.. Getting paid too much? Haa right, we are the lowest paid people in the whole DOD area and almost all the soldiers with families are barley making ends meat, so do your research before crying we get paid too much, and plus you critics of this, we are here to defend you, cause your too dang selfish and enjoy your freedoms but dont care how you get them. We are the only thing standing between the ppl that want to kill you and destroy our way of living. So bash us cause we know we have atleast the courage and stregth to give back and serve a country that has given us so much. Last, how do you think you get most all this neat and fancy technology? 85% of all technolgy created is brought around by defense contracts to better protect the ppl protecting you hippies. You wonder why china has blown up in the technology, its cause they have spent more on military funding. We want to cut money look at the congress and take their money, make them actually work. Take the non needed programs that are just a waste of money helping ppl that are too dang lazy to get off their tushes to work. America owes you nothing! My taxes are not yours to spend on stupid crap. So before you point fingers and say the military is too big and not useful then wait till the day that your face to face with the enemy then wonder where we are. This isnt Vietnam, we are a new generation of soldier we wont sit back and let you spit on us and say we are nothing. We will do what we do best, defend, fight, and make dang sure next time you open your mouth twards the bad talk about the military you wont cause it will be wired shut from the last soldier you called worthless and not worth anything, cause he will break ur jaw. We will stand up for ourselves and family.. So to end this.. take a look in your mirror and ask yourself what have you done to earn your freedom and call yourself a true American.. I will die for this country and ive sworn to it to up hold what is right and to even defend you igeroant, selfish, and non caring ppl. My comrades have given their life for you and you give them nothing but disrespect!!

    January 26, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Reply
    • SB

      Bzzt, wrong. Total US military active personnel by year: 2000 = 1,384,338, 2007 = 1,380,082, 2011 = 1,468,364. Source: DoD. You should always try to have the facts straight before crafting a giant wall of text, lest that wall of text turn out to based on fantasy (as is the case here).

      January 26, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Reply
      • Mike, NH

        Bzzt, how convenient to not mention that in 1990 and prior the military was 2.1 million or more, and had already been gutted by Clinton 33% in the 90's.

        January 26, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • James Huber

      Ah yes. Mr. US Soldier. Quite the literate rant you set out there. Amidst the bad spelling and total lack of punctuation, it's quite clear you're just willing to fight anyone who doesn't agree with you, whether they pay your salary or not. Doesn't matter if they're actually on your side, you'll wire their mouths shut. Seems to me, the forces would be better off without illiterate buffoons like you, you're simply dangerous when handed a gun. At least they put you where someone can keep an eye on you, otherwise you'd either be gang banging on some street corner, or holed up in the hills somewhere ready to shoot trespassers.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Reply
    • Angry At Gov

      Wow. Your post is one of the most idiotic rants I've seen in a long time. First, let me start by saying I'm a vet of the U.S. military. Second, the reason we were attacked on 9/11 is not because our military was weak (which by the way, it was no where near weak), but rather because we had U.S. troops on the ground in the middle east. Osama Bin Laden had said at least 2 dozen times that was the reason for the attack. Lastly, you really need help with your grammar and spelling. You come off as an incredibly uneducated imbecile. Also, the reason China is advancing technologically has nothing to do with their military. It has to do with making EDUCATION the top priority in their society. Unlike America, which makes greed their top priority. You keep on with that 9/11 nationalistic mindset, spreading your fear and propaganda. It will lead to the total destruction of this country.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Reply
    • JamieIRL

      The military's strength had nothing to do with the attacks on 9/11, absolutely nothing. Airport security is not the responsibility of the military. I've been surrounded by the military all of my life, my dad is now retiring from the military. I'm also not a fan of anything reducing the benefits of active or retired military members, I'll agree with you there. If you want to make a point, you should try doing it without being offensive to everyone who isn't in the military, and you should also stop tooting your own horn. Yea, you have a -job-, this isn't Germany where every man is required to join the military. You had a choice, you took a job, call it "serving your country" if you want, but really you're just doing your job. You're hired by the United States, and paid by the United States tax payer. Your employers do appreciate you for the most part but please spare me the "I made your freedoms possible and you dern hippies better thank me" nonsense. I've known soooooo many people that joined the military for the benefits, not to "serve their country". This isn't 1940.

      The fact of the matter is: reducing the size of military is a good thing, for the entire world. If we can live with less tools of death and destruction, or none for that matter, that's a good thing, right? The answer is yes. It would do us all some good (as earthlings) to reduce the size of our militaries.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Reply
    • pat carr

      Blah Blah Blah. My wife works for the government and hasn't gotten a raise in years. We're sick and tired of war. 9/11 had nothing to do with military size or strength, and it's childish thinking to think otherwise. Your view is incredibly simpleminded

      January 26, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Reply
    • YEAH-I-KNOW-ALL-ABOUT-IT

      You are the primary reason why the military needs to re-assess it's personnel ASAP!!

      January 26, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Reply
    • pat carr

      LOL, the other posters did a better job of conveying the message than i did. you are another one of those idiots who don't believe in free speech.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Reply
    • John

      the US military with the latest technology and bases all round the world is weak to a terrorist organisation in a third world country? What are we missing here? 85% of all technolgy created is brought around by defense contracts to better protect the ppl protecting you hippies. We hippies pay that money that goes into researching that technology. You dont pay for it from your savings.
      Not everyone in the military is there because he was patriotic enough. Most of them are there because thats the best job they could land with. So, save the patriotic speech of "we are here to defend you, cause your too dang selfish and enjoy your freedoms but dont care how you get them". I work for a defense contracting firm and I see corrupt and coward ex-marines everyday at office.

      The below link shows what the problem is
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures
      US is spending way more than what the need is. Specially in todays times when it cant afford.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Reply
      • pat carr

        "So, save the patriotic speech of "we are here to defend you, cause your too dang selfish and enjoy your freedoms but dont care how you get them"" .. well said John. I am tired of that garbage too. The whole we serve for your freedom so you better shut up and never criticize us. last time i checked that was called tyranny

        January 26, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • FatSean

      Liar. First of all, the military was not weak. Second of all, 9/11 was an intelligence failure, not military.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Reply
    • Fight War Not Wars!

      First, Everyone would take you a hell of a lot more seriously if you would spell your words and correctly and not abbreviate them like a middle schooler. Two, You should really be used to people's criticism by now. Especially when it comes to the military. You have to agree that the was the system is set up right now is not working and is costing this country billions of dollars. Don't get me wrong now, we definitely need a national defense, but the country needs to use it for DEFENSE!

      January 26, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Reply
  56. Golden Rule

    Budgeting for a "new" military vision? Obama is just continuing Bush and Donald Rumsfeld's military policies. Former Sec of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, with approval by Bush, started a major transformation of the military. He sought to downsize it, make it leaner, meaner, more efficient, more surgical, increase UAV drone usage and spending, increase intellligence capabilities, and do away with old school Cold War weaponry, hence the slew of military base closings in 2005. Remember Rummy's famous response to a soldier about lack of armor in Iraq?

    Dec 2004

    Army Spc. Thomas Wilson: Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to up-armor our vehicles? And why don't we have those resources readily available to us?

    Rumsfeld: It isn't a matter of money. It isn't a matter on the part of the army of desire. It's a matter of production and capability of doing it. As you know, ah, you go to war with the army you have-not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time. You can have all the armor in the world on a tank and it can (still) be blown up...

    General Eric K. Shinseki, in Feb 2003, said any postwar occupying force would have to be big enough to maintain safety in a country with "ethnic tensions that could lead to other problems." He said a military occupying force for a postwar Iraq could total several hundred thousand soldiers. Donald Rumsfeld disagreed, and fired Shinseki for speaking out of line.

    Lean, trim, more drones, more intel. That was Rumsfeld's plan. Anybody criticizing Obama's military is criticizing Rumsfeld's and Bush's military. The Iraq withdraw date was agreed upon by Bush and Maliki of Iraq. Obama just followed Bush's timeline. Obama is just continuing the same trend of Bush and Rumsfeld. Heck, Obama even kept Bush's last Defense Secretary, Robert Gates (succeeded by Leon Panetta July 2011). Gitmo is still open too. If you criticize Obama's military policies, you're criticizing Bush's military policies. They're the same.

    Candidate Obama harshly criticized Bush's handling of military foreign affairs, yet President Obama is doing the same thing as Bush, even accelerating the number of drone strikes and NAVY SEAL ops. How interesting.

    Here are my sources:
    1. Rumsfeld's War, Frontline on PBS, in conjunction with the Washington Post.
    2. At war with Donald Rumsfeld, Uncommon Knowledge on PBS, with host Peter M. Robinson (Republican), research fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. Watch it on YouTube.

    January 26, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Reply
    • oneSTARman

      I will GLADLY Polish a STATUE of The Donald Rummy Das if THATS What it Takes for Agreement to Stop Spending 59% of every Tax dollar on the Military. EISENHOWER Warned us about the Growing Military Industrial Complex that Threatened FASCISM in AMERICA.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Reply
    • lefty avenger

      Bush=Obama and Obama=Bush, same never ending wars, same rich wall street bankers, different nonsense with the same bogus results.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Reply
      • KKDenver

        Only Obama actually prosecutes the war the way it should have been done, not to line the pockets of Halliburton and tell us he's not really looking for Osama.

        January 26, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  57. oneSTARman

    What GOOD are BILLION DOLLAR Naval Platforms or a TRILLION DOLLAR Invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan when Our 'Objective' has been whisked away to a Hotel in Pakistan by the CIA to avoid 'EMBARRASSING' the SAUDIS. We need our LEADERS to be LESS CRIMINAL and our Pursuit of 'Bad Actors' Less STUPID

    January 26, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Reply
    • SB

      You should whisk yourself away to the pharmacy and have your prescription refilled.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Reply
      • pat carr

        The standard idiot's response to something they don't agree with "go on your meds"

        January 26, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  58. BL

    It's a bold, great start in the right direction. To give credit, it was actually Bush administration who began to think along these lines. Technology, special forces and fighting asymmetrical warfare is modern DOD. Don't worry, old timers, there will still be enough boots to fight land war, if necessary. And if you're really serious about cutting budget, it's a necessity,

    January 26, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Reply
  59. Bend over and smile

    "... to save money in the short term... " More upper management mentality. What about the long term? Oh, you'll just change the rules again to suit your own needs.

    January 26, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Reply
  60. Sanchanim

    I agree we must cut costs. I think in many cases it is the right move. Get rid of old ships replace them with newer ones, decrease our over seas bases and bring our troops home. I don't care so much for cutting back on the raises for solders or reducing the size. If they could be redeployed in the civilian sector working as contractors, it could do two things.
    1. they stay employed, and maintain the military benefits.
    2. They gain civilian job skills which they can use when they get out. It is a win win..

    We will need to maintain our presence to a certain extent overseas however given the rapid deployment strategy we have seen we can maintain a lower profile presence.
    Reduce military spending waist. Lets take a hard look at how things get done and make it easier and cheaper for everyone.
    I have worked for contractors and sometimes the hoops you have to jump through can be really costly. We need to fast track development and deployment of new technologies.
    It is a case of working smarter not harder.

    January 26, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Reply
  61. ben

    We need to revamp the welfare, foodstamp, and unemployment programs. I understand the need for people to get back on their feet when times are rough but there needs to be a time limit for a person to depend on these funds. A person shouldn't rely on their whole life to depend on free money if they are physicallt fit to work. Investigations need to be done and get people moving to strive for more.

    January 26, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Reply
    • Buzz Mann

      Those cases are reviewed on a regular basis, now if the lady that does the review is so over loaded with cases that she just starts rubber stamp ok on everything then that is a whole other problem.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Reply
      • mark

        Unfortunately, in most instances it is cheaper to not investigate and let it slide then to hire someone to do that work. People think trimming the budgets of all these agencies will just be dollars disappearing. It's not. It means people will be losing their jobs and the ones left will be stretched so thin more will fall through the cracks.

        January 26, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • Angry At Gov

      All of the programs you mentioned, combined, equals somewhere around 5% of spending. You're making a mountain out of a molehill.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Reply
    • pat carr

      always the response of the chickenhawks is to cut the domestic spending programs.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Reply
  62. Bend over and smile

    "... increases in health care fees, co-pays and deductibles for retirees... " Super. We held up our end of the deal, gave up any possibility of a decent salary and put our lives on the line. Now you want to change the rules. Typical upper management mentality.

    January 26, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Reply
    • Buzz Mann

      Kinda reminds me of the picture of the two story outhouse,top story management bottom employees.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Reply
    • KKDenver

      I'm so sick of the jingosistic patriotic trumpet. We all love our country and would put our lives on the line if it came to it..... we're just not blood thirsty tools who think life is a video game

      January 26, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Reply
  63. mike from iowa

    Here is one idea for hwo the military coudl reduce it's budget ... just stop people like Dick Cheney and the executives at Halliburton from gouging the entire citizenry of the United States by unpatriotically OVERCHARGIN and PROFITING off of the necessity of defending our Nation. These guys are ENEMIES FROM WITHIN as Thomas Jefferson warned us about.

    January 26, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Reply
    • Leslee

      True that.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Reply
  64. "Simper" Fi

    "... the Army will increase rotational deployments... " One Permanent Change of Station move costs over $10K.

    January 26, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Reply
  65. Brian

    Maybe we should have a less jingoistic foreign policy. That's the problem. Future historians will compare the Bush Iraq war with Caligula's war with Neptune.

    January 26, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Reply
    • Still Serving

      You might want to go back on your meds Brian

      January 26, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Reply
      • pat carr

        Oh shut up "still serving". Every time someone doesnt' agree with you chickenhawks it's always "go back on your meds" or something stupid like that.

        January 26, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  66. Captain Dunsel

    Have to laugh at all you working class conservatives. Have been with the DOD nearly 30 years. The amount of civilian employee and management waste fraud and abuse within the entire Federal Service system, particularly that of the Department of Defense system is mindboggling.

    This Is for you all worrying about food stamps, many more stories to be in a soon to be released book, “A Career DOD Employees Narrative: Who’s minding the fort?”

    Being a “conservative” location, filled with “Tea Baggers” and “Bush Lovers”, a vast number of employees have decided that until this administration changes, their job is to collect a paycheck, waste time at work, if they even bother to show up, and clog as much of a process up as possible. In our little group, days are spent by some co-workers watching the latest gun or adult swim cartoon videos on youtube, searching for the next hand gun or rifle on the list they will never afford, or preaching what the fathers of the construction really meant. God forbid if a coworker with more time and grade purchases with cold hard case a luxury, the whining begins about how they wish they could do that, with all the guilt a welfare government employee can muster. These workers never enter their annual or sick leave on time cards, they just don’t show up. The immediate managers turn a blind eye, in some cases agreeing with respect to the administration protest (even the managers send out “God” emails, and those that go on to say at the bottom of the page, “forward this to everyone you know, if you have the guts” BS.

    Honestly sit and watch in horror the path federal service is heading, and it keeps expanding all the time. 30 years of work, and to see employees illegally build up vacation or compensatory time to cash in because they think their pay isn’t enough, or feel disadvantaged because they must pay child support, or buying a house and filing bankruptcy on tens of thousands of credit card debt, then going out and buying a new car as soon as possible makes me sick.
    But this is the government the politicians support. It’s welfare for engineers and physicist. These aren’t the best and brightest like what came out of Germany after the war, these are employees whom fathers have held a civilian position for years, or have authority over those that hire, and it’s welcome aboard for their spouse, children, and don’t worry the promotions will be fourth coming. As for the graduates that ignorantly enter federal service, it’s long hours, little appreciation or recognition, and wages not much higher than a trash hauler. Remember, you must pull the load of the other 70% that sit around on their butts.

    Not jealously, so short here can walk under the bellies of the fat and happy managers and their families. You all just keep paying your taxes, need that pension coming in for the protection the old generation of civilian workers provided. There are more federal employees now than ever, and the return to the public is an overweight do nothing GOP supporter. It’s not all like you hear on the media, Democrats at least admit the situation, GOP just buries their head.

    January 26, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Reply
    • Leslee

      As a federal manager and now in the DOD, I have concluded that the Armed Forces know how to manage their military members, but haven't a clue about how to manage civilians, and furthermore, are afraid to do so. Yes. Afraid. Practically scared out of their boots. Yes, it takes time and work to improve, discipline or remove employees, but it can be done. Give them the Federal Manager's Handbook, encouragement to act, and a kick in the A$$. THAT they recognize. A big part of the problem is that military managers complain without doing anything.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Reply
    • MOOGLY

      I agree with most of your rant except: you separate the leeches in democrat and republican. This is a false, they are both leeches. Both political parties are leeches and soul suckers with their dirty hands in the pockets of the workers while catering to future votes of people who don't know the meaning of work.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Reply
  67. Bob

    In the 1970's and 80's the government reduced military compensation rates and benefits including a multitiered retirement program. When objections were cited the response of officials was "If they don't like it they can vote with their feet". It resulted in what was called "the Hollow Army" bucause the troops did vote with there feet. We are on the verge of seeing it again.

    January 26, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Reply
    • Dell Stator

      I would tell anyone in the military to NOT LEAVE until you have a signed contract for work. Being shot at is bad, being unemployed in America is worse, really, try it, and they wouldnt' even be getting unemployment at first, they'd go right to welfare, nice $1,000 a month (to the politically connected landlord) that will land that soldier a roach infested stinkin mess in a neighborhood only slightly less dangerous than Iraq was, but, he or she won't have any body armor, semi automatic rifle, grenades, and of course, no air support.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Reply
      • Leslee

        You are absolutely right. People in a secure position who complain have no idea how tough it is out there.

        January 26, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  68. oneSTARman

    What a Great and Courageous FIRST STEP in the RIGHT Direction. The Idea of Permanent Bases of Armies is a 19th Century idea in Preparation for a 20th century WAR. Tens of Thousands of UAV from 'Beast of Kandahar' Class Robotic Fighter Aircraft to what would best be a silent Electric RC Flying AK-47 will REDEFINE Modern WARFARE.

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

      That would take a trillion dollars woth of satellites. I don't think that would be a good way to cut costs.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Reply
  69. Scott

    These cuts aren't even close to enough. If they even happen. We need to get rid of most of our active troops. Withdraw from most of the world and force our supposed allies to defend their interests if they choose instead of us paying the bill for them all. N. Korea is Japan and S. Korea's problem. Iran is Israel's problem. The rest of the ME is none of our business.

    Our current military policy just antagonizes the rest of the world and creates more problems that justify a never-ending expansion of our military around the world.

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

      You are clearly naive!

      January 26, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Reply
      • Scott

        I'm sure you think people just attack us for our freedom (as if we have much). They see our glorious country and just have to kill people right? It couldn't possibly be because of our actions right? We're perfect.

        January 26, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
      • pat carr

        You are clearly stupid

        January 26, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • jimrytown

      how well can you speak arabic

      January 26, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Reply
    • sambo

      NOT NAIVE.....STUPID

      January 26, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Reply
      • Scott

        Yes, all those other countries that don't have their military spread across the world are just getting attacked daily. How stupid they are to spend almost as much as the rest of the entire world combined on false defense.

        January 26, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • Patrick

      Better to justify a never-ending expansion of our government at home.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Reply
  70. urmomlol

    Spawn more overlords, IMO

    January 26, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Reply
    • a fat man

      ^

      January 26, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Reply
  71. Ben

    Very Scary. But, I am sure they will pass the savings along to tax payers and not just use this as a political gimic or a gimic to siphon more money to social programs for the 47%

    January 26, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Reply
    • Truth

      By the "47%" I can only assume you mean elderly, children, people who make too little money to have a tax burden? Jesus teaches us the greatest are judged by how we treat the least of us.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Reply
      • jimrytown

        Don't forget stay at home housewives, the 8.5% unemployed, and the 15% who have given up all hope of finding a job but cannot qualify as a true unemployed person.

        January 26, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
      • mark

        I'm sure Ben is a card carrying Christian...you know the ones who leave Jesus and his teachings at the church doors every Sunday.

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

        And college students. I am sick and tired of narrow minded bigots who continue to use this flawed logic perpetrated upon the publiic by the Koch brothers supported Heritage Foundation. Do the math for yourselves. If you take all of the segments of the population mentioned above you can account for about 42% of the population. That leaves just around 5% unnacounted for on whom you can regurgitate your bile upon.

        January 26, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  72. CM

    How long will it take for the DOD to actually get pilots out of planes? With technology available, this country should be looking more at remote piloted planes as a first means of cuts.

    January 26, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Reply
    • jiwat

      Drones are good but they still require man power and on top of that a $250 million dollar satellite to be able to control them. More drones the more satellites needed!!!!!

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

      I guess you didn't read the article either. It specifically says they'll increase purchases of drones and unmanned vehicles while reducing the size of some air force tactical squadrons.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Reply
    • oneSTARman

      The Primary reason we have been SLOW to move to UAV is because PILOTS are being replaced with Operators. The air force doesn't Like That – There are VESTED INTERESTS that OPPOSE it.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Reply
    • Scott

      it will eventually happen and it will be one of the worst events in human history. Why not go to war with someone when you don't have to risk lives? People don't protest in the streets over the death of drones. War is nothing more than a computer game when lives aren't put on the line.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Reply
      • Leslee

        Pardon me–I'm trying to get this straight. You advocate war that includes as much killing as possible? :-O
        You've obviously never read Sun Tzu on the Art of War, nor do you have a clue what the goals of the military are.

        January 26, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
      • Scott

        Leslee, no. I'm saying that taking people out of the line of fire will lead to more wars that will end up killing more people. Imagine if we could completely overtake Iranian airspace by remote control? You don't think we would have done that by now? Think of how many Iranian lives would be lost by that.

        January 26, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
      • jimrytown

        lol .... Iran does....lol

        January 26, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  73. A frustrated SSgt Active duty in the Air Force

    This country is fuking sick!!! the leaders made an awefull polotic decisions that now can't even figure out how to fix it.
    Have the fuking prisioners build roads for free and dig the rocks and mine pits. Have them work on mines and extract the coalt. Have the inmigrant caught in this country work hared labor for us. Reduce the congress pay first.
    Stop free education to illegal inmigrants. Stop food stamps . STOP free medicare to 5 foot tall illegal inmigrants. Close the borders and fuk the world, we don't need no one else, we don't need more wars

    January 26, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Reply
    • mike

      ex-army here and I can tell from your reply that active duty is in your mind only and you haven't done day one in any branch of the military.

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

      I think you might be a candidate for a promotion under Kim Jong Un.

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

      You're a sergeant in the Air Force? Yeah right, I didn't know they let illiterate racist douche bag retards into the military...oh....wait.....

      January 26, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Reply
    • tom

      funny you mentioned stop free education yet it seems that you need a little education yourself looking at your grammar...it's sad dude!

      January 26, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Reply
    • midogs2

      But increase spending in education to improve language and spelling skills.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Reply
    • Ben Frankly

      You are in the Air Force and you're complaining about hand outs. Try working in the private sector, where you really have to earn your way. Not government hand outs from the military, where they automatically give you pay raises and provide you with everything you need from food to dental care. However, you are not all bad, apparently you are taller than 5', so you got that going for you.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Reply
    • ak

      if you could have just one agenda I suggest you push hard for increased funds for education so your children don't grow up sounding like you. Did you really complete high school or are the armed forces letting anyone in?

      January 26, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Reply
    • Shane

      Integrity First-service before self-excellence in all we do SSgt

      January 26, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Reply
    • Leslee

      Can we give free medicare to illegal immigrants who are more than 5 feet tall?

      January 26, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Reply
    • jimrytown

      Singal handedly that would put civil rights in this country back almost 150 years. For the simple minded, It would set back civil rights back to a state prior to the civil war. I can hear frustrated SSgt now. "Eeeeehaw.....save yur confederate money, boys. Th' South is gonna riiiise agin"

      January 26, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Reply
  74. Leaf on the Wind

    Regarding the F-35 JSF, Panetta says "In this budget, we have slowed the procurement to complete more testing and allow for developmental changes before buying in significant quantities." Right. Like, maybe redesign a couple of things so the danged planes can actually land on a carrier, something significant that they currently cannot do. Doh!

    "Of course, this is all a proposal that must go through Congress." THIS congress? LMAO!

    January 26, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Reply
  75. CM

    It's amazing that no one ever speaks of cutting pensions for members of congress, not to mention their healthcare benefits. The first cuts that need to occur in this country are to our over-paid congress. Asking a retiree to sustain cuts and not congress is insane.

    January 26, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Reply
  76. daveinla

    Unfortunatly the cuts will come across the board. the Baby Boomers lived high off the hog and now the axe must fall. We can no longer afford a massive global role for our military. I want social and corporate welfare to be cut as well. Also, Congressman should make about $40k a year not $200,000 AND they should buy their own health care.

    January 26, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Reply
    • Leaf on the Wind

      "the Baby Boomers lived high off the hog . . . " Speak for yourself, Dave. I'm a boomer, and I've been working since I was 16. It's been decades since I've even SEEN a hog, high or not.

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

        So you've had a job? That's pretty well off compared to many just now entering the workforce.

        January 26, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
      • Alan S.

        Haven't seen a hog, high or not. I like that.

        January 26, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
      • dsmidiman

        Well said Leaf !! I'm a baby boomer and have been and still am in the same boat as you. Where did all this trash talk about baby boomers having it easy and screwing everything up come from anyway? Heck us working baby boomers are the one's that have kept the system going working and paying into it the last 40 yrs? And most of us are still doing that?

        January 26, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  77. David Crandall

    All the miltary we need is a few MIRV's.

    January 26, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Reply
    • You have no clue

      What we have here is another civilian armchair general.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Reply
  78. coastlinecascot

    Do you guys realize most of the "huge" defense budget goes to veteran services, like the VA hospital system.

    January 26, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Reply
    • Scott

      That's not true. The total defense related budget is between $1 and 1.4 trillion dollars for 2012. VA "only" accounts for $70 billion of that. Pensions another $54.6 billion. The largest amount is the DOD budget of $707.5 billion.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Reply
      • Trae

        Thanks Scott for elaborating on that...can't dispute the FACTS!

        January 26, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • Trae

      If that is true about the budget going to the VA, then I am totally fine with that. Those men and women who served in the services deserve it. They earned it!

      January 26, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Reply
    • testpilot87

      Hate to rain on your P-rade but I think that the VA has its own budget and is not tied into the defense appropriations. The VA Hospital systemis not part of the DOD health care costs mess. The VA needs to have their budget increased to cover the costs that we as a country should legitmately pay to help our wounded warriors, both those that are Physically wounded and those who are mentally scarred for life buy the horrors of war. I would gladly pay more taxes if they were dedicated towards making these heroes "right" again.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Reply
    • Sarge1

      very untrue, the VA budget is entirely different than the DOD one

      January 26, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Reply
  79. Dale

    Great news! Part of national defense in not being in debt. Too many countries in history have diminished in power because of debt and owing too much to to pay off war chests.

    One negative point: I didn't hear enough about cuts to the Air Forces bloated budget 🙁 The AF gets an absurd 22% while the Marine Corps receives just 4%. We need far greater transfer of funds to the Marine Corps.

    January 26, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Reply
    • John

      Actually we need a bigger reduction from the marine corps. Keep the infantry units get rid of the support airwings. The army, air force, and navy already do this.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Reply
      • Buzzer

        John- There are substantially more weapons systems being operated by the USAF that are more expensive and complex. For example, you've got 1 pilot operating a $35M F-16 while I have 1 Marine infantryman operating a $1k M-4 Carbine and about $500 in associated equipment. It not absurd, it just the nature of the services and what it costs for them to perform the tasks required.

        January 26, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
      • Buzzer

        directed at Dale...my mistake.

        January 26, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
      • Dale

        John and Buzzer ...you don't have a clue. The Marine Corps has aircraft too, fighters just as expensive as the AFs, and the Corps provides a much better cohesive fighting unit than the Air Force supporting (and often committing fratricide). The AF Buzz has wasteful spending on their bases, in their satellite programs, their B-2s, and NORAD (lotta good they did during 9/11).

        January 26, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • dewed

      The USMC actually gets about 6% of the budget. It has half as many people as the USAF. Its mission does not include operating ANY nuclear, strategic or intelligence assets. For its mission and size, the USMC funding is comparable to her other services.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Reply
    • jiwat

      The Airforce takes care of things in Space as well. GPS, SATCOM, etc. A new GP they just put a new 250 million dollar WGS-4 for all military communications.

      My friends technology is not cheap. Go back to Bank of America or Starbuck and do your job. You know nothing of this country. What do you believe the costs are?????

      You can't control the drones or talk to the Seals with out these satellites. And they cost!!!!! What is a bigger deal is a $6 cup of hot flavored wate you pay for!!!!

      Please do research before making stupid comments!!!!!!

      January 26, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Reply
      • Dale

        You can always tell the real clueless ones like yourself. They never properly capitalize military titles.

        January 26, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • W.M.

      For all the amphibious landings that we do in places like Afghanistan? For the forseeable future, we will need rapid, agile airstrike capability, shows of force in the Pacific and Indian oceans, and a large special ops force. Large armies of assualt and occupation simply arn't going to be needed in the near future, given the lack of a credible threat from a nation state, and the lack of political will to have a repeat of Iraq or Afghanistan in the near future.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Reply
      • Dale

        The USMC was in Afghanistan in 72 hours. The air force and Army took WEEKS to get there.

        January 26, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
      • dewed

        "The USMC was in Afghanistan in 72 hours. The air force and Army took WEEKS to get there."

        Interesting. The Army (Delta) was actually there immediately. Inserted by helos that are, let's say, not USMC owned. The USMC conducted a helo-borne air-assault after a few weeks of USAF and Navy bombing.

        January 26, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Leaf on the Wind

      Hey, planes are expensive, man. Not to mention satellites.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Reply
    • "Simper" Fi

      It's a good thing that jar-head mentalities like yours are kept to a minimum. If not, we'd be in real trouble.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Reply
      • Leslee

        The USMC is the paradigm of an agile fighting force. Dale is just mad. Some Marines are like that.

        January 26, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • Buzzer

      Dale- 15 years active duty USAF Major, 4 deployments pre 9/11 and 4 post. Presently at Alaska NORAD Region. Clueless? Do you really want to get into an educated "discussion" on expenditures, force structure and procurement?

      January 26, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Reply
      • Marine GySgt

        Buzzer- Sitting 2000 miles away from the actual combat is not considered a deployment. Sorry you had to leave the Hilton and downgrade to a Holiday Inn.

        January 26, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
      • Buzzer

        On the ground in Afghanistan on 2 of the 4 post 9/11 deployments with GTACS, in tents, eating MREs with weekly motars attacks into the compound. Directly involved in air support for the 101st Airborne and SOCOM immediate post 9/11 in Tora Bora and Operation ANACONDA. You can take your foot out of your mouth now.

        January 26, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • Buzzer

      Dale- BTW, if you want to discuss Theatre ROE, SPINS, TTPs, SOPs, CONOPS and how they play into the whole "frat" comment you made about the USAF, we can play that game too.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Reply
      • dewed

        Don't bother, Buzzer. Anonymous scat-flinging on the internet is what elite ex-Marines like Dale do. Meanwhile, the folks wearing big-boy pants in ALL the services know ALL the services contribute.

        January 26, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
  80. Missing Something

    Did I read this incorrectly or does it sound like some clever wording to say "a budget plan that slices half a trillion dollars in spending INCREASES (caps added) over the next 10 years..." and then "The savings would begin in October, the start of fiscal year 2013"? There are no "savings", the budget is still increasing and increasing by a helluva lot, but these cut backs just mean it won't increase by quite as astronomical an amount, is that right? So I should be thrilled about this?

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

      It seems that way, but then the next paragraph does say the proposed budget is $33 billion less than the current one. Of course Congress has been known to give the defense dept more than they ask for to support their districts manufacturing facilities

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

        33 billion less than the current proposed budget, which is still an increase.

        January 26, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • Brad Mauro

      At least TWO of us can read.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Reply
  81. Joyce Neal

    This is a good step as many of the troop cuts will come from those that have more than enough years to retire with benefits. As a member of the Army Reserve there are many retirement-ready Senior NCO's just sitting in a position earning a check without having to perform. Start at the top with the troop cuts and the Armed Services overall will not notice the reduction in forces.

    January 26, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Reply
  82. PJ

    This really makes sense. We don't need to defend Europe as much as in the past. They should be able to pay for their own defense now. Defending America has changed. We have drones. We have the Seals. We have a brilliant military command. There are savings to be made here and Panetta would not be asking for it were he not confident the request was appropriate. Remember Panetta was the one who planed the death of Bin Laden.Obama knows what he is doing in National Defense as opposed to Flipflop Romney etc.

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

      Hey genious, how many jobs do you think this will cost????

      January 26, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Reply
      • urmomlol

        Irony, thy name is CNN.

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

        Hey genius, you misspelled "genius".

        January 26, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  83. jiwat

    who realizes 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 4:16 pm | Reply
    • guest

      I guess you didn't read the article. They're still buying the F35's, they just want more technology to go into them. To me, that would mean more jobs created to sell the finished product to the military. He said they're going to INCREASE spending on drones. Last time I checked, drones are built by those companies.

      The real savings are going to come from the reduction in overall manpower and the decrease in medical benefits for retirees.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Reply
      • jiwat

        Theoretical to all the people that are blowing up this blog saying cut it all!!

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

        The cuts are real. They are not imaginary. And contractor dollars WILL be cut, so contractors WILL be likely have to be cut (that's up to each defense contractor). To continue to meet the cut schedule, new future acquisitions will be delayed even more than you see here. The "risk" the Secretary mentions is that you will wake up in the morning some day, pour your cup of Joe, turn on your computer and see the headline "WE LOSE" and suddenly realize you aren't looking at a sports page. But fiscal contraints dictate that that's the risk we have to take. NOW the Congress has to figure out the other big piece of the Federal spending puzzle – how to cut entitlement programs. Good luck with THAT in an election year...

        January 26, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • SB

      Then Lockheed and their other defense contractor poker buddies will just have to stop adding artificial commas and zeroes to the price tag.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Reply
      • jiwat

        You are obviously not in engineering or science with your career. You have no idea what technology costs and how hard it is to develop and implement it!!

        January 26, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
      • SB

        I sure do, and it costs less than what the untouchable aerospace/defense contractors charge us for it. And if you don't believe that, then riddle me this: why can SpaceX do what they do cheaper than NASA? Answer: Because the major aerospace/defense contractors that NASA has to deal with are in the business of selling technology to the taxpayer, which means it is absolutely in the interests of those contractors to make it as expensive as they can get away with.

        January 26, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Ace

      What! Cut Medicaid and Medicare? Actually Medicaid needs to be increased in order to properly care for the handicapped, disabled and poor. Plus, seniors shouldn't have to pay for ANY healthcare costs – they have earned their right to this.

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

        Some have and some haven't. But tell me what othee country will pay 100,000 for an ailing 98 year old???

        January 26, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
      • Buzzer

        I guess that since nothing is free, that you and I will have to pick up their tab? How exactly did they "earn" this now "free" service? Because they are retired, and now on a fixed income, didn't financially plan for the projected rise in their healthcare costs, we should pick up the tab? Did they pick up the tab for the generation before them?

        January 26, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
      • dewed

        Hey there, Ace...how about this: After you have spent every single penny you can possibly spare to provide medical care for the elderly, THEN you can come ASK me to contribute more to help them. That sure beats just robbing my paycheck to pay for a pile of old people who have already driven our society into the muck, and want us to fund their relaxed and medically covered sunset of life.

        January 26, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • Leaf on the Wind

      Speaking as an aerospace industry employee who just got laid off, you have a point. However, change is inevitable. We need to cut fraud in all of our "entitlement" programs and simplify the tax code, but cuts in defense spending are necessary, too, and may not be as catastrophic as you think in the long run.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Reply
    • Reality

      Not to mention that because it's DoD, the jobs being lost are American citizen jobs. These jobs require the employees to be US citizens!!! You aren't hurting the meagerly paid Mexican or Chinese worker who sew you shirts or answer your calls about your credit card. These workers are the ones who pay taxes, shop in local stores, and own homes.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Reply
      • Scott

        I'd rather pay Americans to dig holes and refill them again than to do what our military currently is. I bet we could find more productive ways to use that money though.

        January 26, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • Thenumber3

      You point out that defense companies employ many people globally. It would be interesting to know how many of those jobs are based in the U.S. I agree that loss of employment may be a factor, however, it would be important to know how many U.S. based jobs will / may be lost.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Reply
      • Skeeter

        That's not the purview of the Secretary of Defense. Job loss in the private sector is up to the companies in the private sector. Defense programs WILL be cut. Money WILL come from contractor pockets. Who they cut and how is up to individual defense contractors. The Defense Department can only impact the size and duration of their contracts, not how much of the funding contractors put into manpower.

        January 26, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  84. A frustrated SSgt Active duty in the Air Force

    I have been in for just over 14 years and without a doubt I see this country in the worst shape ever. We want to cut in the military and its benefits? really? what about we stop paying the medical bills for people that knowingly refuse to get a medical coverage so that WE(the good people) pay their medical bills.
    How about we stop paying for free education to illegal inmigrants? How about we do some cuts on the congresman pay checks and their retirements? Why don't we stop paying for food stamps for people that don't deserve it. I am sick and tired of watching people taking adavantage of the system. We need to track down other major issues that are sinking our economy(food stamp plans, free medicare to people that have the means but don't want to get medicare, stop free education to illegals). This is the worst AMERICA that I ever seen. This is no longer the "american dream". Mostlikely I wouldn't have a pension from the Social security by the age of 65, we are worst than China!!!

    January 26, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Reply
    • jiwat

      I am with you. All these cry babies don't know what this means for the country. I say close tax loop holes, raise taxes on wealthy, stop paying for none engineernig, science and math degrees (if you want to go to school fo art, language, history pay for it yourself), and stop paynig for so much dam medicaid and medicare. If you have to see the doctor once a week and take 1000 dollars worth of meds a month, well dont make me pay for it!!!!

      You all may hate on me for the last comment but when it is my time to go I wish to not be a burden on anyone.And doctors make too much keping people alive past the human expectancy. As humans we must live with the fact we cant live forever.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Reply
    • DEAN

      You shouldn't complain so much. You still have a job As a combat Infantryman in Vietnam I can remember the guys in the air force getting ICE CREAM flown in from Hawaii.while we ate c-rations and slept on the ground Still makes me angry after 40 years.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Reply
    • Leaf on the Wind

      SSgt, thank you for your service, put please get some cheese to go with that whine. For every person "scamming" the welfare/food stamp system there are 9 or 10 people who would be starving without them, most through no fault of their own. I'm hitting the unemployment line myself this Monday. I've been working since I was 16. Do you think my "benefits" should be cut just because there are unethical people out there working the system?

      January 26, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Reply
      • Buzzer

        I'm sure he's talking about taking a hard look at the efficiencies of the programs and ensuring that people that are gaming the system are rightfully "cut" from eligibility.

        January 26, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • ic32teeth

      I am with you brother I have been retired now for 5 years and I was just waiting for this to happen. It is not right!!! You are past the 10 year mark and most likely decided to stay next 6 years with the hopes the benefits you earned will be there. Well this is the first step to Obama's socialized medicine plan. Soon all retirees will go to some city clinic and get half assed care. We deserve the top notch health care for life!! I can't stand what he is doing to our military. Vote him out of office this Fall!!!!

      January 26, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Reply
    • Lisa

      What cuts to benefits? You may be asked to pay a higher co-pay. Welcome to what the rest of us are going through.

      I do agree that those making the decisions need to have some of their benefits trimmed and be required to pay co-pays and pay extra for their spouses and kids. But reality tell us that's not going to happen.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Reply
  85. My name is Jose Jimenez

    This sucks...retirees are asked to pick up more of their health care costs so the military-industrial complex can continue to build multiple billion dollar weapon systems for which we really have no use.

    We should just keep our nukes and beef up the JSOC forces and billions resulting a much more effective force given the types of enemies out there.

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

    January 26, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Reply
  86. Horrible

    So let me get this straight...our unemployment is already at an all time high but instead of reducing government spending that starts at the TOP by the men in charge, we are going to cut 80,000 more jobs, thus creating more people out of work and unable to provide for their families. How does this make sense? And just like everything else in this country, the rich get richer and the 99% pays the price. What a country.

    January 26, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Reply
    • Paul

      Not sure where the rich get richer on this one, but isn't this what everyone wants? Less government spending.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Reply
      • Horrible

        Every politician that will vote to make 80,000 more unemployed workers in this country will do so riding around in the cars, flying in the jets, and liiving in their mansions that are paid for by our taxes. Reduce that government spending. They have all made their millions off investments like Romney, why are the 99% paying for their transportation to pass laws none of us want? Every single law they pass is to line their own pockets or increase their power by taking away ours.

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

      No we are going to have more special forces by training the 80,000 that want to stay in service. It will be a different military but much better.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Reply
    • Lisa

      What job cuts? Sounds more like the savings will be achieved through attrition and retirements and simply not "replacing" those who leave. Besides, there is always the option to enlist in the Reserves.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Reply
  87. gravis

    Good. Cut this massive jobs creation program for drop outs and other low-life losers that are paid for by my tax money

    January 26, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Reply
    • daveinla

      Drop outs and losers? These people have taken the risk to defend this nation and your right to spew your ignorant diatribe on the internet. They are the best we got. coward.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Reply
    • Jim

      I guess this makes you another one of those for whom none of our kin should ever sacrifice. You obviously have never served and have no idea what that constitutes.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Reply
    • Jim

      And when you talk about military pay, it's pathetic. Military benefits certainly don't compensate for the frequent transfers, lack of family life, and other personal hardships endured. When it comes to healthcare in retirement, I think Medicare (which no intelligent doctor now takes) is probably better than Tricare, the no pay/slow pay system that "provides" for retirees.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Reply
    • Bob

      Talk about ignorant. Servicemembers require a high school education just to get in. NCO's and officers require a minimum of an associate's degree to stay in service. This is hardly an ignorant or uneducated force. It is a force which is being asked to take the brunt of cost cutting measures again abandoning the promises made for service rendered. Tax the Soldier, Sailor and Marine by increased health care costs. Forget that health care was promised in return for service.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Reply
      • Alan S.

        Bob: You're almost correct, but you wrote that most officers had associate degrees. I retired from the Army in 2000. Every officer I knew had a four-year degree, and most majors and above had graduate degrees. Not to mention military schooling, such as the lengthy officer advanced courses (in my branch it was nine months in residence), Command and General Staff College, and War College.

        January 26, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • John

      Lol . Until the world decides to unite under one banner a military force is required. But man I must be bored responding to a troll. Your tax dollars. When you understand what sacrifice is, then maybe just maybe I could listen to you.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Reply
    • A Military Wife

      You make me sick! You uneducated scum! You know nothing! I am sick to my stomach thinking my "educated" husband is defending your life! Jerk!

      January 26, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Reply
      • Hurrdurr

        U mad bro?

        No one asked your uneducated husband to volunteer. But considering who he married, I totally understand his reasons

        January 26, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
      • Jataka

        Defending his life from what?

        January 26, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
      • Buzzer

        Jataka- Won't you don't see, since you've never served enables you to make such an ignorant comment. Ignorance is bliss.

        January 26, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • Alan S.

      Fascinating comment. Inaccurate and unfair, but fascinating none the less.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Reply
    • Leaf on the Wind

      Gravis, I'm assuming that you mean defense industry jobs, not actual soldiers? Either way, you sound like a bonehead. I work in the defense industry (for one more day, anyway) and I'm neither a dropout nor a loser.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Reply
    • Sin

      You do realize to join any branch of the armed forces today you must have a high school diploma. Most college graduates are joining the armed forces "since they cannot find employment!!!!!" A majority of members of the armed forces have college diplomas. You should really do your homework before you open your mouth!

      January 26, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Reply
    • Dale

      'Gravis' is a typical uneducated ignorant liberal. What he doesn't know is the FACT that the average enlisted person has a higher education than the average civilian. As for college it's MUCH harder to get into a service academy than an Ivy League school. So your slams about dropouts and losers is laughable.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Reply
      • Michaelwg

        As a liberal, who has served on active duty, I'm going to say that most of the military i've dealt with have not been very bright. And no, it isn't hard to get in.
        I understand people like to defend their military, and that's great, but don't just make things up please. And don't assume liberals don't serve.

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

      Considering that those low-life losers are preserving the right for you to call them that, say 'thank you'. That said, I'd hate to be you should you ever be in a position for needing saving/rescuing.

      Besides we know that Newt's daughters and Romney's sons have all joined up, correct? Because those rich folks are all standing in line ready to sacrifice their lives for yours!

      January 26, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Reply
  88. Ian

    Welcome to liberal america.
    Or whats left of it

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

      I bet you complain about government spending on other blogs. This is what most people want. Dems, Repubs, and most americans.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Reply
  89. wilson James

    Eisenhower warned us of the military industrial complex that came to be and right wingers used powerful and rich companies to find their elections. The waste in military spending is staggering and downright wrong.

    January 26, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Reply
    • alfranken

      The sad part is that they whine about spending on our infrastructure and their spending has absolutely no return on our investment. The Iraqi govt. is laughing their brains out - especially Iran now that they have far more influence in Iraq with Saddam gone. What a joke we are.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Reply
  90. My name is Jose Jimenez

    More smoke and mirrors. Decreases in the rate of growth do nothing to reduce the debt. Panetta is doing his job to protect DOD. Let see if Congress has the balls to do anything about this. The GOP = GREEDY OPPOSITION PARTY will probably scream bloody murder and want to spend even more money. Of course, their solution will be to cut back on social programs and cut taxes for the rich because that is the group which creates jobs.

    We can all agree that Willard Mitt Romney is extremely rich. He has not had a job since 1999 living off his investments. How many jobs has he created with his tax burden of 15%.

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

    January 26, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Reply
    • sambo

      FUNNY USER NAME.....BRINGS BACK OLD MEMORIES

      January 26, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Reply
  91. CRN

    You OBVIOUSLY work for the Dept of Defense or a big time military contractor. You are only arguing those points to keep from being put on the unemployment lines.

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

    To be honest, as a Army retiree, I can appreciate the decision made by DOD. However, keep in mind that the decision was made by a civilian, blessed by staff officers that sit behind desks and kiss butt to keep their paychecks. I wonder what will happen when benefits for soldiers and their counterparts are reduced. I can picture people retiring, people resigning and the draft coming back. I"m sure that congressman and senators don't want their children playing at being a soldier and having to fight for their lives, but it could happen if the draft is bought back, because people WON'T volunteer for service without some benefits.

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

      AMEN! But, if the politicians have their way, no politician's son/daughter would EVER be drafted. There are a few that actually volunteered. For those few and their families, I have nothing but praise. If I had my way, Heinlein's idea of having to serve an active duty tour before being able to vote would be law.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Reply
    • Skeeter

      One lesson the Vietnam War taught us is that a draft is VERY expensive (draftees enter and leave too quickly to justify your spending on them), it lowers the quality of your recruits, and means near zero motivation to excel by many the drafted service members. We could not afford a draft today, nor would I want our dedicated military members to have to serve beside draftees.

      US citizens should appreciate that they have highly-intelligent, well-educated, highly proficient citizens there to protect them should it be necessary (even though many US citizens really don't deserve that protection that they are guaranteed by the Constitution).

      January 26, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Reply
    • Michaelwg

      A draft also works as a deterrent for wars that have no legitimate use.
      Imagine if Bush instituted a draft and then there were no WMD's? there would have been hell to pay, but this way they could all say "Whelp, they volunteered"

      January 26, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Reply
  93. angelika

    And the terrorists laugh their asses off. So I feel that if we putting this nation on the risk factor with lesser military involved with, I feel for our Nation security! The terrorists are just waiting for this. Also do the communists. And why must we Retiree's and their families suffer again? With increases in our co pays? I just have to say that Champ Tri care does not enough % pay's for our health care ! I feel that the GOP is always saving on the wrong ends. Why not cut their saleries, their health care benefits when they work and see how it feels? That and theirs is paid by our tax payers too! And how about it come to think, why not close all the European military bases? That would definetly safe trillions of dollars? Why must these Generals live in First class housing? Could they not live just like all the other soldiers in regular housing? Why are they so superior? Why not have the GOP live only on the incomes from their private work? And not pay for their official work from being in Congress/? That would safe another million dollars! So think about it!

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

      Terrorism will never go away, but it has been delivered a severe blow in the last couple years. If we doubled the size of the military, how would that stop a terrorist?

      January 26, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Reply
      • Michaelwg

        Terrorism has NOT been delivered a severe blow. Iraq was a complete and utter failure, Afghanistan is looking no better. Terrorism cannot be defeated, we simply make more terrorists for each one we kill. That's why fighting orginizations, or even worse, concepts, is useless. There will never be any Treaty with terrorism.

        January 26, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • UhYeaOk

      So, even though Panetta answers to Obama, your blaming the GOP for this?? Wow...

      January 26, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Reply
    • Sgt.Serge

      "And how about it come to think, why not close all the European military bases? That would definetly safe trillions of dollars?"
      You can read right? The budget right now is around a trillion....... how could we save trillions my closeing 4 bases........

      January 26, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Reply
  94. Keith

    Nice start. So when do we start requiring the Pentagon to make its books auditable and to cut all its massive waste? When you can't even audit your own books, you know there is massive waste going on.

    January 26, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Reply
  95. alfranken

    Install nukes in Japa, point them at North Korea and pull the 40k troops we have there– cold war tactics have proved successful . Stop foreign aid to Israel and inform them they are on their own– maybe they will stop stealing land from their neighbors on our reputation – let the terrorists focus on someone other than us for a change and restore our liberties. Pull all ground troops from the valleys of Afghanistan, forget the idea of nation building there, and install permanent air bases on the mountain tops and rain down our order of law when they start getting ideas.... Make Sun-tsu philosophy required to our top generals with a passing grade or 95% or get dismissed from service. Pulling all troops out of Europe is a no brainer.

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

      N. Korea is a minimal risk, our troops are there more for China than anything else. Removing them would be costly and stupid.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Reply
    • joel

      I think the transfer of power should freeze adjustments regional for 30 years. What if the new Supreme Leader is a nihlist? That's testing the man looking for his first test. Better let that place chill. Nobody is knocking no use calling over problems.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Reply
    • Jim

      Wow. I hardly know where to begin. I suppose that the Israel could just keep kicking their neighbors' asses, just as they've been doing since the 1940s. The only thing we ever offered them were arms and I'm sure they could find another source. I think Iraq and Afghanistan were mistakes, and we should perhaps leave them to their own devices . . . except, perhaps, to offer Iraq arms during any confrontation they might have with Iran. If you think that tucking ourselves back behind our own (wide open and unprotected) borders will stop radical Islamic jihadists from wanting us dead, think again. In their way of thinking (and I use the word loosely), anyone who does not conform to their version of Islam has to convert or die.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Reply
  96. Geo

    End Wars.
    End horrendous deficit spending.

    RON PAUL 2012

    January 26, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Reply
  97. Geo

    End Wars.
    End horrendous deficit spending.

    RON PAUL 2012

    January 26, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Reply
    • Scott

      There are far better ways to employee people.

      January 26, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Reply
  98. Sam

    This plan cuts a fraction of the projected increase in spending–it's not decreasing the current budget at all. What a joke of politicking by Obama, pretending like he's actually liberal.

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

      I'm fairly liberal, but I don't think Obama is or even acts like he is.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Reply
    • Dave San Diego

      Panetta's "plan" has benn put to Congress for approval based cuts approved by Congress. Read the article and get a grip. It has nothing to do with Obama.

      January 26, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Reply
    • alfranken

      What is with the stigma that liberals are soft on defense? Are most hawkish presidents have been progressive

      January 26, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Reply
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