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
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  28. 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 desk-based 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? One gets the "with dependants" rate. And the other gets the 'without dependants" rate. And combined, that's total over $7,500 per month TAX FREE!

    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 27, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Reply
  29. ADMIL

    The US military is less than 1% of the population... think about that

    January 27, 2012 at 9:50 am | Reply
  30. ADMIL

    You know the military is less that 1% of the american population

    January 27, 2012 at 9:48 am | Reply
  31. Anderson Clayton

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    January 27, 2012 at 8:36 am | Reply
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    January 27, 2012 at 5:52 am | Reply
    • Russ

      shut up

      January 27, 2012 at 6:14 am | Reply
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  35. Frank Finnegan

    Should have been done years ago; Iraq was also a waste of trillions and thousands in American blood, all because of Bush, Chaney, and Colon Powell. We have the best military in the world, but it is bloated; let the Europeans and Japan pay their fare share first.

    January 27, 2012 at 5:35 am | Reply
    • Jason B

      Thing is, the Pentagon can't help some of what they spend. I believe it's happened before: Pentagon says we don't need this expensive item, Congress gets their panties in a bunch because cutting the billions of dollars in spending hurts their districts, Congress tells the Pentagon "you have no choice, go buy all this stuff you don't want."

      January 27, 2012 at 7:04 am | Reply
  36. All Governement Employes should treated equal

    The United States Military should have the same health benefits that is the same to all other federal workers, to include Congress and the Senate. Why should they be allowed to keep their benefits when they retire and no one changes it afer they retire?

    After serving 25 years in the military I retired. I worked my ass off 24/7, deployed overseas without my family, served in combat to protect this great nation of ours and followed orders. When did a DOD, or congressman or a senator do the same thing???? And they say we are over pay or not in line with other government workers. There should be not comparison whatsoever......BUT THERE IS.

    If I knew then, with what I know now about the military and the congress taking away our benefits after I retired, I would never reenlisted for continued military. NO WAY IN HELL.

    Did you know that a Congressman can retire after 4 years (2 terms) and keep 75% of his pay, and a senator can retire after 6 years (1 term) and keep 75% of their pay. They also get to keep their medical benefits. THAT IS TOTALLY UNFAIR TO US RETIRED MILITARY PERSONNEL. I hope soon, that God will punish them.

    Very depressed and disappointed in the United States as my country. Very disappointed !!!!! Are you ???


    January 27, 2012 at 4:09 am | Reply
    • DevildDog

      If you don't like how things are run from above, run for those positions and change them. Don't complain about them, do something. All I read in your comments is complaints of how unfair it is. Nothing in life is fair, you get what you work for. You may have served your country honorably, but honor alone does not get you success in life. The military pays your education 100%, did you not use that?

      January 27, 2012 at 5:01 am | Reply
      • John

        The military only pays 100% for your education up to a certain amount which is $4500 per year for the Air Force or $250 per credit hour up to $4500 per year; so it is really false advertisement.

        January 27, 2012 at 6:54 am |
    • Reality

      Congress DOES NOT get a retirement after only 4 years, NOR do they get 75%. WHERE in the world do you get your information? They fall under FERS, just like any other gov employee, then draw their pay after age 60. By the way, they have to serve at least 5 years.

      I love the mis-information on this blogs.

      January 27, 2012 at 6:11 am | Reply
    • NoO2013

      I agree Dave. It's easy for the politicians to send the troops out in hell when they are sitting in their posh little worlds, they are not above the general population and should not be living like it.

      January 27, 2012 at 8:18 am | Reply
    • derka derka

      Look, appreciate your service, and all the respect but that aside. Did you want your @$$ wiped while they were at it? I mean, realistically the rest of us worked and dealt with even worse...

      January 27, 2012 at 9:23 am | Reply
  37. flarnkingsgargle

    oh, so even though we spend more on our ability to export death and destruction than the next 10 or 20 countries COMBINED, we are spending a little less over 10 years, so we don't have to worry about the budget anymore.....

    January 27, 2012 at 3:59 am | Reply
  38. Namanda52

    Ok, Wow! As an army wife I am seeing this front & center already. My husband who is currently an E6 is being told he cannot re-enlist! We just recently had a baby and did not have plans for this for another 3-4 years. He is disqualified from the things he can re-enlist for due to an injury he sustained while getting his bronze medal with valor. He was hit by an IED, and now has migraines from that: which according to some re-enlistment options disqualifies him. His MOS is not currently re-enlisting soldiers. So now he is going to be shut out of the only thing he knows, based on an injury our government provided him. I am so confused because I am still seeing ARMY ads on TV! So you want to acquire some new soldiers, but are letting go the experienced ones? ?? ? ? makes no damn sense to me! If you think "oh, just part of life" . . well what the hell is a soldier gonna do when he has spent his whole "working life" in service, gets out with not many job opportunities because he has been trained to do one thing, and can't relate those skills. Told by employers that they don't feel like he or she has a basic knowledge of their product or service; & despite the allowance of unemployment. . . How the hell are you going to move to a new place, and be allowed to even rent a home when you have to write down that your on unemployment! Not everyone has family that can help you know! Sure it's great that they have the GI bill and can go to school; this is a shoe in for single soldiers, but when you have to support a kid WTH! So now you get a measly amount to go to school on, still have to find have a job that will let you go to school (obviously not a good paying one) just to get by; since your spouse is working full time also and spending half a paycheck on childcare. I just cannot see how this is going to help. I guess the government feels it's OK to pay more unemployment rather than to cut their own checks. I don't even know if I give a shit about this place anymore!

    January 27, 2012 at 1:59 am | Reply
    • Brad T.

      Who cares? The military is comprised chiefly of scuzzy lower-class people who have no morals or respect for civilian law.

      January 27, 2012 at 2:17 am | Reply
      • El Duderino (if you're not into the whole brevity thing)

        Brad T, your naivety to generalize an entire institution is telling of your colossal stupidity. I hope you gow to become more intelligent in the future.

        January 27, 2012 at 2:34 am |
      • wayne

        Bradt you are right i work with one now , can we send him back something is wrong with his head

        January 27, 2012 at 5:34 am |
      • John

        Brad, you need a wake up call and need to respect the freedom that was given to you; what the hell have you ever done that is so important! You seem like your the scum of the earth and need to realize that the military protects our freedom including yours!

        January 27, 2012 at 6:58 am |
      • BradTisAnIdiot

        Brad T, you have no clue. Try serving in the military for a day and see how long you last.

        January 27, 2012 at 8:06 am |
      • cankicker

        Ignorne this guy, he is apparently trolling just to get a rise.

        January 27, 2012 at 8:39 am |
      • freespeechma

        Yo Brad. Do me a favor put on 80 pound backpack on your back and then march 18 miles in 4 hours in the middle of the night after training for the last 10 hours. wake up the next day and be willing to do it again NOT because you want to but because you were ORDERED to do it, with no complaing like a little bitch. oh btw these KIDS (most are late teens early 20's) are doing it so they can get to college to better themselves. its on the backs of these hard working people that allow you your freedom. so shut your mouth unless your willing to sacrifice at half of what they do. punk

        January 27, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • El Duderino (if you're not into the whole brevity thing)

      I'm sorry for your misfortune. The American dream is dead for many of us.

      January 27, 2012 at 2:37 am | Reply
    • Adam

      Whats he gonna do? Oh I dunno, maybe use his $50,000 GI Bill to go to college, while you work part time in order to help support the family while he does, since, based on your statements, he is going to be receiving a minimum of 60% disability pay post service anyway, which will reduce the financial burden. Stop crying about life and start planning.

      And btw, I'm a retired 31F. I know exactly what I'm talking about, so don't bother trying to say otherwise.

      January 27, 2012 at 2:39 am | Reply
      • El Duderino (if you're not into the whole brevity thing)

        Well said Adam, and what a coincidence; I'm a former 31U.

        January 27, 2012 at 3:47 am |
    • Keksi

      Well if he is trained only to do one thing then he can join police.

      January 27, 2012 at 3:41 am | Reply
    • Bob Ramos

      Lady.....in your own way, you wonderfully articulated what the major problems are in how we treat our military and veterans. We never really value you guys until our interests are really threatened and someone like your husband goes out and lays his life on the line.

      The major problem is that even now, we still consider ourselves as the world's policeman. Ron Paul said it best last night in the debate where he states that we are not. We have close to 1000 bases overseas with around 500,000 troops with their families to man them. Cuting this wholesale would allow us the funds to take care of our troops and still make an impact on the budget. Why we do not do this, is very confusing.

      January 27, 2012 at 4:39 am | Reply
      • Russ

        Ron Paul is an idiot and dangerous to this country.

        January 27, 2012 at 6:17 am |
    • DevildDog

      He got hit with an IED, got injured, has migraines that qualify him for disability and you STILL want him to re-enlist? Where are your priorities? those kids need a father ALIVE and in good state of health. Seems to me like the military is doing you a favor. I got out of the military after 5 years of service with not a clear path of where I was going. I worked my as off used my GI bill and now am making more money than the military could ever pay me. The world turns and time tics, what may seem like a stressful situation, may not be that at all. One thing I learned is that no hardworking man, woman or child dies of starvation in the US.

      January 27, 2012 at 5:09 am | Reply
      • Bixi Belle US ARMY 64-67

        You are wrong...there are women and children suffering and dying form malnutrition in the US today! Maybe not hardworking men but there are children dying here.

        January 27, 2012 at 5:33 am |
      • Bixi Belle US ARMY 64-67

        You are wrong...there are women and children suffering and dying from malnutrition in the US today! Maybe not hardworking men but there are children dying here.

        January 27, 2012 at 5:35 am |
      • Russ

        I know what you mean. I had a head injury over in Iraq and I sometimes even forget something I did just a few moments ago .

        January 27, 2012 at 6:20 am |
      • derka derka

        Good reply. We are all struggling. No one deserves more than the next, that is all I know. We really need to fix our economy back home, it's not good to have your military oversea while people suffer at home, and to think, this is what they return to. Sad sad sad.

        January 27, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • Russ

      I know what you mean. I had a head injury over in Iraq and I sometimes even forget something I did just a few moments ago.

      January 27, 2012 at 6:19 am | Reply
    • derka derka

      Sad truth, come from a military family myself, when they no longer need you, they really, really, no longer need you, and it is that simple. It happens to everyone pretty much unless your REAL special. Unfortunately people should know this kinda thing before they get involved, because historically it is nothing new in the least sense. And I'm sorry they are doing that to you and others. But it is what it is.

      January 27, 2012 at 9:25 am | Reply
    • NoO2013

      Namanda52, that truly does suck. I think they are preparing for the U.N. troops to take over. Get ready for OWG.

      January 27, 2012 at 9:30 am | Reply
  39. rodwick

    In the near future the outsourced American army in China will leave the factories and secure the mainland. Our plan is begining to unfold.

    January 27, 2012 at 1:30 am | Reply
  40. steve`

    DoD is one of the biggest wasteful spenders in the government. They need to slash spending by 20% immediately and no one would feel the affect!

    January 27, 2012 at 12:32 am | Reply
    • rad666

      Combined, our military services spent in 1975 about $40 MILLION on ashtrays alone.

      January 27, 2012 at 1:11 am | Reply
      • Reality

        Rad- that was in 1975, before radical acquistion reform took place. We spend the same on ashtrays now as anyone else, period. So, what was your point again?

        January 27, 2012 at 6:42 am |
      • John

        And how would you know this? Yeah, that's what I thought, you really don't know.

        January 27, 2012 at 7:01 am |
    • Greg_USMC_0311


      Want to know about true waste? The Social Security Administration holds approximately 18% of the nation's debt.

      Get bent, and have a good night.

      January 27, 2012 at 2:24 am | Reply
      • Xen1313

        You're alittle off about Social Security, as it is its own tax, and was solvent until Congress decided to take out OIU loans against it to pay for pet projects. To claim that it's part of our national debt is a farce. The only thing reason it's in the red now is Congress never put the money back. If they had left it alone, there would be enough to cover everyone. You can blame your elected officials for creating this controversy to begin with by intentionally breaking it, so they could 5-10 years late and point at it and say, see it's broke, let's scrap it. Question becomes, where does the money that is still in it, go? Back to the people who paid into it, or towards the national debt?

        January 27, 2012 at 3:48 am |
      • Toto

        The US government has been borrowing from Social Security to pay for the military for decades...that's why SS is in so much trouble.

        January 27, 2012 at 3:56 am |
  41. rad666

    What a crock. Save money now by bringing troops home and discharging them and closing oversea bases.

    January 26, 2012 at 11:58 pm | Reply
    • dustin m

      So you want to basically gut the military and then when we get attacked we are boned. Good call chief!

      January 27, 2012 at 12:05 am | Reply
      • rad666

        Which nation will attack America?

        January 27, 2012 at 12:15 am |
      • Kevin

        In a real war it's not how many toys you have at the start, it's how much manufacturing capacity you have and how well you can protect it. Right now we're acting like WWII Germany with high tech awesome weapons that can beat 10 of the opposing force's equivalent. But if they can make 11 of them in the time it takes you to make 1 you are in trouble. If they can make 20 then you are really screwed. That's how we won WWII, and it only took us a couple years to convert our huge manufacturing base into something the Axis powers had no chance of matching. Guess what we've been doing to our manufacturing capacity? We're losing our experience at actually making anything and that makes us weaker than any cut to the defense budget.

        January 27, 2012 at 12:39 am |
      • AllThatsLeft

        Even with the proposed cuts we still spend more on defense than next SEVENTEEN (17) countries COMBINED! And TWELVE (12) of those are our ALLIES! I'd say our security is pretty secure. This is just another "sky is falling" tactic. If it's election season it must be fear season in the Gop. Between things liike that and the lies told by the Gop, like the rebuttal by Mitch Daniels who threw in "what else will the govt be telling us what to do? Like what light bulbs to buy!" First of all the legislation to phase out incandescent light bulbs was passed in 2007 by Bush but didn't go into effect until after Obama was elected so how is it Obama's fault when he wasn't even sworn in until 2009? But when do facts or truth matter to you people?

        January 27, 2012 at 2:31 am |
      • Reality

        Rad– Same question (what nation would attack America) was asked by many people following WWI and our huge downsizing of our military. You see how that worked out in 1941!

        January 27, 2012 at 6:40 am |
    • Mark Santana

      You can tell the character of a country by the way it treats its veterans. George Washington said that. I propose we cut Congressman's salaries by 50%, and Senators as well by 50%. The truth of the matter is that they don't do anything whatsoever. Give our military the same health benefits as members of Congress currently receive. Our military veterans earned their right for benefits, Congress has not. Also do away with the Congressional Gym and put that money saved for scholarships for the the children of those KIA.
      We the citizens of these United Staes know that it is wrong to cut health benefits of those who put all on the line. Shame on us.

      January 27, 2012 at 12:30 am | Reply
    • Greg_USMC_0311

      So you want to layoff 10's of thousands of men and women?

      I bet you vilified corporations for doing exactly what you're asking for.

      January 27, 2012 at 2:25 am | Reply
  42. Marc 47

    Just a few points to shed some light on the OMB Budget process which Panetta has submitted. There is no mention of the fact that most defense contracts cannot be cancelled with extreme financial penalties. Most contracts at the DoD level run for several years and cut across several Fiscal Years of Budget; thus they have not been touched by Panetta. Next, his mention of cutting the active Army and Marines does one thing and that is that the former active soldiers will be going back into reserve or national guard status from being on Active Duty which is the biggest joke of all times! Everyone and anyone who has ever served in the mikitary knows that the majority of Army, Marines and Navy are always on reserve and guard status and thus must be called onto active duty via orders. The problem with Panetta saying he will reduce numbers of active duty for these is, its only on the books (authorized active duty slots) and not bodies (which require to be payed. The Army and Navy (includes Marines) have basically placed almost all of their Operational forces/MOSs (actual bodies) in the reserves and guard which used to be all active and working on a daily basis on some base, ship or fort, This is different from the Air Force which cannot do this and primarily works with its active force on active dutty all the time. Now, back to the problem- reserve and guard Army, Navy and Marines are practically called unto active duty 9-12 months out of the year which means that the Federal government not only pays their salaries, but high TDY pay as well. Otherwise the indfividual state Governments pay their salaries. So where is the savings Panetta? He want to cut retirees medical benefits, while Congressman and Senators and their families have 100 % care including him for life! You are a joke Panette and your budget tricks.

    January 26, 2012 at 11:50 pm | Reply
    • ARMYofONE

      National Guard can work for their State Governor for 20 years as a worthless person but they get the same retirement from the GOVT as any other TRUE soldier who moves, takes care of his family ETC. NG is WORTHLESS, second class sodliers.

      January 26, 2012 at 11:54 pm | Reply
      • Craig

        Dude you really are an ignorant tool. Most of the NG are prior active duty.

        January 27, 2012 at 2:44 am |
    • rad666

      Marc 47, remember it is an election year. Lies will be told.

      January 27, 2012 at 1:43 am | Reply
      • gHomie

        So the last 3 years were truthful?

        January 27, 2012 at 2:32 am |
    • AFReserve

      I apologize but I am in the reserves. You are giving out bad info. According to the JFTR chapter 7 a tdy can only last up to 139 days after 140 the military hast to provide PCS orders to the duty location. Therefore if someone is on orders for 9mos they don't get per diem and they stay in billeting they pay for it. And to anyone who thinks the reserves sit around on their behind u can put my ribbon rack and my service record next to any active duty counterpart and guaranteed I have contributed the same if not more time. I have been in for 7 years been deployed 3 times, supported shuttle launches and have been sent on 5 humanitarian missions. 2 hurricanes Haiti disaster, the Midwest floods and Japans tsunami. My last deployment I volunteered so that my active duty co worker could stay home to see his first child born even though I have a husband who is active duty. He came home a month after I left. We have been married 5 yrs and we have only spent a total of maybe 2 in each others company. I have made sacrifices and I have lost wingmen. So please don't any of you disrespect the reserves. I can't speak for everyone but I can speak for my CSAR comrades and we do our job day in and out plus hold civilian jobs!!!

      January 27, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Reply
  43. Chris

    And the haters come out, banging their fists on their chests, calling for the destruction of everyone the TV tells them they should hate. As expected. Carry on.

    January 26, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Reply
    • Chris

      And I'm talking to you, Mr. Chinamen pretending to be America-men. Your country is dirt poor. Your minimum wage is $1 a day and that is what is considered poor.

      January 26, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Reply
    • ARMYofONE

      Lets keep spending tax dollars on the illegal immigrants and their children. Give them free medical, education, loansw when theyt get older, cheaper housing payments etc. But hey, lets screw the soldiers and cut military, not the handouts.

      January 26, 2012 at 11:48 pm | Reply
      • Toto

        Tax dollars being spent on illegal immigrants is largely a farce. My wife arrived here legally and still wouldn't have been eligible for most of the things you talk about until she's been a legal resident for 5 years.

        Carry on.

        January 27, 2012 at 4:03 am |
  44. Marine5484

    "The military will be smaller and leaner, but it will be agile, flexible, rapidly deployable and technologically advanced...So basically it will be like the Marine Corps (except we don't have the technology lol).

    January 26, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Reply
    • dustin m

      no....it will be better than the Marines, unless they were really the ones who killed OBL.

      January 26, 2012 at 11:55 pm | Reply
    • Greg_USMC_0311

      Screw that fool.

      They just will never understand Tuefel. Keep your powder dry, Semper Fi.

      January 27, 2012 at 2:27 am | Reply
      • Burns

        The marines really aren't all that. Try talking to allied soldiers who have fought alongside them.

        January 27, 2012 at 5:05 am |
  45. joey

    When Clinton left in 2001, the federal government was scheduled to run surpluses for at least the next ten years, according to the CBO, and trim the then-$6 trillion to about $4.5 trillion in that time. Unfortunately, the same Republicans who claim they helped Clinton balance the budget then helped Bush blow it up again. When Bush Junior was appointed president by the Supreme Court, he immediately enacted the least necessary tax cuts in the history of the republic, and appointed cronies and crooks to fail to oversee the financial system, resulting in immediate return to record deficit spending, even before the economic collapse he caused, by ignoring warnings given to him as early as 2003. Even under the rosiest of perspectives for Republicans, they are responsible for at least 75% of the current national debt. Obama and the Democrats tried to kill the Bush tax cuts twice, and Republicans have blocked them, so it’s unfair and inaccurate to blame them for much of the deficit at all. Look at what was handed to him when he took office, for starters. Even the current deficit can’t be laid entirely at his doorstep. Last year alone, while the overall deficit was $1.2 trillion (40% lower than the deficit handed to him when he took office), more than $454 billion of that figure went to pay interest on the debt, with more than $420 billion of that going to interest on just portion of the debt that can be tied to Republican excesses. In all, out of $16 trillion in debt, more than $13 trillion of it can be laid at the feet of the party and the ideology currently whining about the deficit and refusing to do anything about it until the black guy is out of the White House.

    January 26, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Reply
  46. chinese takeover is coming soon

    Panetta, at his communist masters' behest, is just laying the footwork for the Chinese tanks and troops to walk in and set up their labor camps. Kiss your asses and freedom goodbye! Then and only then will these idiot liberals finally figure out they've been wrong all this time.

    January 26, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Reply
    • Vera Waitress

      We are China's biggest customer. They won't be starting any war with us.

      And let me guess, you're in the military. If so, your only enemy is the war-for-profit corporation like Halliburton and other private war companies who are going to continue to take more and more of the defense budget pie, untl the US military pension fund is drained and US military salaries are decimated.

      January 26, 2012 at 11:04 pm | Reply
    • choco monsters

      China won't start a war with us because they won't want to get nuked. Being a customer is irrelevant. But also the fact that we are the biggest customer means that we don't have to war with them, but simply move factories to India and their ship would sink on its own.

      January 26, 2012 at 11:17 pm | Reply
      • Vera Waitress

        I guess you're right. China would never risk getting nuked, and their rich party members can't spend their money on prostitutes and looted organs that way.

        January 26, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
    • chinese takeover is coming soon

      I'm just kidding. China is a third rate country that needs to steal tech to be relevant. They are always 20 years behind and dependent on the ball sack crumbs that fall from American shorts.

      January 26, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Reply
    • ARMYofONE

      How about we trim the 900 Generals we have??? Why do we have them??? Lets look at trimming the National Guard retirement the get from the Federal Govt after they serve their state GOV for 20 years. Not serving like the rest do.

      January 26, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Reply
      • chinese takeover is coming soon

        I heard that chinese generals dine on ballsack crumbs because they think it gives them good virility with their male prostituties.

        January 26, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • Marine5484

      Ok lets stop and think about this for a second. There Navy is no where as strong as the US Navy, They have to cross the Pacific, and if they did make it to the west coast not only would they have to fight the military on our home field they would also have to fight irregular forces and American civilians have a lot of guns...you think the Taliban put up a fight imagine MS13, bloods, and crypts all fighting alongside with the LAPD......wouldn't end well for the Chinese.

      January 26, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Reply
  47. meaz23

    Newt Gingrich hates the military.

    January 26, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Reply
    • Vera Waitress

      The defense is a good offense. We should make sure we are able to send China to kingdom come should the need arise.

      January 26, 2012 at 11:23 pm | Reply
  48. venus667

    Son :\

    You are still on your leadership. but not easy !

    it is because you have so many domestic creative scientists working very heard to create fine pieces of arts of new ideals.
    not because your combative nature that makes you less loveable.

    there is no doubt that you are capable of conquering whatever you want.

    but how you deal with the problem of the spiritual energy remains and their faithful heart of love? for their lover?

    and their hollowness of loose their soul . for their beloved beauty.

    unless you give me a sound resolution report of this question,

    I won't support your action.

    I want you to take the leadership to carry out justice and make our own planet a lovely garden to stay.

    but only for a loveable big brotherhood.

    I want your journey to be smooth and nice .

    not that full of obstables , make your life hard and sad, and finnally you loose your light of hope and you loose your status.

    your loveable Mother.

    January 26, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Reply
  49. anthony kovic

    As a grossly indebted nation the US has no choice but to cut budgets, military and civilian alike.
    The first step will be an attempt to provide the same military might but with less money, u know, things like using more drones and less soliders.
    But ultimately, the US will have to address its economy and finances. The US & the West have no future in the global economy if the wages demanded by their workers are 5 or 10 times those earned by workers in burgeoning economies like China.

    January 26, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Reply
    • choco monsters

      Tariff China, we'll have all the dough we need or want.

      January 26, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Reply
  50. Sgtgismo

    'An Army of one' was a slogan of the U.S. Army several years ago. I hope this is not literal with the Army and the other four branches giving us a total of five members of the Armed forces or close to it. National Security is always important and a fully prepared Military for the defense/offense needs of the Country. More than that we should review all military alliances/treaties and reevaluate them in light of the needs of the world today. Return large numbers of troops to USA and protect security of our own borders.

    January 26, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Reply
  51. Baruch

    OK so over 10 years this will save roughly half trillion. The pentagon spends over 1.5 trillion a year, so over 10 years that is 15 trillion...so this ends up being about a 3% cut. OK that's a start. 47% to go.

    January 26, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Reply
    • mike in wa

      You are slightly off on the size of the military budget. In fact you could divide your numbers in half and still be over inflated. The 2012 military budget is just under 700 billion. So we are already under what you think we should be at. Over a 10 year period it equals about 7 Trillion dollars. or 7 percent with another 7 percent cut since they could not reach a deal on further cuts. This amount encompasses the veteran's department as well.

      January 26, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Reply
  52. William

    Excuse me did I just read that right...? They are going to cut healthcare on the VETS who sacrifice their body for our security?? Basically the message is if you lost a limb or two for your country we will throw you out like a piece of trash?

    January 26, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Reply
    • Vera Waitress

      That's right. Most of the militar budget is going to the war corporations like Haliburton and General Dynamics and Boeing. And they sure as shot don't give a carp about your military pension. Their piece of the defense budget pie is growing, and dedicating military personnel's benefits are shrinking.

      January 26, 2012 at 11:06 pm | Reply
    • Vera Waitress

      Even so, it's better than the alternative - a Made in China world.

      January 26, 2012 at 11:24 pm | Reply
    • skytag

      The vast, vast majority of veterans haven't lost any body parts and I doubt this change affects disabled vets.

      January 27, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Reply
  53. roy

    More money should be cut out of the Pentagon bedget. a half trillionn dollars spread out over ten years is small potatoes in the pentagon budget plus after a few years into this plan spending will go back to business as usual.

    January 26, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Reply
    • Vera Waitress

      Current defense budget: $600 BILLION DOLLARS PER YEAR!

      January 26, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Reply
      • skytag

        Vera, you've been brainwashed. Defense spending is over $700 billion, nearly a third of all revenues, and we haven't faced a credible military threat in decades. Thinking like yours gave us the wars in Vietnam and Iraq. Don't be a sheep. Think for yourself.

        January 27, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • Vera Waitress

      It's expensive, but it's worth it! Freedom isn't cheap. The lifestyle we take for granted is not one we could have without spending money on defense. The world has never known an era as peaceful as this one, and it's only because of American military presence.

      January 26, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Reply
  54. amarjeet

    With EU consolidation, it is imperative that NATO members should realign & establish their own commitment to world as a joint force. They should keep in touch with American forces for leadership in active operations but take it on themselves beyond that till the operations are completed. America has done enough for EU & even other theaters & now is time for USA to streamline & strengthen its economy, industry, job market & update its technology & machines in galloping world. USA has to change its style with change in global commitments which are emerging new & in different forms without giving up its global leadership in war skills, operation technology & commercial supremacy with sound geographical presence in strategic areas for security of America as well other weak & developing nations adopting change to democracies. Panetta Defense Secretary with Chief of Army Staff has done well as desired by Congress & needs a hand of approval to go ahead.

    January 26, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Reply
  55. booo

    Let's just call this what it is – a layoff of thousands of lower ranks so that they can go on welfare... while the bloated brass just continue to waste money on political spending projects.

    January 26, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Reply
    • Vera Waitress

      That's right. Instead of spending money blowing up things and putting profits in war companies' hands, we're going to give it to construction companies, so they can build some shit right here that we can all see! The money and cars and tanks and equipment threw into the burn pits is gone. Now, we're smarter.

      Fellow vets, get your construction boots, because this is gonna be huge! And you won't even have to leave the country!

      January 26, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Reply
    • Vera Waitress

      On the bright side, we are developing new industries and preparing to decimate China in a trade war if they do not immediately cease their unlawful and fraudulent trade tactics. So there should be some good jobs to look forward to.

      January 26, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Reply
  56. Steve the aussie

    American seem to stress too much, you army is way to big you can cut back no problems your nation is controlled by fear have you been to other countries like any other developed countries see how they live in peace you could all learn a lot from the rest of the world.

    January 26, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Reply
    • booo

      Um - that is why AUSTRALIA'S Govt just put out an ad to higher our top military people to go work for you guys – huh?

      January 26, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Reply
    • Bryan

      Thanks for your input Steve. There's this new thing called a period. You should try using some.

      January 26, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Reply
    • choco monsters

      Next time try not to be such an obvious Chinese propagandist.

      January 26, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Reply
  57. GOP = irrelevance to the real modern world

    "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."

    Well folks, this statement shows the first and only obstacle to get this done; Congress. I promise that republicans will go against the grain and stall this plan just because Obama. After all the whining repugs have done in the last three years, somebody is presenting a plan and I promise it will be rejected by repugs to play politics, HYPOCHRITES!

    As a current active duty member, I have seen three reduction in forces in the last 20+ years. However, Panetta's plan is the most sensible one compared with post-Desert Storm and shortly after the Balkan Wars (Bosnia), which brutally shaved down the ranks in a short period of time. However, back then Congress worked as a team and republicans did not spew so much hate as today.

    Good luck Sec. Panetta.

    January 26, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Reply
  58. spawn

    The Obamas are just kissing up to Ron Paul's platform.

    January 26, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Reply
  59. AbnRngr

    The military can trim down – if done wisely... unfortunately this is a challenge due to a host of reasons. First – politicians. All want to trim it down but its the Not In My Backyard mentality – cut it but don't cut the defense programs in my region... DoD ends up with programs/bases that they don't really want just because one politician has more sway in Congress than another. Another reason is internal to the military: one would think that a thorough analysis on what is required based upon the mission of defending our nation – not necessarilly true. Generals make decisions on proposals submitted up through their staffs – believing a detailed analysis was done but in reality it is often a 'closehold'-skin deep analysis made by staffs who haven't been out in the field for many years – if ever – and their analyzes are dated and extremely flawed. On top of that, you have the "rice bowl" problem – in the military we have 'stovepipe' commands who champion their own programs and damn all others... I've seen billions (yes billions) thrown at programs that are fatally flawed and identified as such by our Soldiers. So what does the program managers do? Throw more money at it in attempt to fix it – and almost always unsuccessfully. There have been a couple of programs the Army had the fortitude to kill the program (Commache attack helicopter, Sgt York air defense system) but not after billions are spent on it (political cash cows for certain areas). And the defense contractors are always there to dangle a shiny babble in some general's eye that they just gotta have – only to get down to the Soldier who looks at it and, without adequate training on how to use it prior to deployment, just throws it into some MILVAN to gather dust... billions of the taxpayers dollars wasted. And our DoD medical is a case book study of inefficiency – take a look at how many senior military administrators are in a DoD hospital vice a civilian hospital (not doctors or nurses – but Medical Service Corps admin pukes) – the American taxpayer would be shocked... So yes, the military can be much more efficient saving money – rice bowls need to be smashed – but the politicians, both Democrat and Republicans, need to cut out protecting their own DoD pork barrel projects... THAT is the biggest waste of DoD dollars. And for those of you who don't think I know what I'm talking about, I have over 25 years of military service – both enlisted and officer – with multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan plus Pentagon tours where I've seen the above first hand.

    January 26, 2012 at 9:56 pm | Reply
    • Weekend Wrrior


      January 26, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Reply
    • Garret

      As an individual that has walked in the same shoes as you, with the exception of having 10 less years ans no Pentagon tours (Thank God 🙂 the military is going to have a tough time reducing costs. At the company grade level the amount of waste I have seen in both the USAF and Army has been disgusting... Battalion/BDE CDRs need to be encouraged to be saving money annually and not have to worry about a smaller budget the following year because they did not spend the entire budget the previous year.

      January 26, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Reply
      • Vera Waitress

        War for profit corporations run the military. Their goal is to make more profit every year. So, what do you think they do to insure that happens?

        January 26, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
      • Vera Waitress

        However, a for-profit weapons industry ensures that we have a technological lead over China and always will. The Chinese are baffled by concepts such as GPS, radar, and stealth. They are used to relying on large numbers to win wars.

        January 26, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
    • dk

      it's very sad to see our federal and local government spend money like they won some lottery. Have you ever been to a federal or a local government building with the granite/marbles flooring and titles. I work in the private sector where only the most highly established companies could afford the luxuries. If you compare most of the employees in both sectors with only a high school degree who do you think makes the most money and receive the most benefits? Do police officers really need to patrol around in Harleys? I don't even know why they police motorbikes around VA and MD, maybe around the cramped downtown areas.

      Did you know that almost all politicians can serve their term for free? I mean most of them have made enough money to retire prior to being elected to their posts. Did any politicians mention about cutting their own salaries to help the economy?

      It's always about the money, just follow the money trail and you'll find the crooks.

      January 26, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Reply
  60. Ed

    The first and Primary job of the Federal Govt is the Common Defense of America. It's spelled out plainly in the Constitution. Cutting the military is a violation of the US Constitution. But then so is obama.

    January 26, 2012 at 9:53 pm | Reply
    • 1benza

      I don't know which version of the Constitution you're reading but it doesn't mention anything about the only responsibility of the Federal Gov't being to defend the common defense of America. Also its not unconstitutional to cut the military. If that were a fact then there would have been no way to justify the over 50% cuts enacted at the end of WWII. Plus everyone seems to be talking about a balanced budget nowadays and this is a step in the right direction. Machines are cheaper than humans and can work in extremely hostile environments.

      January 26, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Reply
    • roy

      The Constitution didn't mean for Pentagon spending/waste to bankrupt America and for America to be a world policeman.

      January 26, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Reply
    • merlin

      As you stated, the "common" defense. Not the absurdly funded police for the entire planet. Our military should be lean, high-tech and available to protect "our" borders. We should be thinking about spending this kind of money on education and infrastructure. We'd be decades ahead, once again. (What's with this "publicar" push button?...that ought to tell you something is wrong here...)

      January 26, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Reply
      • dk

        I know... what's up with the publicar button. Do we have to find a #2 button for English?

        January 26, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
    • dk

      you mean common sense, right?

      January 26, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Reply
  61. Gary

    Okay folks. Economics and government 101: our choices are 1)keep the military the way it is, and just increase everyones taxes to make up for it, or 2) Trim the fat we don't need, just like we did with NASA, and save some dollars. I don't here anyone jumping up and down in joy at the thought of higher taxes. But thats how the government can afford to pay the pilot to fly the plane which will drop the bomb on our enemy...all in the name of democracy, cause thats working so well in Iraq right now, isnt it

    January 26, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Reply
    • booo

      How about 3) KEEP the military and get rid of Welfare, Medicaid, Health bill, SS, EPA, Federal Reserve, funding for the arts, and all of those other things that are absolutely NOT specified in the constitution – and eat up FAR more than what they just cut?

      January 26, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Reply
      • dk

        doesn't this sound like North Korea?

        January 26, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
  62. JAM

    I am not in the military but do have family that are retired or still in. The one thing I don't understand.... Obama is supposed to be working to gain more jobs and decrease unemployment. What about the Military Personal that they cut back. So isn't that more people without jobs and have to go out and find a job in an economy that really is not producing enough jobs for graduates from college. Perhaps they want people to retire early, but still put's people out of a pay check right.

    January 26, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Reply
    • Scott from NH

      You are 100% correct, the cuts will cause layoffs and increase unemployment. But, you know what, our military is as big as the next 10 countries combined. The war in Iraq cost every American family over $15,000. If we keep spending on the military like we are, there won't be anything to protect. Obama isn't making the cuts because he wants to, he's making the cuts because there is absolutely no other choice.

      January 26, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Reply
      • Derek

        Scott... You got it wrong !! The biggest army in the worlld is China with over 3 million troops and the next is India & Vitenam with over 2.5 million each.

        So the combination fo these three is the same as the army of the rest of the world combined!!

        January 26, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
      • Weekend Wrrior

        While you are correct, on troop numbers, our spending on the military is more than 6 times, what our nearest competitor, in regards to cost. Now our expected kill ratio, is about 10/1. That is one casualty on our side, for every 10 of theirs, due to superior training, and firepower. But I do believe we can cut some of the costs, by ending the pet projects, of several Congressmen and Senators.

        January 26, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • dk

      Our country is running out of excuses to have a ginormous military since the cold war ended. Isn't this why we invaded Iraq to jump start our military industrial complex? I mean it's not like our country is the number one exporter of military arms in the world. What else do we exports besides all the bombs and guns. We used to export a lot of stuff from the good US of A like Levis jeans. Even Catepillar "the American company" is doing sort of what Toyota does and manufacture all of their goods sold outside of this country in their respectively countries. Don't even talk about technology, like Apple where it only takes a few to engineer it then have it all manufactured overseas from various foreign parts and OS suppliers like Samsung which provides 28% of the most essential components for the iPhone.

      The war against terrorism started by GW Bush gave our government a blank check to do whatever and forever all in the name of national security. It's like the boogie man.....booo oo

      9/11 incident killed about 3k some Americans so we go to war against terrorism which side tracks to invading Iraq because they are hiding nukes and terrorists. And, after that ordeal we wasted not just money, but another 4k more American lives. It's basic math. If the terrorist really wanted to cause some real trouble they could have just carried a bomb aboard a cruise liner with its lax security even today and scored some 4k lives. Bomb an Amtrak train fully loaded passengers traveling to Penn Station (under Madison Square) and Union Station (under DC) which really lack security. Did we even have one car bombing in this country since 9/11? This all reminds me of the Pearl Harbor bombing (both the 9/11 and Pearl was an excuse to go to war). We have enough military/civilian intelligence to know what is coming, but this is all controlled at the government's discretion as to how to use them and sell it the public to get what they want.

      January 26, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Reply
  63. David

    Boy is this scary or what? There are some really naïve people out there. That's proven by the comments I've read here. First off, Americas military is not the strongest in the world, Chinas is. Their economy shows it with all the "defense" spending they've been doing. And to top it off, they're selling it to NK and Iran. So "harmless" Iran and that A-hole Ajad can can kiLl more of our troops when he launches his nuke at a target nearby in Isreal or somewhere loaded with Americans. Panetta wants to downsize our Airforce in the shadow (and striking distance) of the worlds largest air force. Second, you cannot win a war with drones, computer-coordinated strikes alone, its awesome hardware, but not the bread and butter. You cannot win with Special ops alone, yes they're hardcore, good for rescuing hostages, taking out bridges, high value targets quickly and quietly, and cheaper than bombing campaigns, but they can't do it all. Boots on Ground is what wins wars. People win wars, motivated people who know what they signed up for. I know what I signed up for all three of the times spent in Iraq away from my family, and I don't regret a damn thing, even if this gov't doesn't give a shat about me now that I'm out (I don't believe it does). And it saddens me to hear some of these "vets" in here poss and moan about things like housing allowances being inflated? Seriously?? Some idiot obviously doesn't know how it works; housing allowance is based on the regional cost of living in the US. Its more expensive in Hawaii and some other places dipthong! Therefore, BAH goes up based on it! And also for your INFO I live on base in housing and the money I got aint worth the houses I've lived in and those houses damn sure aint no fancy beach houses! Can you say flimsy outdated roach motels?

    January 26, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Reply
    • Bob

      "Boy is this scary or what? There are some really naïve people out there. That's proven by the comments I've read here. First off, Americas military is not the strongest in the world, Chinas is."

      look who is talking!! you have no idea what your talking about. the dont have the technology that we do. ISRAEL could destroy china if they wanted to! N.K. has more troops than the USA that doesn't mean anything!!! your talking about money. Japan is number 3 in the world, but number 4 through 25 could kick Japans ###. money alone does not equal military strength, troop number alone do not equal military strength. we have SEVEN aircraft carries, china has half of one. Dude. you call people naive and you know absolutely nothing. this is whats wrong with the world. not the naive and clueless people, but the people who think they are smarter and better than everyone else, but really EVEN MORE clueless and naive than everyone else.

      January 26, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Reply
    • Chris

      For available manpower China is the largest, but that's where it stops. The United States Military is bigger than the next 10 biggest military's on this planet. Including China AND Russia.

      Just to give you an example... Top 5
      Air Force-
      US- 18,234 aircraft
      Russia 2,749
      India 2462
      Israel 1964

      Source Global Firepower.... research yourself, the tools are in place for you. 🙂

      January 26, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Reply
      • dk

        I think David had the same dream that Cartman had in that episode of taking hostages at PF Chang

        January 26, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
    • David

      I'm only kidding. China is a zerg rush of outdated and primitive military equipment. They steal American technology because they hope to stay only 15-25 years behind lest their large numbers be proven insignificant.

      January 26, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Reply
    • dk

      don't worry it's made in China....

      January 26, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Reply
  64. dovahkiin

    Just make some clones.

    January 26, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Reply
    • Ed

      Halo Spartans....

      January 26, 2012 at 9:49 pm | Reply
  65. George Hung

    Panetta, is offering to cut $500 billion over 10 years. Using second grade mathematics, that drops military spend by $50 billion per year. That's not enough. Look at pre-Iraq levels, we should be below that number ($300 billion / year) if we want our military spend to be anywhere close to what other countries spend. Panetta just insulted us with his offer to "cut" military spending. If he had offered $4 trillion in spending cuts over 10 years then we would be in the right ballpark.

    January 26, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Reply
    • Clinton

      USA sucks a duck more faster if Penetta would schedule more 50 billion dollar/per year, "It's the economy, stupid" (c)

      January 26, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Reply
    • David Clayton

      Two Budgets: the standard military budget and the war budget. They are fiscally two separate budgets. The article is talking about the military budget. We are already completely out of one war and drawing down big time on the other. I know I am here. The military has made a big push to kick out (fire) Soldiers they deem unfit (also veterans). The Military understands American is hurting and we are doing everything possible to reduce spending. We were the first to answer the call last time and we will be the first this time. It is our honor to help this great country.

      January 26, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Reply
      • Gadadhoon

        Wow, a soldier that knows how to politely disagree. Nice!

        January 26, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
      • George Hung

        My full thanks to you. I had a cousin that served. No disrespect to our service men but our intervention is not helping. You all have done as well as you could have done in Iraq and Afghanistan but it has changed nothing in those areas.
        Let's agree on some numbers. Total military spend including war I believe is estimated at a north of $750 billion. Our total spend in 2001 was around $300 billion. We should have total spend below $300 billion.

        January 26, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
      • Weekend Wrrior

        Thanks to you for your service.

        January 26, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • Kenn

      George, actually, you're mistaken. Nothing about this article says that defense spending will be reduced. It is saying that the INCREASES in defense spending will be reduced. So, it's even worse than you're saying. There is no plan to reduce the total amount spent; it will still increase. The acceleration of spending will be reduced. We're not even close to addressing the overspending problem.

      January 26, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Reply
      • George Hung

        Thanks for the clarification.

        January 26, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • dk

      ah don't waste your brain cells on figuring out 1 + 1 = 11.... it's all relative. The government is like one of your friends who is always broke and comes to you only when they need money. And, when later you ask for your money he tells you another sad story. Meaning..... it's like the show Prices is Right....come on down... who's the next government we're going to overthrow?

      January 26, 2012 at 11:54 pm | Reply
  66. chris

    Now the corporate greed that led to the elimination of middle class pay raises, benefits and pensions has infected the military. I've served 17 years in the army and was ineligible for health benefits for my husband Duane during the gay ban, and now they are taking away mine as well? I understand cutting the outdated equipment, moving troops around and shrinking the size of the force, but LEAVE OUR HEALTH BENEFITS ALONE.

    January 26, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Reply
    • Jake

      You knew your life partner would not receive benefits when you started dating him so that's not a valid argument.

      January 26, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Reply
  67. ALL uh

    Cut $33 billion? That's like me cutting $5 from my yearly budget, they spent more than that in a month in Iraq, tough cuts.

    All political ploy, but once Barry the Bummer is re-elected, back to biz. Our 2 party system is broken, the GOP has no candidate, please someone come up with an internetty idea to have 12 diverse candidates!

    January 26, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Reply
  68. joAmerican

    (Obama speaking to himself in his mr smithers voice) ...my evil plan is almost complete, I have robed the people of their dignity and jobs with promises of free health care and unemployment checks. I allowed the boarders to be infiltrated by my illegal amigos and sued the states that tried to stop me. I have strangled the economy with regulations and repressed job creation and am on the verge of haveing the military dissembled and all with massive support form the Americans themselves Mmmmuuuuhahahaha! Muuhhhhahahaha! Muuuhhhhahahah!!!!!!

    January 26, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Reply
  69. Babak from LA

    It does not seem to be too big of a cut. I am sure they will have a cow regarsless ... But we have all taken a much larger cut at a personal level.

    January 26, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Reply
  70. Commojoe

    typical demlib, short-sighted idiot. It happens every time, just like after WWII, Korea, and Viet Nam, after the military does its part, deals with theenemy and the threat at hand, does it weel, the demlib fool want to cut them, their buddies, and their units and resources for the ir trouble, then when we need the military, it's ALWAYS up to Republicans to quickly rebuild, arm, and deploy it for another hard-fought mission. Fool demlibs will never get it. Cut the ___ing giveaways to freeloaders, not our military.

    January 26, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Reply
  71. ytuque

    I don't understand what's the justification for keeping any combat troops in Europe. The Russians had difficult taking on the Georgians, so what's the rationale? There is no external military threat to Europe these days.

    January 26, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Reply
    • RallyX

      You know, regarding "there is no external military threat to Europe" – I am pretty sure that's what they were saying about fifteen years after WW1 ended with the defeat of the Germans. Right around 1935. WW2 started 1939.

      Well, that's ok, luckily there are no economic pressures or political unrest in the region that could spiral into military conflict. Except for the Great Recession, of course. And the European youth demonstrations. And the power vacuums from overthrow of dictatorial leaders in Iraq, Libya, and the rest of the Middle East. And oil sanctions against Iran, and the potential conflict over the Strait of Hormuz. And major defaults by european nations – Ireland, Iceland, Greece. And potential loss of the currency uniting Europe. Nothing really serious.

      Well, at least there's nothing in Asia that we have to worry about...except perhaps for the transition of power going on in North Korea. And the asian space race and the building of rocket technology. And the bursting of the Chinese real estate bubble – nuclear situation in Japan – our "frenemies" situation with Pakistan – conflict over Taiwan. Nope, everything looks peaceful here.

      January 26, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Reply
      • dk

        Well the good olde USSR went broke around 1990, it's 2012 and I don't think we'll see any threat from these broke arse Euro countries that we should worry about... unless Euros economy really dives to the chit hole and some crazy guy like Hitler rises to power and drives its country to another war to gain the glory days of the past.

        As for Asia, China is killing us softly with their dirty cheap currency. It's like crack... it's cheap and we keep coming for more. They're hurting us where it hurts and it's in our pockets.

        As for N. Korea, only they can do is to go war with South Korea... and it's doesn't take a nuke.. the two capitals are about 120 some miles roughly. You can use a pea shooter.

        As for the middle east, as long as we don't mess with them i'm sure they'll leave us alone. Btw sad to say but Israel is like our foster brother that came with a huge baggage... Their enemies think we are smoking the same dope and... we are.

        We just need to back off out of foreign country and just maintain our national security around our borders. There's no ICBM coming from anywhere.... unless if Americans stopped shopping at Wal-Mart, the Chinese might get pissed and start WWIII

        January 27, 2012 at 12:05 am |
  72. Steve H

    For you all you liberal fools, Panetta is a polical puppet just like his spineless leader, O-American shame-a, You want to cut down on this country's expenses, get all the bums and illegals off the roles.

    January 26, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Reply
    • Blackhawk01

      People like you are the reason great nation like USA is facing finacial problem. Still dont learn from it. You tea party , Rush ,limbaugh, sara palin crowd never learn. Half brain red reck idiots.

      January 26, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Reply
    • dk

      last time I checked we're all Americans, so shut yo pie ho. we just keep wasting our time fighting each other rather than to work together to fix a problem.

      January 27, 2012 at 12:10 am | Reply
  73. Catharine

    And yet they won't ditch the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program which is billions over budget and years behind schedule. That seems like a no-brainer to me.

    January 26, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Reply
  74. Chinatown

    Our Military-Industrial Complex is disgusting.....pretty soon we'll have drones and robots on the ground doing our killing and bombing for us at the touch of a button while the American public can keep watching TV without the inconvenient effects of warfare, and then have the defense contractors (mercenaries) go in and rebuild the countries and cultures we've just wiped out and reap billions more for the Halliburtons and Blackwaters of war in our all-consuming need to bring Starbucks and MacDonalds to every corner of the globe for maximum profit....and don't forget the NDAA for anybody who objects to our imperial totalitarianism......America in 20 yrs is not going to be pretty if we keep on this perpetual war machine.....though who knows, maybe our rotten financial system will have fallen apart by then?

    January 26, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Reply
    • nashville

      Aren't you glad and proud that you live in a country where you can publicly post comments such as these without fear of reprisal?

      January 26, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Reply
    • Captain America

      Hey, no worries. Disgusting military industrial complex...good luck filling the ranks when you cut their pay and deploy them even more often. Those of us with multiple years overseas wish you the best of luck defending yourselves. Please...criticize our BAH; take it away from us; and then find someone else to fill your ranks when you screw the military over. But seriously...the military is where the cuts need to come from...and we don't need boots on the ground because it will all be robots...because robots can hold ground. Have at it.

      January 26, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Reply
  75. Marc 47

    To all of you ignorant civilain blogs who sit on your F@t Arses, or you brain dead Democrats who never served a day in the US military- Go take a long walk off a short bridge. You only want cuts, no military and yet if it wasn't for the military you wouldn't be enyjoying life as it is and has been for you- now get that in your thick skulls. Having said that, Panetta's desire to increase co pays etc for retirees is WRONG. I hope Congress and teh Senate do not pass this portion of the Bill. Many wounded, disabled soldiers, sailors, marine and airmen have dissabilities as a result of war and cannot afford the extra payments. Congress gets free medical care at military hospitals even if they have not served in the military. Make panetta and them pay these co-payments instead of Veterans. reducing Active duty forces from teh Army, Marines and Navy is not going to save money Panetta. They all go back into reserve status and soend 9-11 months out of the year on Actove duty orders anyway- so get real. If they stay in the states, the Governors and states pay their salary, but as soon as they go on active duty which is 99% of the time, the federal government pays, and high TDY costs as well.

    January 26, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Reply
    • Chinatown

      There hasn't been a justified war that America's been in since ww2.....except maybe the first few months after 9/11 but that's it.....if you join the military, expect to get screwed over by your govt, it's what they do best....my dad was drafted into Vietnam, he saw combat, and contracted malaria over there.....when he was discharged and tried to collect benefits, what did the Govt do to thank his service? They told him there was no way he contracted malaria overseas, so therefore they didn't pay him a cent........that's the thanks the Govt gives to a veteran.......now why don't I join the military??? There it is.....

      January 26, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Reply
    • paxloki

      Marc–good to see you included your IQ–peace, love and speed

      January 26, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Reply
    • Babak from LA

      Please re-read your own post and see how roude it is. Unfortunatly your attitude is that of the militry ... We do not need to be the gate keepers of the world anymore ..... let's cut it even deeper.

      January 26, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Reply
    • Me

      I'm one of those Fat lazy liberals who served a tour in Iraq, earned a PhD. in physics and now dedicate my life to teaching at a public university for half the pay I was offered to work at Intel in Oregon. First, not all wars are fought to protect our freedoms. Second, we have a deficit and the military makes up a significant portion of our budget. If anything we need to increase the military cuts as well as other programs. I sincerely believe this and as such voluntarily agree to cut my meager pay check to help with our state's budget crisis. A cut that was decided by our collective bargaining union that was threatened to be made illegal by the politicians who got us into this mess. Third, not all people on welfare are worthless bums. I was on welfare for three years while i was in school so i could feed my family. All programs need to be reduced... including the military. Please take your prejudiced elsewhere.

      January 26, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Reply
    • rory wong

      Now you say it all,the american's democracy and comfort is built on the blood of other people by your military power

      January 26, 2012 at 11:01 pm | Reply
    • mike in wa

      umm when someone's enlistment is up they go into the inactive reserves who do not drill at all and are the very last to be recalled into active duty. If you have served you would have known that but thanks for showing your own ignorance.

      January 27, 2012 at 8:46 am | Reply
  76. Robert Laughing

    HERE is another problem for VOTERS....per front page LATimes.com:

    A recent IRS report showing that current and retired federal employees owe more than $3.4 billion in income taxes is fueling a drive on Capitol Hill to fire - and prohibit the hiring of - tax delinquents on Uncle Sam's payroll.

    The report shows that about 98,000 federal civilian workers and postal employees - or roughly 3% of the federal civilian and Postal Service workforce - owed about $1 billion to Uncle Sam in 2010, including 684 congressional staffers who owed more than $10 million.

    While the total number of delinquent federal employees has dropped, the $1 billion in tax debt for current civilian workers has increased from about $600 million in 2004. When retirees and military personnel are included, nearly 280,000 people owed $3.4 billion, according to the data.

    January 26, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Reply
  77. Voiceinthewind

    These cuts don't go near far enough but its a start. Its time to spend money on American people and for the betterment of America and the American way of life. All this money spent to make war and killing is against any civilized society. These cuts are way to small and way past time good job Obama. Cut more.

    January 26, 2012 at 7:56 pm | Reply
  78. lee

    The FBI and DEA fabricate evidence, steal from suspects and use murder to close those bad cases.
    There is evidence that employees from DoD, CIA and DOJ accepted bribes from Al Quida.
    How is it that 12 of the 9/11 terrorists could live for 2 weeks just 2 miles from NSA head quarters in Maryland.This after several of them had taken flight simulator lessons on Jumbo jet trainers and several of them where on State department terror watch lists.
    There is evidence that employees from DoD, CIA and DOJ accepted bribes from Al Quida.
    If DoJ and DoD employees where more concerned with doing their jobs than enriching themselves by stealing from suspects and taking bribes, then there might have been more a chance that 9/11 had never happened.
    Worse might be the fact that elements within the U.S. Intellignece agencies with intent create their own terrorists by carefully choosing suspects and through many 10's of years of psycological and physical abuse create their own terrorists. Why, to prop up defense spending.
    My dog was poisoned to death, a stolen car was run into the front of my house, gang members are harrassing me, I get death threats, BB guns are being shot at my car when I drive, my car is being tampered with, money and jewelry has been stolen out of my house, very long term sleep deprivation, etc....
    They have been harrassing me for 20 years.

    January 26, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Reply
    • roger rabbit

      Wow, you are funny. Do you hear voices as well?

      January 26, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Reply
    • joe

      FBI and DEA have personally been harassing you for 20 years? Why what's in it for them? From the sound of your post you need to seek physiological assistance.

      January 26, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Reply
  79. jon

    Congress needs to support Leon Pannetta's budget and pass it with flying colors.

    January 26, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Reply
    • Fair and Balanced

      you've never have never served and have no clue how it works do you? So you want contractor to keep ripping you off and screw the military members who go into combat for you and get shot up and then screw them with their retirement? Nice.

      January 26, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Reply
  80. usa20140329

    Seriously speaking, I agree with some of what most people have said. The military does need to cut a lot of deadweight, to save the taxpayers money and also to improve our own efficiency. There are a lot of fat, useless, or malingering military personnel who ought to be cut out, and few in the service can argue with that (unless, of course, you are one of the above).
    As for contractors, there are a lot of angles on that debate. While their individual salaries are much higher, I believe that in the long run they are cheaper. A contracting company usually provides its own equipment, training, command and control, etc. If a military unit were deployed to do the same thing, taxpayer dollars would go towards providing all of that, as well as furnishing barracks at a homebase, paying for the movement of the troops to various zones, etc. Not to mention that contractors don't get benefits, whereas servicemembers do. The benefits (Healthcare, GI Bill, etc) for a Soldier with a 3 year contract could well surpass what the government pays a contractor over two years (figuring a contractor does two years of work and a Soldier on a 3 year contract would deploy at most for about two years). Something to consider before we revile contractors for their high salaries and say we waste money on them. I'm not sure, as I haven't done the math, but I could definitely see how contracting jobs out might save money.

    January 26, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Reply
    • Fair and Balanced

      Really? Your clueless. I can tell you have never served. You want cost savings, gut the contractors and the DOD contracts, THAT is where the money is wasted. Your comments are degrading and insulting to me anf thousands of others who are serving. I have done Panama, Desert Storm and everything else this country has asked, and now you want to screw me and my family by cutting my befits? Screw you. Go serve and go to combat and get injured, THEN make your comments, better yet go to your local VFW or military base and make THE SAME COMMENTS.

      Your welcome for your right to bitch you ungrateful POS.

      January 26, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Reply
      • Todd

        Please check your grammar and spelling. Your last several posts have had errors. People will take you more seriously if you at least appear to be educated.

        January 26, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
      • joe

        Fair Balanced,


        January 26, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
      • Weekend Wrrior

        You are right. ALL the cuts, and fat, are at the procurement level. That is where the cuts belong. Not out of service pay or benefits.

        January 26, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
    • NN

      Panetta did mention the enormous amount of bueaucratic overhead and duplication of effort that needs to be eliminated. DoD has tens of thousands of civilian employees who are not needed, their charters were mandated by law enacted by Congressmen looking to stimulate the economies in their districts. About 100,000 can be elimnated immediately and never missed.

      January 26, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Reply
  81. w

    some friends and i have talked about this exact scenario. There are plenty of things that are wasteful and they could cut. But they will go after pay, retirement, and health care because it will cause the most stir. Im not sure what raises they are talking about, the 1.9-3.3% increases to match inflation, sorry but some are not paid enough for the crap you have to go through, which is why most people never join.

    January 26, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Reply
    • Michaelwg

      the way the dole out pay should be revamped anyway. A married guy of the same rank as a single soldier, doing the same job, is paid more. The technical skill/difficulty of the job doesn't matter. When i was serving as a team leader in an infantry unit I was making less money than the married guy 3 ranks below me. So you the tax payer, are essentially paying for that guys wife, who sits around all day and milks it. There's nothing stopping military spouses from getting jobs, unless they are over seas. Oh you had a kid? here's some more money. That's the kind of crap they should be cutting. Performance/job difficulty? nothing. Have a wife and kid? here's a bonus.

      January 26, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Reply
      • Fair and Balanced

        yeah you never got above e-3 or served more than one term did you? You are CLUELESS. THE ONLY pay that changes is food and housing, and that is based on married rate and has ZERO bearing on kids.....

        January 26, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
      • Unknown

        Let me ask you this. Have you ever served? Because I spent 3 tours there! It was hell. I lost two of my best buddies and I almost got blown up by an IED.

        January 26, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
      • melissa

        As a spouse of a retired soldier I am ashamed by some of these comments. I had no idea how many people hated the military and they have no idea what goes on in the military. My husband 1st year of military I worked just so we had food on our table and believe me it was hard. I worked the whole time he was in and really had to in order for us to have the things that we have. I am proud of the Military for the work that they do and the scarf ices that is made on a daily bases.

        January 27, 2012 at 2:31 pm |

      Inflation has been < 1% for the past 3 years whereas y'all have been getting 3 to almost 4% increases in that time. Agree with Michael on the spouse/ kid salary increases. You get paid for work not to procreate.

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

        Uh.. I've been in for longer than the past few years and I've never seen a pay raise at 4% in my entire career. Think I saw 3.1% once before the 2008 economic turmoil. Guess you don't know as much about it as you think.

        January 26, 2012 at 7:29 pm |

        Never said 4% – said ALMOST 4% (which is what 3.8 % would be)

        January 26, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
      • Guest

        I said 3.1%, not 3.8%. A heck of lot closer to 3 than 4. As far as cutting the spending, there's dead weight for sure, and reducing spending gowth to a lower rate than than inflation is a responible way to do it without leaving ourselves unable to respond to emerging global situations. But exagerating the facts to support your positions doesn't help anyone see the problem more clearly, and a little more clarity would help everyone.

        January 26, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
    • Lawrence1972

      I heard that these were cuts to proposed budget increases. Are they actually reducing the amount of money they spend or just slowing the rate at which they increase spending? Also, why would they shut down United States bases before they shut down foreign bases?

      January 26, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Reply
  82. Chinatown

    These cuts are way overdue.....enough of the brainless flag-waving crap, the wars we fight nowadays are all for geopolitics and hubris.....sure, 911, 911 was TEN YEARS AGO, we should've bombed the crap out of them for a month and sent in CIA and Spec Forces, like we were doing in the early years and WINNING in Afghanistan......now we're doing Nationbuilding???!!! How stupid can America get?? We're talking about cutting benefits to our seniors because we wage wars overseas to help build democracies??? These wars are imperialistic in nature.....how many of you people even know WHY we were attacked on 911??? You actually think it's because dirt poor people in other countries hate us for our freedoms??? No, it's because our whole system is built on pillaging and plundering other countries for their resources and wealth, so our markets can expand.....We don't need a bloated military full of john q. public who thinks by putting on a uniform and picking up a gun makes him a hero, we need PROS - Special Forces, not the everyday soldier who is pretty much just a target.......face it people, our military will be one of technology, drones and robots doing the slaughtering, and the enlisted personnel will just be the people operating them......Welcome to the real world, former soldiers, you're a dying species, you will be replaced by outsourcing and robotics just like in the real working world.....And then we can wage war and bomb and slaughter other cultures without even getting any of our fingernails dirty! God Bless America!!!!

    January 26, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Reply
    • Yakobi

      Hopefully we'll start by deporting all anti-Americans such as yourself to North Waziristan. Then you can spout your complaints about us slaughtering innocents abroad and how we were responsible for 9/11 (not 911, genius) to a sympathetic group of terrorists.

      January 26, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Reply
    • Chinatown

      Oh so deport anyone who has a differnt opinion than you? Wow I'm so surprised by that reply........I'm not saying 911 was justified, just how the everyday flag-waving Kill Em All attitude of Americans is overly self-righteous and foolish, and how we should not be surprised that we've created more terrorists trying to damage this country since 9/11 than before it.......typical American "strategery"-Bush terminology

      January 26, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Reply
      • In Hot

        You probably want the overpaid military to protect your rights.

        January 26, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • usa20140329

      He makes his post because there is no Soldier in the world who is more dangerous than a Chinese person in a motor vehicle. Trust me, I live near a Chinatown, never have I seen two people drive head on into each other at 15mph and look so surprised at the collision. If you are Chinese, please stop posting about things you don't understand and hurry up and deliver my chicken chow mein. Either way, if you don't like patriotic Americans so much, one wonders why you live here. Go find another country and leave the rest of us to our flag waving and supporting our military.

      January 26, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Reply
      • Chinatown

        I'm not Chinese, you ignorant fool.......My name says that since China owns most of our war debt......America will be Chinatown in about a decade if we stay on the same road.......m0r0n

        January 26, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
  83. Michaelwg

    I served 4 years and did 1 tour in Iraq (currently contracting in Afghanistan). I fully support downsizing the military, I think they should take it a step forward and get rid of the reserves entirely. The military is for one purpose only, being combat effective. Right now it's bloated and and a lot of it is pretty useless. And when you've got a massive force sitting on it's thumbs, it's much easier to have our wars of choice. The new face of land war is intel + drones, the less bullet catching troops we toss into the fray the better. Also, I wish people would quit saying "Send the troops here, bomb them, do this, do that" Unless you're going to go do it and be a part of it, just shut up. It's that mentality that let's elected officials send boys to die with impunity, because we've got that kind of 2nd amendment public opinion. Yeehaww!... Makes me sick.

    January 26, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Reply
    • alfranken

      Appreciate your honesty and forthright as a veteran. The problem is due to the rhetoric that we have to put firemen and armed service members up on holy ground. The retirement that firemen get off their taxpayers in many cities is sinful - they retire as multi-millionairess because it is politically and socially incorrect to even suggest downsizing their pay thus political suicide.

      January 26, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Reply
      • Michaelwg

        No argument here. Most firemen play ping pong all day. Most cops right speeding tickets. And the majority of the military are not crawling through the mud. I do not wear rose colored glasses.

        January 26, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
      • sambo


        January 26, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
    • JDriver77

      Your comment is Bias. You say cut down the military and yet your a contractor in Afghanistan. I am well aware of how much many contractors make in warzones, some making as much as 4X that of a service member that could perform the same exact job (ex: gate guard/firefighter/electronics technician) I say they make a major cut in the number of contractors being used in warzones and utilize service members in those positions.
      EN2, USN, Currently deployed to Kuwait

      January 26, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Reply
    • Vera Waitress

      Let's get one thing straight. None of us siting here typing from our LazyBoy chairs could do even for a minute what you've done in the military. It's beyond Herculean and you should be proud.

      My point is that $1.5 BILLION DOLLARS A DAY is too much to be spending on defense considering most of that money is going to private corporations whose job it is to earn consecutively more profit each quarter. Now, how do you think they're going to do that? Answer: By continuing conflicts, and taking more money out of veteran's pensions and putting it on their balance sheets. Look at the stock price of Halliburton. It's disgusting.

      January 26, 2012 at 11:01 pm | Reply
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