Chambliss: Cut Military Spending “The Right Way”

Some of the text of the testimony above follows, per press release:

“We asked at a hearing that Sens. Ayotte and Shaheen called on Tuesday of this week, for a list of programs or expenditures that the Department does not want to spend money on that had been mandated by Congress. We thought we would have that list by today. I understand now that we will not see it until next week, but I think one item that will be on that list, General Odierno, is the purchase of Abram tanks that you have been somewhat vocal on, that Congress keeps demanding you buy, but you don’t need. My understanding is you were requesting a delay or a halt in production until 2017 and the savings of that would be…significant. Now is that still the case, that you would prefer to spend that money somewhere else?

“…So as we go forward with the defense authorization bill in the next couple of weeks, I look forward to seeing the list General Dempsey gives to us with respect to items that can come out of each of your budgets if we will have the spine. Irrespective our parochial interests, we have got to look after our men and women in uniform and they need this money to be spent in other areas, rather than in areas where the military themselves say we don’t need to spend it.”

24 comments

  1. benevolus says:

    OK, I respect that.
    Dems have to step up and agree that some social expenditures need to be “recalibrated”, and Repubs need to get on board with some sensible defense cuts. We don’t have to spend more than the next 15 countries combined on “defense”.

    Next: Let’s buy only, say, 1800 F35 jets instead of 2400. At $150M each that’s a chunk of change.
    $6 .2B for 9 new destroyers?

  2. MattMD says:

    Some of those figures are a drop in the bucket. I think we are going to need a serious conversation on what we need from our military.

      • John Konop says:

        End war on drugs, CPI SS, Put in proper fraud software and hold back system for Medicare / Medicade fraud, use VA pricing for drugs with Medicare, Medicaide, exchanges and government workers, create a dial a doc line for all government workers, non emergency care, Medicare……not a bad start……

        • Harry says:

          Fund simple communication devices for lower income and close the USPS. Switch from SNAP to subsidized food pantries. Stop agricultural subsidies. Develop work-study programs instead of student loans. Decentralize the federal government out of the DC metro into the entire country so that taxes can have a local multiplier effect.

          • John Konop says:

            Very good points……the work study could especially help in lowering healthcare cost as well as student debt….win/ win…..Do not know much about SNAP or USPS can you expand the idea?

            • Harry says:

              Just as the internal combustion engine supplanted the horse, the USPS has been rendered obsolete by the internet. With the ease of running apps on a cheap utility device, the USPS should now be put out of it’s misery. The only losers would be the mass mail lobby. The employees would survive in more meaningful work. What the junk mailers perhaps don’t realize though, is that the reality is their propaganda goes unopened and adds to the cost of trash collection.

              The SNAP program is out of control and wrong on many levels. Food distribution to low income people should not be a matter of them scanning a debit card at Kroger, but rather should involve interfacing with community organizations at a food pantry environment where they can pick up food staples if needed for their children, but should be allowed the opportunity to earn a little money or credit by stocking shelves, cleaning up and beautifying areas adjacent to the food pantry such as major intersections, cutting grass of elderly people, and generally making themselves useful in the community. It would allow all sorts of opportunities to involve themselves with others in a constructive manner in return for the food.

              • Jon Lester says:

                The USPS could do a few things to save money (with or without relief from the law requiring it to fund pensions for the next 50 years, which is most of the problem), beginning with sensible thermostat settings at every location, particularly the ones accessible at all hours. I’m sure there are a few administrative and logistical things that could be revised, as well. I oppose closing it, though, because I don’t want to have to pay $5 or whatever to mail a letter by DHL, FedEx, UPS, etc, and I really don’t like dealing with those companies any better.

                • Harry says:

                  With the use of scanners, email, Google Drive and Dropbox, delivery services like FedEx etc. should also not be needed to send documents very often. I even sign my name electronically, so I can’t imagine that even legal docs would need to be sent overnight, which costs time as well as money.

                  • John Konop says:

                    Harry,

                    The mail drop marketing does help GDP. The less than 2 percent rate of customer response moves a lot of products for profit……Unless that is replaced we would see a drop in GDP.

                    I do agree, the post office vital service is aging itself out via technology. I also think that we still have a material amount of people not wired in. We should fade out by decreasing days of delivery and shorter hours over just closing the post office. The fading out would not impact the GDP and it would still provide a vital service for older non tech savvy who will age out overtime.

  3. Jon Lester says:

    I still think we should leave Central Asian security to the Collective Security Treaty Organization (because it’s their neighborhood) and Persian Gulf security to the Chinese (because they’re getting most of the oil, and they would definitely keep the straits open). That ought to leave us with plenty of savings to work with, and we’d look better for doing it, too.

  4. Dave Bearse says:

    Did Chambliss mention C130’s, the planes made by Lockheed Martin in Texas, though they have a plant in GA?

    • gcp says:

      Trick-knee Chambliss won’t cut military spending if it results in less money to Ga. thus we wasted billions on the useless Lockheed F-22 thanks to Chambliss; and he brought an NSA facility to Fort Gordon to ensure Gordon would not be closed and of course he voted for wars and wanted to go into Syria. I agree with the above posts that we need to reduce our overseas presence and consolidate stateside facilities but for sure Chambliss is not the one to cut military spending “the right way.” As for the 130, it’s still a good plane and should be continued.

      • Dave Bearse says:

        The C130 is useful and necessary. I wasn’t advocating discontinuation. There may be an oversupply however.

        http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-07-05/opinions/40390066_1_planes-c-130s-cuts

        As to the US military presence oversees, like government programs that once established almost never go away, the US military once entrenched in oversee bases is almost never withdrawn.

        The Cold War has been over for 20 years, and there’s what, still 65,000 US troops in Europe?

        Collin Powell: “So, what is our real exit strategy on Iraq, Dick?”
        Dick Cheney: “There is no exit. We stay.”

        So much for a deployment that paid for itself and lowered gas prices.

  5. saltycracker says:

    We will no more close the post office than stop making pennies. We should, but won’t, fix the pensions and end free home delivery. Free pick up can continue at post offices and retail stores….
    SNAP is so misused it does need replacing with an effective food distribution program.

    Foreign aid, foreign military bases and foreign support via failed systems of tariffs and immigration policies all need major overhauls.

    No problem keeping bases in Iraq that they pay for with oil.

  6. xdog says:

    I didn’t listen to the clip but from the quoted portion I find that Chambliss is prepared to cut defense spending if the military says they don’t want or need it. That’s not showing a lot of political courage or economic responsibility either.

    • Dave Bearse says:

      Is taking positions that cross defense contractors after announcing you’re running for re-election political courage or what?

  7. seenbetrdayz says:

    It’s probably contractors themselves who keep the wars going. We ought to go back to using only special divisions within the military (like Sea Bees or Army Corps of Engineers) instead of paying private contractors who return a portion of that money in the form of campaign favors to keep the wars going on without end.

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