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Sequestration Will Hollow Out Force Fast, Dempsey Says
Defense Dot Gov ^ | 17 Jan 13 | By Jim Garamone

Posted on 01/20/2013 10:16:54 AM PST by SkyPilot

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To: SkyPilot

“I didn’t realize I was debating someone who had such a tenuous grasp on reality.”

Ok, where does the money come from for >$500B defense budgets for the next 10 years? Then we’ll see who has the better grasp of reality - the fiscal reality with which we must deal.

“Tell you what RFEengineer, let’s just go all the way and make it three dollars and fifty cents for the entire Defense budget, and $800 Quadrillion (that’s the figure that comes after a Trillion) for Entitlements.”

More hyperbole. stick to the defense budget for now. is $500Bn enough?

” If the US military is operating on shoe strings, all our enemies will have to do is kick in the door.”

Still more hyperbole. Is $500Bn a “shoe string” budget figure? Will we be defenseless without ‘whatever DoD asks for’?

You are having a bureaucrats debate. You are savvy enough to know not to answer the $500Bn question in debate with me, but nonetheless it is a good question, that you won’t answer it is interesting, unless you are a DoD bureaucrat, in which case you know that you must repeat “the sky is falling” until the budget comes out.

At least you are willing to bound the DoD budget as being insufficient at $3.50, but that you, in true bureaucrat fashion, refuse to name “an upside” for Dod budgets.


41 posted on 01/20/2013 2:12:24 PM PST by RFEngineer
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To: RFEngineer
Is $500Bn enough for Defense?...you should figure out ways to defend the country on drastically less money than even $500Bn, because that all that we’ll be able to spend. I think its not only possible, but likely that we’ll have to...How would you defend America with $100Bn? If it’s too hard a problem, then we need better people in the Defense business, because right now if they can’t hack it with $500Bn they should all step aside and let people who actually care about America’s defense do it.

You seem to accept the fact that our defense budget number is something you set first and then try to tailor your force and mission to that number. Why? Shouldn't we assess what the present and potential threat might be, determine the capability of our present and potential adversaries, and then set priorities? You want us to do it ass backwards.

You also assume that the ever increasing entitlement program requirements will be met as our first priority. The biggest driivers of our budget are the entitlment and means tested welfare programs. They are growing faster than GDP and will continue to do so with 10,000 baby boomers retiring every day for the next 20 years doubling our population over 65 by 2030 to one in five. And by that point there will be just two workers for every retiree. The entitlement programs and debt servicing costs are barely covered by the total revenue we take in thru taxes.

Do you realize that Medicare Part B and D premiums only cover 25% of the costs of those programs. The other 75% must be funded by the General Fund. In 2011, the GF had to pony up $222 billion. That number will continue to increase.

SS has been running in the red since 2010. The General Fund will have to cover the costs of redeeming the SSTF T-bills to make up the shortfall.

Source: CBO “Combined OASDI Trust Funds; January 2011 Baseline” 26 Jan 2011.

Note: See “Primary Surplus” line (which is negative, indicating a deficit)

Matters are even worse than this chart shows. In December, Congress passed a Social Security tax reduction. Workers are temporarily paying 2 percentage points less, from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent, in Social Security payroll taxes this calendar year. Since the government is making up the shortfall out of general revenues, CBO’s deficit projections for the trust funds do not include that. But CBO’s figures predict that the “payroll tax holiday” will cost the government’s general fund $85 billion in this fiscal year and $29 billion in fiscal year 2012 (which starts Oct.1, 2011.) Since every dollar of that will have to be borrowed, the combined effect of the ” tax holiday” and the annual deficits will amount to a $130 billion addition to the federal deficit in the current fiscal year, and $59 billion in fiscal 2012.

Actually, the costs were even more according to the 2012 Trustees Report. "A temporary reduction in the Social Security payroll tax rate reduced payroll tax revenues by $103 billion in 2011 and by a projected $112 billion in 2012. The legislation establishing the payroll tax reduction also provided for transfers of revenues from the general fund to the trust funds in order to "replicate to the extent possible" payments that would have occurred if the payroll tax reduction had not been enacted.">

The food stamp costs have now ballooned to $89 billion a year. Food stamps are one of nearly 80 means-tested federal welfare programs, including 17 for nutritional support. Collectively, these programs cost $700 billion annually, plus $200 billion in state contributions.

If you truly care about the defense of the country, and I don’t doubt that, you should figure out ways to defend the country on drastically less money than even $500Bn,

It is a matter of priorities. Shouldn't we be figuring out ways to cut back "drastically" on the welfare state, which is the biggest driver of our debt and deficit and will consume the entire federal budget if not curbed. Isn't our national defense the paramount priority?


42 posted on 01/20/2013 2:17:23 PM PST by kabar
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To: SkyPilot

From Rightside News:

In April 2012, LTC Dooley,
a highly decorated combat veteran, was
publically condemned by General Martin
Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff, and relieved of his teaching
assignment because of the negative way
Islam was portrayed in an elective course
entitled, Perspectives on Islam and
Islamic Radicalism.

So General (Dhimmi) Dempsey has 0 credibility in my view.


43 posted on 01/20/2013 3:09:41 PM PST by pluvmantelo
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To: kabar

“You seem to accept the fact that our defense budget number is something you set first and then try to tailor your force and mission to that number.”

Nope. But like any good bureaucrat guarding his budget, you seem to think that you have to strive for bigger budgets ad infinitum. You know darn well that “tailoring the force and mission” is a farce in defense budgets predicated on justifying the new system someone wants.

Those days are over, regardless of whether you and I agree or not.

“It is a matter of priorities. Shouldn’t we be figuring out ways to cut back “drastically” on the welfare state, which is the biggest driver of our debt and deficit and will consume the entire federal budget if not curbed. Isn’t our national defense the paramount priority? “

The point I make, that eludes you is that we have to cut back on EVERYTHING. I’m equally tough on other threads on social security/medicare, for instance. Start one, ping me to it, I’ll participate.

This thread is about the Defense budget. You refuse to admit that there can be an effective defense fielded for a “mere” $500Bn. You seem to buy into that number being one that represents one where “hollowing out” occurs.

If our bureaucrats in the DoD (or any other federal dept) didn’t use apocalyptic language, they might not get ever increasing budgets.

This salvo is not about protecting the United States, it’s about defending budgets. You know it better than most, that’s why you won’t get boxed in by my argument about $500B budget being “enough”. While that’s being a good loyal bureaucrat, it’s not being honest about the fiscal realities that face us. You even ridicule the very notion of drastically reduced budgets of the sort that would be required in an inevitable fiscal collapse of our finances (it IS inevitable) Who is separated from reality, you or me? I submit it’s you, but we can argue that, too.

Government and everything government does will forever change when we can’t borrow the money upon which all government spending depends, including Defense budgets.

We need to be able to respond to that likely scenario - and I have no doubt (and more top secret than anything else) we have budget plans within the DoD for just such an austere eventuality.

So is $500Bn a year enough to provide for the defense of the United States of America?


44 posted on 01/20/2013 3:28:16 PM PST by RFEngineer
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To: kabar; SkyPilot

Sorry, I seem to have you two guys mixed up. But the point stands, and both of you seem equally intransigent about the fiscal realities that face us, and their impact on DoD budgets (and everything else government does)


45 posted on 01/20/2013 3:36:01 PM PST by RFEngineer
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To: RFEngineer; kabar
No worries, I get mixed people up here on the boards too.

and both of you seem equally intransigent about the fiscal realities that face us

As kabar has clearly pointed out, with charts, facts, and graphs - entitlement spending is what is driving us into the ground, and your point would have merit if a vast decrease in the Defense budget was mirrored by the same fiscal realities for entitlements. And yet, the exact opposite situation is occurring and entitlements are "off the table?"

How will these "fiscal realities" you speak of occur that magically exempt entitlements from the same reality?

Moreover, it really isn't a "Guns vs. Butter" debate. That axiom means we are actually producing something with the "Butter" debate. We aren't producing anything other than ATM Direct Deposits to millions upon millions of Americans with borrowed money.

At least Defense produces jobs, equipment, foreign military sales, technological advances, science and medical research, and employs millions of Americans.

There will always be unjust punishment in this world. In the very beginning, Cain murdered his brother Abel out of jealousy. Job suffered unjustly. So did Paul. So did Peter. So did Christ Himself. The fact that there is injustice in the world stands because we live in a fallen world. And one thing I can guarantee you, with 100% certainty, is that there will be more war, disasters, famine, and terrorism that will affect this nation.

The single institution that has answered that call time and time again is the US military. It is also the single institution that is getting raped by both political parties.


46 posted on 01/20/2013 4:27:20 PM PST by SkyPilot
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To: SkyPilot

Most of the scheduled, automatic spending cuts are against the bureaucrats who keep an eye on us to stop us from producing, those (government teachers) who label small children as terrorists and the like. Defense increases will be properly approved again by the House when needed, probably soon. Cut the many useless programs first, any way that we can.

Or by all means, spend it all more quickly, and get us to much smaller government by way of default. One way or the other is fine with real Americans, who are descended for many generations from early America. We don’t care for those cities that leech recirculated debt solely from government and look like foreign countries (except to those who yearn for the likes of Benito).


47 posted on 01/20/2013 4:31:58 PM PST by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of rotten politics smelled around the planet.)
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To: SkyPilot

“How will these “fiscal realities” you speak of occur that magically exempt entitlements from the same reality?”

They DON’T exempt entitlements. That’s part of the point. But this thread is about the Defense Budget.

The fiscal realities will crush entitlements which will put further downward pressure on Defense budgets. $500B could be the largest budget we see for defense for quite some time.


48 posted on 01/20/2013 4:34:42 PM PST by RFEngineer
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To: SkyPilot
"And one thing I can guarantee you, with 100% certainty, is that there will be more war, disasters, famine, and terrorism that will affect this nation."

Under the circumstances, with our country becoming too much like southwestern Europe, the drought doesn't surprise me. Another year or more of it wouldn't surprise me at all. Descendants of the likes of Amalek might perpetually be surprised, though.


49 posted on 01/20/2013 4:38:20 PM PST by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of rotten politics smelled around the planet.)
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To: RFEngineer
Nope. But like any good bureaucrat guarding his budget, you seem to think that you have to strive for bigger budgets ad infinitum. You know darn well that “tailoring the force and mission” is a farce in defense budgets predicated on justifying the new system someone wants.

DOD is getting a reduced budget prior to sequestration. They were the only agency that suffered a real reduction in budget as part of Clinton's peace dividend.

I don't know darn well that "tailoring the force and mission” is a farce in defense budgets predicated on justifying the new system someone wants." You sound like Obama.

I do know that it takes more than a decade from conception to operational use for a weapons system. We are using systems that were designed 10 to 20 years ago. And many of our planes and ships are even older.

The point I make, that eludes you is that we have to cut back on EVERYTHING. I’m equally tough on other threads on social security/medicare, for instance. Start one, ping me to it, I’ll participate

The point is that we won't cut back on those entitlement and means tested welfare programs. First, an aging population will add 10,000 people a day for the next 20 years to the entitlement programs, i.e., there will be twice as many people 65 or older in 2030 as there is today. So costs are going to go up regardless of what efficiencies we may try to achieve. It is just demography.

Second, medical/health costs are going up faster than inflation and GDP growth. Our technology is far better, but it costs more. And add to this more elderly with more medical needs.

Third, there is no political will to rein in the costs of entitlements. The politicians are responding to what the people want. That is, they want all the benefits the welfare state has to offer, but they don't want to pay for it in terms of taxes or a cut in benefits. One third of current retirees depend upon SS as their sole source of income. Two thirds of SS receipients have SS as more than one-half of their income. And most Americans are not putting away money for their retirement.

Finally, we are in the process of implenting a huge new entitlement program, Obamacare, that will add 18 million to the Medicaid rolls and no doubt, cost much more than projected--just like Medicare which costs nine times what it was estimated to cost.

What we are seeing is the Guns versu Butter struggle as this nation declines. Any reductions in defense spending will be plowed back into the welfare state which has an insatiable appetite just to keep treading water. Let's at least be honest and say that we are playing a zero sum game with defense going against the welfare state.

If our bureaucrats in the DoD (or any other federal dept) didn’t use apocalyptic language, they might not get ever increasing budgets.

Disagree. My 36 years experience in the federal government doesn't support that assertion.

You even ridicule the very notion of drastically reduced budgets of the sort that would be required in an inevitable fiscal collapse of our finances (it IS inevitable) Who is separated from reality, you or me? I submit it’s you, but we can argue that, too.

If we have a financial collapse, defense will be the last thing to be cut. We will need armed forces to address the resulting civil disorder and riots as we can no longer pay the welfare benefits and have to reduce SS and federal pensions. Greece is the perfect example of how people will react. They will take to the streets and demand the stuff government promised them.

So is $500Bn a year enough to provide for the defense of the United States of America?

Silly question. I would hate to find out the answer if it isn't. I have already provided you the right way to approach our defense budget needs. It doesn't start by providing a fixed amount and saying stay within it.

50 posted on 01/20/2013 4:38:38 PM PST by kabar
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To: kabar

“I do know that it takes more than a decade from conception to operational use for a weapons system. We are using systems that were designed 10 to 20 years ago. And many of our planes and ships are even older. “

This is a near-fatal problem, not a feature of our DoD procurement system.

“Disagree. My 36 years experience in the federal government doesn’t support that assertion. “

You missed the first rule of bureaucracy then. That is SOP for bureaucracy.

“It doesn’t start by providing a fixed amount and saying stay within it.”

Declining to define a budget is the sole purview of the US Senate at this time. The budget process ALWAYS requires you to define a defense posture, the systems, and the contingencies required to meet a specific budget number. Always.

did I say Always?

The present DoD leadership is saying “I’ll do it but I’ll destroy the future US Armed forces because I’m a passive-aggressive douchebag that wants to say ‘I told you so’”


51 posted on 01/20/2013 4:47:35 PM PST by RFEngineer
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To: RFEngineer
This is a near-fatal problem, not a feature of our DoD procurement system.

I thought you were an engineer. Do you think a stealth bomber goes from concept to full production overnight. My point is that when you start cutting DOD there are some very difficult decisions to make. You just can't make across the board cuts. Programs, training, personnel, weapons systems, maintenance, etc. must be looked at in terms of mission and operational effectiveness. And some of the costs are driven by global events.

You missed the first rule of bureaucracy then. That is SOP for bureaucracy.

How many years did you work in the federal government and how many budget requests did you prepare?

Declining to define a budget is the sole purview of the US Senate at this time. The budget process ALWAYS requires you to define a defense posture, the systems, and the contingencies required to meet a specific budget number. Always

Pure gibberish. That is not the way the budget process works in the federal government. Do you understand the role of OMB in the federal budget process?

The present DoD leadership is saying “I’ll do it but I’ll destroy the future US Armed forces because I’m a passive-aggressive douchebag that wants to say ‘I told you so’”

Passive-aggressive douchebag? How many times have you put your life on the line for this country? I don't doubt the patriotism and dedication of the military leadership of this country for a minute. Why is it necessary to disparage them or their motives? They are entrusted with the defense of this nation and want to make sure that we remain the most powerful nation on earth. A strong defense is the best guarantor of peace and the protection of our strategic national interests.

52 posted on 01/20/2013 5:18:22 PM PST by kabar
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To: kabar

“Do you think a stealth bomber goes from concept to full production overnight. “

Actually I know a lot about the Stealth Bomber, having been deeply involved in it’s flight testing, and it’s a perfect example of what I mention. it’s mission/mission profile was adjusted many times causing extended delays and increasing cost beyond reason.

“You just can’t make across the board cuts. “ You can excise whole programs and large costs. what the present leadership is doing is not adjusting to the new reality - opting for “O&M” so that you “hollow out” the force through lack of leadership - and hope you can make up for it later with a new administration. That’s not happening.

“Pure gibberish. That is not the way the budget process works in the federal government. Do you understand the role of OMB in the federal budget process?”

it’s not gibberish. the DoD does a QDR and budget is a huge part of it.

“How many times have you put your life on the line for this country? I don’t doubt the patriotism and dedication of the military leadership of this country for a minute”

Oh here we go....If you don’t support unlimited budget authority for DoD you are (pick one..) I absolutely believe that the DOD leadership essentially lies to protect their budget prospects. Absolutely. Every bureaucrat does the same dance.

How did you make it 36 years and not come to understand this basic simple fact of federal government bureaucracy?


53 posted on 01/20/2013 5:36:36 PM PST by RFEngineer
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To: RFEngineer
Actually I know a lot about the Stealth Bomber, having been deeply involved in it’s flight testing, and it’s a perfect example of what I mention. it’s mission/mission profile was adjusted many times causing extended delays and increasing cost beyond reason.

I have actually been in the cockpit of a B-1 as well as in an aircraft that was refueling one in flight. I got down into the refueling pod while refueling. It was an awesome sight. Cost beyond reason? How do you determine such a metric?

it’s not gibberish. the DoD does a QDR and budget is a huge part of it.

The QDR is only part of the process. There are plenty of other players in Washington who get involved in DOD's budget process. The policy questions are decided above DOD in terms of whether we have a two major war or one and one-half war capability or something else. It has evolved over the years mainly due to the lack of resources.

Oh here we go....If you don’t support unlimited budget authority for DoD you are (pick one..) I absolutely believe that the DOD leadership essentially lies to protect their budget prospects. Absolutely. Every bureaucrat does the same dance.

DOD has never had unlimited budget authority nore would would it ever seek it. Where do you come up with this stuff and why the animus towards DOD or bureaucrats?

How did you make it 36 years and not come to understand this basic simple fact of federal government bureaucracy?

Because I actually experienced and was involved in tghe process. Why should I agree with your distorted and convoluted views that I know firsthand are ridiculous. How long did you spend in the federal government? How many budget requests have you put together in the federal government? How many times have you put your life on the line for this country?

We can only go around this tree so many times. Have a good day.

54 posted on 01/20/2013 8:41:47 PM PST by kabar
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To: central_va

Remember when Obama was campaigning in 2008, he said he wanted to create a civilian force that was just as strong & as well financed as our military force. Well he is in the process of de-funding the military. He never said what his intentions were for this new civilian force. I distinctly remember wondering “what for.”

It’s frankly scary!!!


55 posted on 01/20/2013 9:00:15 PM PST by Alissa
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To: kabar

” Cost beyond reason? How do you determine such a metric? “

Where this determination is made depends on whether you are on the taxpaying side or the bureaucracy side. One has a lot higher threshold than the other.

“The QDR is only part of the process. There are plenty of other players in Washington who get involved in DOD’s budget process.”

Really?

“DOD has never had unlimited budget authority nore would would it ever seek it. Where do you come up with this stuff and why the animus towards DOD or bureaucrats? “

No kidding. Didn’t you just say the ‘right way’ to budget for defense was not “It doesn’t start by providing a fixed amount and saying stay within it. “

I have no more or less animus towards DoD than I do towards any federal bureaucracy. I claim that it, like every federal bureaucracy is mismanaged (based on my experience), you say that your 36 years gives you special knowledge that says otherwise.

“How many times have you put your life on the line for this country? “

I spent 4 years in peacetime military, but what difference does that make? How does that give me veto authority over reason, or how does that give you veto authority over me or anyone else. It doesn’t. After 36 years, you are unable to see how majorly mismanaged the DoD is - and you are unable to see that $500B should be more than enough for a properly run DoD to defend the nation effectively. You don’t have to walk point to see that.

“We can only go around this tree so many times. Have a good day.”

Agreed, you as well.


56 posted on 01/21/2013 1:39:13 AM PST by RFEngineer
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