Comments about ‘In our opinion: Military cuts send the wrong message to the world’

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Published: Wednesday, Feb. 26 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

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Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

In inflation adjusted terms, we are spending more on defense right now than we ever did under Ronald Reagan. The difference, being that, under Reagan, we faced an enemy that had the capability to destroy us. We face no one with anything remotely like that kind of capability now. Iran and North Korea are no threat to us at all. If they attack us we can wipe their countries off the face of the earth. What kind of threat is that?

It is also completely misleading to say that we are cutting our forces to their pre-WWII level. At that point our military was no better than that of several other countries. Now we are so far superior that is it no exaggeration to say that we are the most secure Great Power in history.

Salt Lake City, UT

"The United States faces huge fiscal challenges concerning out-of-control spending on entitlements such as Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare and the effects of the Affordable Care Act. " Just how is spending on the social safety net "out-of-control?" Only in the sense that revenues do not match expenditures. Social Security and Medicare recipients are receiving the benefits promised them, so the expenditures are to be expected - they are not out-of-control.

The problem is on the revenue side. FICA taxes need to be levied on all personal income, not just the first $116,000. This would greatly ease the revenue problem. Moreover, considering the entire fiscal situation, taxes on the wealthy and corporations should be increased to 1950's levels. Most of our fiscal problems are do to tax cuts for the richest Americans and corporations. They have been the beneficiaries of most tax cuts the last 40 years.

Speaking of out-of-control spending, how about the Iraq war? That was a gigantic waste of blood and wealth. I don't know of anything which argues for trimming the military more.

Salt Lake City, UT

Utah is dead last in volunteering for the armed forces, maybe that's why this state seems so willing to engage so much when it's other people's lives on the line.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

The US spends more than 4 times what China does and more than 7 times what Russia does (these are the closest two contenders).

The US Defense budget is more than one third of the entire WORLD’s defense budget.

Certainly we can pull back somewhat here. Yes, we need to (and can) do this intelligently and with clear-eyed analysis. But we can do it.

Surely there should be some “peace dividend” as we pull out of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Finally, none of this means entitlements must be left untouched. We need hard analysis there too. Doing one does not relieve us of the responsibility of doing the other.

UT Brit
London, England

The US spends almost as much money on the military as the rest of the world combined.

You could halve the budget and still be way way ahead of the next biggest spender China.

Far East USA, SC

I have a hard time believing that the military could not take a large paycut without impacting our defense one bit.

Even recently, the Army stated that they did not need more Abrams Tanks, but congress insisted.

Why would congress do that? Well lets see. The tanks are produced in Ohio which happens to be a very important political state.

The plant is run by General Dynamics who happened to spend over $11 million dollars in 2012 lobbying congress. (In 2012 the defense industry gave congress $19 million in campaign donations and lobbied them to the tune of almost $140 million dollars. Why would they do that?)

One would hope that with enough military cuts, even our pathetic congressmen would begrudgingly put country over politics if our national defense was actually at stake.

One would hope

Salt Lake City, UT

We shouldn't cut our defense budget? Are you serious?

How about the F-35 fighter, which breaks if it gets wet and can't be flown at night. Over the expected lifetime of this turkey the F-35 will cost taxpayers a cool $1Trillion (yes, with a "T").

How about the F-22 fighter, an aircraft for which the Air Force says it has no use and does not want, but that congress insists that the Air Force buy, at a cost of more than $200 million _each_.

Six out of ten dollars spent on military budget _worldwide_ are spent by the US military. The US military budget is by itself larger than the next sixteen largest military budgets _combined_. That includes China, Russia, all of Europe and Asia.

Anyone claiming to be concerned about federal taxes, federal deficits, and total US debt but who refuses to look at the staggering costs and waste that saturates the US military is being a monumental hypocrite.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Even with our cuts we are still spending 3 times as much as China and 6 times as much as Russia on defense.

We can't keep spending at such insane and unsustainable levels.

If anything, the message to the rest of the world would be a positive one. We are finally Getting our defense spending under control. We are being fiscally responsible. And do not intend on waging reckless war after war. It's time the rest of the world step up and slap some skin in this game if they want policemen around. The United States cannot be everywhere.

Poplar Grove, UT

So can someone explain to me why we do need such a big military? Mentions are made of Iran and N Korea being threats, really? Does Iran or N Korea have a death wish? A land invasion of this country would be a death sentence for either of those two countries. Not to mention the fact that we still have enough nukes to destroy the planets for the next millenium. The type of stuff these countries have the ability to pull off is a lot closer to 9-11 than a full scale military invasion, and giving the military money doesn't prevent terrorist attacks. So what good is it putting all that money into the military?

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Well -
In MY opinion,

As a veteran, I have to ask...

Why did we start Wars of agression?
Why did we attack and invade, and occupy a country that did nothing to us?
Why did we spend 12 years, 5,000 lives, 75,000 causalties, and still yet another $3 Trillion un-funded?

I have NO problem fighting to defend our Country and our Constitution,
I have a real problem when I'm fighting for the best interests of CORPORATIONS.

Final note...

Did we really need to spend $3 Trillion to get the attackers of 9/11?

Because everything I've seen and heard is they we got them Predetor drones, Hellfire missiles, and the Head was done in by a valiant team of Navy Seals in PAKISTAN.

For a newspaper who whines constantly about our National debt,
I gotta ask --
Who's side are you on?

Los Angeles, CA

It is a shame that the D-News is unable to step away from partisan politics and stand up for fiscal responsibility. Yes, spending on "entitlement programs" needs to be curbed, but we can do both - tame domestic spending and cut a military-industrial complex that is just as wasteful as any domestic program. While the D-News opinion is apt to point out in general terms "out-of-control-spending on entitlements," it conveniently ignores the well-documented military spending boondoggles in Afghanistan. The premise by the D-News that cutting military spending somehow upends any chance of reigning in entitlement spending is a disingenuous argument one expects from a political ideologue or a representative attempting to save a military base. I would hope that the D-News would rise above such political carp.

Finally, on the D-News's subsidiary point that cutting military spending weakens world security, I urge the editorial board to give less credence to the "fear" ideology of Dick Cheney and to re-visit the wisdom of another Republican - Dwight B. Eisenhower - who in his farewell address in 1961 sagely warned of the rise of the military-industrial complex in the US.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

The President took an oath of office, "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Article 1, Section 8 requires that tax revenues be spent on defense. There is NO authorization for Congress to spend money on social programs in Section 8. There is NO enumeration in the Constitution for social spending.

If Mr. Obama is to keep his oath of office, he is duty bound to see that Congress cuts social spending and all other unauthorized spending before jeopardizing the defense budget. With North Korea rattling its sabre and Iran rattling its sabre, Mr. Obama should spend some quality time with those in the military who have the experience to advise him on what is needed. He won't find that caliber of people on the golf course or at his favorite vacation spots, but he will find them at work, where he ought to be. We did not hire him to be our golfer in chief, but to be our commander in chief.

a bit of reality
Shawnee Mission, KS

If we want to have the world's largest military force, we need to have the world's highest taxes.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

a bit of reality
Shawnee Mission, KS
If we want to have the world's largest military force, we need to have the world's highest taxes.

7:39 a.m. Feb. 26, 2014


Amen! Amen and Amen!

That about sums it up perfectly!

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

I have to admit I'm confused by your stance Mike. You post some of the most religiously laced comments with an almost theocratic dictatorship, yet you believe the Sun should shine brightly on weapons of mass destruction who's only use is to kill many other men women and children. Yet you decry social programs that would help the least among us get by when religion fails in their mission to take care of the sick and afflicted.

one old man
Ogden, UT

One small step toward fiscal sanity. But Rob Bishop will come unglued because it might affect some of his most ardent fincancial supporters -- the military/industrial complex that Eisenhower warned against.

salt lake city, utah

"The Congress shall have power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;..

Mr. Richards, clearly the majority of the country and those in history, do not agree with your interpretation of this clause. The use of a semi-colon between the phrase containing general welfare and the remaining phrases would in and of it self indicate the writers intended the phrase to stand alone as related but not reliant on.

I'll leave the budget argument to others, but once again the DN has fallen along silly partisan lines. I say silly because they don't make any sense in todays world.

And what's with the published rule of no capital letter shouting but certain opinions do it all the time?

Eugene, OR

Schnee 1:48 a.m.

Well, that kind of makes sense. Utah is filled with people who think that knocking on doors for the LDS Church for two years is just as good as serving in the military.

American Fork, UT

After all the howling about government spending, you want to leave the most bloated of the bloated off the table? Now that's what sending the wrong message to the world looks like. Let alone telling them we want to be ready to fight the second world war in a world where a few terrorists here and there represent the day to day enemy.

Springville, UT

This is a stunning editorial, which must have been written by neo-cons and defense contractors. Do you suggest that we should send troops into other countries like Korea anytime we think it a good idea? The pork in the military is renowned, and you really don't want that to end. YOu decry "high" taxes and deficits, and here we are with a serious proposal to right-size the military, and you are worried about having enough troops for the next invasion (which I assume will happen when the next Republican is elected to the White House). The message we need to send to the rest of the world is that diplomacy and peaceful means should be utilized more, that the U.S. won't act alone and be the world's bullies, and that we are smart and can use our resources more tactically rather than relying on brute force with little or no return (re: Iraq and Afghanistan. Our loss of lives, money and prestige made very little difference in the long run.). Sorry, but it's time for us to change.

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