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Comments about ‘Era of austerity is over — but not for the military’

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Published: Wednesday, Feb. 26 2014 7:25 p.m. MST

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DN Subscriber
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Obama and Hagel (the least competent Secretary of Defense in history) are willing to sacrifice our freedom in order to keep on spending for "free stuff" to buy votes to keep them in power.

This will be seen in history as the time when our will to preserve our existence as a nation was sacrificed for partisan political advantage, leading to our eventual defeat and domination by a foreign enemy.

Unless, of course, our inability to keep up unsustainable spending for "free stuff" causes collapse from within by revolt by those denied their accustomed handouts, or the producers becoming fed up with confiscation of the fruits of their labors to give to others.

It is a sad time for our country, although some people are oblivious to the threats posed in the dangerous world today by various rogue nations, insane dictators, or evil emperors.

Worst, the single over riding duty of the federal government WAS intended to be to provide for the national defense. Not give away "free stuff."

David King
Layton, UT

I consider myself a conservative. I want my fellow conservatives who feel we need to spend all this money to look at the graph in the article and tell me with a straight face that we're spending a "conservative" amount on the military. This is a chance to make some actual process on budget issues.

Here's a simple guideline: If you say you care about the national debt but insist that not one penny be cut from our enormous defense spending, you don't actually care about the debt.

Mark B
Eureka, CA

If Hagel, as DN Sub claims, is so incompetent, then did Sub oppose his election as a Republican senator? How would his competence stack up against, say, Hatch? Or Lee? And just when will this big defeat of the USA happen?

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

Quite the contrast between the first two conservative posters.

DN subscriber is blind to the fact that much of Military spending IS USED to "buy votes and keep them in power"

Mr King gets it.

One can carp about entitlement spending. And those of reason, can make a convincing argument for their viewpoint. But entitlement spending has nothing to do with defense spending (and vise versa)

When our congressmen are willing to forgo their pet projects (Abrams tanks are one great example) and defense "jobs programs" then we will know they are serious about budget issues.

And, it would help if more conservatives were honest and/or logical about this issue, as Mr King above.

To reiterate his point "tell me with a straight face that we're spending a "conservative" amount on the military."

John Kateel
Salt Lake City, UT

These military cuts were long overdue. Anytime you have overkill, you have an inefficiency. Asymmetrical threats from religious terrorists and hacker networks are more likely scenarios than a land invasion by sovereign state. Recruiting and training personnel who are linguistic in foreign languages as well as cultural nuances is probably where more funds need to be spent. I would personally rather see some funds redirected and jointly spent by our allies to create a defensive network that would protect us from incoming asteroids and comets that can wipe out civilization. We now know that the biggest threat to humanity are the idle hands and minds of the religious fanatic, space rock, climate change, and super-volcanoes. We can do something about three out of four.

Mountanman
Hayden, ID

@ David King. Do you honestly believe these spending cuts for the military will be used to decrease the national debt? If you do, you are in for a real disappointment!

Something to think about
Ogden, UT

Well said David!

If you believe in government waste, you must believe the 'waste' is everywhere!

Cut the waste!

SCfan
clearfield, UT

David King and all others...
Maybe you didn't read the whole article. Obama is cutting defense, but raising the freebees and goodies and givaways to the unproductive part of our population. However he is willing to cut the jobs, and benefits, and retirement of the people who work to defend the country. The entitlements are what run the debt up to the 17 trillion level. They should be cut dollar for dollar with the military. Actually two dollars for every defense dollar. Defense is no where near the percentage of the budget that all those entitlements are. However, I believe that every one of you Obama supporters does not want ONE dollar cut from the entitlements. And the fat there is in the freebees and handouts. Yet I'd bet that there is no limit to how much you would like to see cut from the military. So tell us, what should the defense budget be. 50 billion? That is what Ted Turner said it should be. Give us a number.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

SCFAN

Of what you consider "entitlements" the vast majority are Social Security and Medicare.

And, these programs (mostly Medicare) WILL be the driving force to bankruptcy if not addressed. The population is aging, living longer and retiring and health care costs are skyrocketing.

I have a very right wing friend. He complains constantly about Obama and entitlements. But he is retired. When I ask him, how much of his SS or Medicare he would be willing to forgo, the answer is quick and easy for him. ZERO, because he paid for it.

Well, I am not yet retired, but have paid in all my life. Today young workers are also paying into the system.

Don't I, and today's young workers have the same argument?

I suspect that you are not collecting SS or Medicare. Cause I have yet to see anyone who wants to give up what they get.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

The lies that this administration are able to get away with is amazing. They said that "
Obama will call for an end to the era of austerity that has dogged much of his presidency". What austerity has Obama had to deal with? He incrased spending for unemployment. He has increased spending for food stamps. He has spent trillions on stimulus projects. The new Obamacare is falling short of the minimum number of people to make it affordable, so the government will have to step in there. He has spent billions on all sorts of social welfare programs. The only thing he is ever willing to cut is military spending.

Since when is expanding the government handouts austerity?

SCfan
clearfield, UT

Joe

You stumbled onto the important truth. Your friend PAID for it. Now, I know that if he lives a certain number of years he will take out more than he put in, but that has been the system as designed from the beginning. Current workers pay for retired. But, and both political parties are at fault with this, there was supposed to be a seperate SS acount set aside and not to be touched for anything but its purpose, paying out SS. Remember Al Gores "lockbox" idea? Well, the real trajedy is that our elected officials in D.C. saw this huge vat of money sitting there and took it to pay for other programs. Now there is really nothing left of SS but a bunch of IOU notes and those will be paid for with borrowed money when your and my time come. I believe that those that contribute to this country, whether by military service, and or paying into the SS system deserve to get back what the government program promised them. After all, it was not a voluntary program, but a compulsive one. People who have given nothing to the country should be last in line.

wrz
Phoenix, AZ

We don't need a million man army... not even a half million man one. Our days of the foot soldier on the ground with a rifle and bayonet are over. The next wars will be with powerful lasers and drones which are operated far from the battle front.

Let's get the military reduced. Let's get our national debt under control.

Of course, the reason for the recent troop reduction announcement by Obama is to garner votes for the Democrats in the upcoming mid-term election. Everything to politician Obama is political.

wrz
Phoenix, AZ

@SCfan:
"Obama is cutting defense, but raising the freebees and goodies and givaways to the unproductive part of our population."

He's pre-positioning the Democrats for the mid-term election coming up. Notice, he said in the State of the Union address that women are being paid less than men and he plans to do something about it. This will secure the women vote. The Hispanic vote is locked in since amnesty was given to the so-called 'dreamers.' And he's secured the unemployed vote by extending to 115 months payment of unemployment benefits. And to suck much of the rest of the voters in he is cutting the military to free up funds for more give-away programs. The guy is no dummy when it comes to buying votes.

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