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Take Action:Cut the Bloated Pentagon Budget


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JL
- 505 days ago - secure3.convio.net
In the last election cycle, Pentagon contractors and CEOs donated more than $24 million to influence our elections, and have given over $189 million since 1990.4



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JL A. (274)
Thursday February 21, 2013, 8:20 am
Pull the Pork from the Pentagon

bloated pentagonWhen Congress came to a deal over the budget negotiations earlier this month, they finally agreed to make the top 1% pay their fair share. It was a huge victory, but noticeably absent from the deal was what to do with the $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts. Instead Congress gave themselves a two-month extension to hammer out a deal.

This could be our best opportunity to rein in Pentagon spending. We simply have to stop paying for the things we don’t need so that we can afford the things we do – like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. With a deadline of March 1st, lobbyists representing fat cat Pentagon contractors are already circling the halls of Congress to ensure they get the best deal.

Now it’s time Congress heard from the People too. Click here to join Keystone Progress as we call on Congress to rein in wasteful Pentagon spending. No cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security!

jobs not warThe idea that Social Security, which has not contributed one cent to the deficit, is even being considered as part of a plan to address our national debt is outrageous.1 Meanwhile, if some in Congress get their way, the Pentagon, which makes up more than half of all discretionary spending, is being shielded from cuts.2 But it only takes a little digging to see why.

With a salary of $26 million a year, some Pentagon contractor CEOs make more than all but 2 Wall Street CEOs, and they have every intention of keeping it that way.3

In the last election cycle, Pentagon contractors and CEOs donated more than $24 million to influence our elections, and have given over $189 million since 1990.4 These campaign contributions have given fat cat Pentagon contractors undue influence on Congress. But while Congress lends a sympathetic ear to their wealthy campaign donors, the American people are getting shut out of the process.

If we’re going to end Pentagon contractors’ stranglehold on Congress, then we need to make our voices loud and clear. Click here to join Keystone Progress as we call on Congress to rein in wasteful Pentagon spending. No cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security!

The Keystone Progress Team

Thanks to our partners at USAction for providing the content for this campaign



1 - “Fact-checkers Sputter and Flop Attempting to Explain How Social Security Works, Affects Deficits,” The Huffington Post, December 12, 2012

2 - “Rep. Dennis Kucinich says defense spending consumes more than half the discretionary budget,”PolitiFact Ohio, February, 18, 2011

3 - “Northrop CEO pay tops JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon,” The Washington Post, August 12, 2012

4 - “Defense: Long-Term Contribution Trends,” OpenSecrets.org, November 12, 2012
 

Tamara Noforwardsplz (185)
Thursday February 21, 2013, 8:43 am
Noted, signed, twittered and google shared. Thanks J.L.
 

Mitchell D. (127)
Thursday February 21, 2013, 8:56 am
In a book by a mid-western professor, named Gingerich, (Patrick?)which, I think was called "The American Love Affair with War," or something like that, he states that we have some 8.600 military posts around the world, that our imperialism creates enemies for us.
Cutting the military budget, even by a miniscule percentage, would free up money to do sooo much good within tis country!
Hypocrisy, such as that acted out by Rep. Boehner, who had a bit of legislation inserted into a larger bill, which bit requires a plant within his district, that has a contract with the Air Force, to manufacture 2 of everything for which they get an order, which the Air Force, reportedly, says it has no use, (read "Corporate Welfare"), helps bloat the Pentagon budget
 

JL A. (274)
Thursday February 21, 2013, 10:54 am
You are welcome Tamara.
Thanks for the wonderful examples of why this should be an easy cut to make Mitchell without harming national security or military readiness whatsoever.
You cannot currently send a star to Tamara because you have done so within the last week.
You cannot currently send a star to Mitchell because you have done so within the last week.
 

Sara W. (109)
Thursday February 21, 2013, 1:13 pm
Like they would ever notice cuts from their budget, it's so huge. Gladly signed.
 

Terry V. (30)
Thursday February 21, 2013, 6:51 pm
S&N THANKS!!!
 

JL A. (274)
Thursday February 21, 2013, 6:54 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Terry because you have done so within the last week.
 

Ruth R. (215)
Thursday February 21, 2013, 7:15 pm
Signed!
 

Angelika R. (146)
Thursday February 21, 2013, 7:17 pm
Cut it in HALF! ZIP code 12203 was found to be located in NY, not in None. Check the ZIP code again. -I felt that coming.. but then it is good that some orgs actually do check.
 

JL A. (274)
Thursday February 21, 2013, 7:26 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Angelika because you have done so within the last week.
 

John B. (215)
Thursday February 21, 2013, 7:52 pm
Thank you J.L. for the post and the link. Signed, sent and posting noted. "Thank you for supporting us on this issue."
 

JL A. (274)
Thursday February 21, 2013, 7:56 pm
You are welcome John. You cannot currently send a star to John because you have done so within the last week.
 

Michael W. (1)
Thursday February 21, 2013, 9:05 pm
If there is a budget with plenty of fat to trim off it is the defense budget....
 

Jim Phillips (3215)
Friday February 22, 2013, 8:20 am
Petition signed and forwarded to friends.

The military budget must be cut by 50%!

Remember, this military budget has increased by 50% since 2001, doubled.
We, as USA, can have safety and a military without sacrifice of protection.
We need to stop "wars" like bush's folly of Iraq.

7 Shocking Ways the Military Wastes Our Money
Hint: none of them have anything to do with national defense.

http://www.alternet.org/economy/8-shocking-ways-military-wastes-our-money?akid=9790.100370.76XJlI&rd=1&src=newsletter759415&t=3

Save our Social Security as it has nothing to do with the federal budget.

Ty, JL.
.
 

John Coleman (18)
Friday February 22, 2013, 1:39 pm
Plenty of other places to cut like all of the politically motivated and totally wasteful "green energy" boondoggles as well as long term wasteful programs like Head Start or the hosts of duplicate job "training" programs that haven't performed a useful service in there 50 years of life. Now there are places to cut in the Pentagon that are also wasteful political programs like biofuels for the Navy that cost more and cause maintenance problems and the recent "enhancement" to "readiness" by pushing gays in the military and women in direct ground combat slots. Both cost money and degrade real readiness since we are now seeing the push for "benefits for gay spouses" even where the "spouses" are legally married and will reduce the standards to make sure women "qualify" for those newly opened positions that they will not be able to fill adequately. Then there.are the idiotic programs like the anti American course given by a left wing "professor" at West Point and a host of alleged "research" grants that have zero to do with national security but keep more left wing academics in nice cushy grants in their ivory tower universities. Get all the political, PC, and non defense spending that gets larded into the military budget and spend that money on more real military improvements ins systems, training, and maintenance. The bloat in the budget are all the income transfer payments to those not contributing or really contributing to the Demagogue Party headed by our alleged POTUS,
 

Phil P. (88)
Friday February 22, 2013, 1:59 pm
John C, spoken like a true TeaParty patriot. Yes we have to have those 300 new tanks so we can pay to mothball them along with the 3000 already sitting idle. Yes and we need to keep training our troops with outmoded doctrine. And oh, lets not forget all the pet legislative requirements our Congress has mandated for their constituents coffers so they can keep up with their contributions. Fortunately, you're the old, white, conservative minority, soon to be irrelevant.
 

Birgit W. (140)
Friday February 22, 2013, 2:09 pm
Noted
 

JL A. (274)
Friday February 22, 2013, 2:17 pm
I found it interesting that John chose to name the programs with consistent evaluations of demonstrated effectiveness and cost effectiveness to label "political" in a disparaging way. Apparently facts, data and evidence are unnecessary and to be discarded for forming those beliefs and opinions.
Thank you Phil for identifying some of why this area can so easily be cut with far less damage than all of John's favorites..
 

Christeen Anderson (468)
Friday February 22, 2013, 2:38 pm
Signed.
 

Lois Jordan (55)
Friday February 22, 2013, 2:44 pm
Very gladly signed, shared & noted. Much thanks for posting, J.L.
 

JL A. (274)
Friday February 22, 2013, 3:21 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Christeen because you have done so within the last week.
 

John Coleman (18)
Friday February 22, 2013, 3:21 pm
J.L.A. Even the government's own study found Head Start to be of no use once the child hits the 3rd grade. As to to job training programs, those were a failure when iI did my master's thesis on the Manpower Development and Training Act in the mid 60s. On "green energy" (and ethanol as well) all you need to do is look at all the failures of the projects this corrupt administration has poured money into as well as the failures of wind and solar in Europe where Spain, Germany, and other countries have decided those "technologies" neither cost effective nor productive. The UK has found wind power unworkable in most weather conditions and a costly wasted effort as well. All those electric cars have been a wasted effort as well. None of those "technologies" are new. Ethanol has proven to be uneconomical, not environmentally friendly. land also a problem with both fuel efficiency and maintenance but we are still pouring support payments into that turkey as well. In addition, we have two billion dollars of fraud in tax returns to illegal aliens, payments to those in jail for "benefits" like unemployment compensation, sex change operations and Viagra for jail inmates, and a whole host of waste in the so called "entitlement" programs and tax breaks for "low income" tax cheats that need to be culled from the expenditures now being charged on the country's credit card.
 

JL A. (274)
Friday February 22, 2013, 3:31 pm
Head Start doesn't serve third graders--it is preschool and since all the main skills for learning are done prior to third grade, it had huge cost-effective successes. The old Manpower Development program was not developed with evaluation requirements built into it like all the current job training programs how--comparing apples to oranges I'm afraid.
CA's had major successes in the green energy arena and Spain is now very proud it gets the largest portion of its energy from wind. http://www.care2.com/news/member/663679641/3526247
I suggest you look for more current, reliable, valid and credible sources.
Far more revenues are lost by high income and corporate cheats and contractors (e.g., Medicare) than any you mention if you look at actual data. Don't spend $100 to get $1 misspent--spend that $100 to get $10,000 misspent--many in Pentagon contractors if you follow that news.
 

John Coleman (18)
Friday February 22, 2013, 5:17 pm
J.L. A: I understand that you are a "progressive" and, hence, part of the low information group but the study measured the "positive effects" that Head Start had on those who went through the program in later academic activities and it concluded what little "positive" effects had disappeared after the children hit the 3rd grade. No wonder you "progressives" go along with this swill since your information base is limited. As to Spain and Germany there was just news on the 17th of the month on how both countries were cutting down subsidies in "green energy" due to the fact that they aren't economic or that productive. BTW, the US gave $2.7B to one of the Spanish companies that is in the process of going under, There are big waste in fraud in other programs as well (one Dem Senator, Menendez D-NJ, had ties to a doctor who is under investigation for Medicare fraud for example. One difference between Defense and such programs as Head Start and "green energy" is Defense is a specific Constitutional function of the Federal government and the others aren't. and should be cabbed. They are total waste!
 

JL A. (274)
Friday February 22, 2013, 5:31 pm
The research on ending at third grade was on all preschool limited to academic performance improvements. The longitudinal Head Start study found benefits persisting into adulthood. I choose to study and stay up-to-date and not use inappropriate sources for claims.

No wonder those who love to label others as liberal or progressive are so loose with facts as to misuse and prefer to form opinions based on anecdotal evidence that does not generalize when fuller evidence, data and facts are gathered and recommend fiscally irresponsible decisions and policies.

Promoting the general welfare is constitutional.
 

Jim Phillips (3215)
Friday February 22, 2013, 5:33 pm
John C: Where are your "facts"? Please provide links to backup your sources, stories.

Thanks.


.
 

Jim Phillips (3215)
Friday February 22, 2013, 5:34 pm
John C: Please stay on topic.

.
 

John Coleman (18)
Friday February 22, 2013, 8:44 pm
The Head Start study can be found at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/research/project/head-start-impact-study-and-follow-up-2000-2012

The various European countries bailing out of "green energy" is cited in a number of article in the Wall Street Journal, CNBC, AEI.oirg, Greenworld Investor, and a host of different sources which is easy to find if you plug "Germany and Spain rethinking green energy" into yahoo.

As to "off subject:, the subject is a request to sign a petition to cut the military (which is only 18% of the US expenditures)when we have serious national security concerns. Just this week we say North Korea test another nuke and plan to test another missile shortly. and there was a mock nuke missile attack by Russian on the US base at Guam. We have had increasing probes on both US coasts by Russia and probes by both Russia and China on Japanese and other nations islands in the China Sea and other disputed areas, Threats by North Korea of attacks on both the US and South Korea, Increasing unrest in North Africa, Sub Sahara Africa, and the Arabian Peninsula that have resulted in US citizens deaths and other security considerations. And increasing hostile moves and rhetoric from a nuke seeking Iran, Based on those threats it is absurd to push this type initiative when there are tons of waste and misspent money in domestic programs with no value and even outright waste. i know you "progressives" don't want to face reality but anyone coming to this site should get another opinion before deciding to make a mistake and sign this left wing action.
 

JL A. (274)
Friday February 22, 2013, 9:07 pm
BTW--the study you cite is not the longitudinal and could not address any older than about 3rd grade's impacts.

Pentagon is the significant and majority of 57% of discretionary spending (the portion of funds Congress can make decisions about). Using 18% presents a skewed and unwarranted biased picture of the funds Congress can make decisions about.
The level of funding in 2000 (before Pentagon budget increased 200% not counting all towards two wars) is deemed sufficient by most who study the issue for such needs as you describe. It is fiscally absurd and irresponsible to not push this kind of fiscal responsibility.

I've found those who use the word progressive as a dirty e word would rather bankrupt this country by transferring the wealth of middle class and poor individuals into military contractors' pockets on fictitious grounds like the Iraq war has proved to have been. Appropriate preservation of sufficient foreign aid would address the African unrest at less cost than your desired unwarranted military plans.

Focus of article or topic actually is the contractors who get the money spending money on Congress to get that money IMO.
 

Sharon F. (0)
Friday February 22, 2013, 9:09 pm
Yes, indeed. Cut the blooooooooated military budget. Fix the roads, bridges, etc.
 

JL A. (274)
Friday February 22, 2013, 9:19 pm
Quote from the Head Start study's executive summary: "There is evidence that for some outcomes, Head Start had a differential impact for some subgroups of children over others. At the end of 3rd grade for the 3-year-old cohort, the most striking sustained subgroup findings were found in the cognitive domain for children from high risk households as well as for children of parents who reported no depressive symptoms. Among the 4-year-olds, sustained benefits were experienced by children of parents who reported mild depressive symptoms, severe depressive symptoms,and Black children."
Thanks Shar for reminding us all what is possible if Pentagon doesn't keep taking such a huge lion's share of the possible funding.
 

JL A. (274)
Friday February 22, 2013, 9:42 pm
Wasteful Pentagon spending:
http://thehill.com/news-by-subject/defense-homeland-security/178639-whistleblowers-charge-dod-official-with-incompetence-wasteful-spending-tyrannical-leadership

Sen. Coburn's Report Exposes DOD's Wasteful, Non-Defense Spending
http://thenewamerican.com/usnews/congress/item/13658-sen-coburns-report-exposes-dods-wasteful-non-defense-spending
"In his Wastebook Coburn concluded that “all the outrageous and wasteful contents of this report were made possible by either the action or lack of action of Congress, earning it the well-deserved but unwanted distinction as the biggest waste of taxpayer money in 2012.”"
FLASHBACK: Boehner Said That Wasteful Pentagon Spending ‘All Ought To Be Eliminated’

By Pat Garofalo on Jul 27, 2010 at 6:30 pm

Today, in an 11-5 vote, the House defense appropriations committee approved the purchase of a second engine for the F-35 jet fighter, despite the Pentagon explicitly saying that the engine is a big waste of money. In fact, Defense Secretary Robert Gates has called the second engine “costly and unnecessary,” and has repeatedly recommended that President Obama veto the 2011 defense spending bill if it ultimately contains the funding. U.S. Air Force Secretary Michael Donley has referred to the engine as “another rock” on top of the F-35 program.
http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2010/07/27/173419/boehner-defense-waste/?mobile=nc

"Last year, after identifying up to $60 billion in contracting waste in Iraq and Afghanistan, she passed an historic reform bill overhauling how federal contracts are awarded and monitored during military contingencies."
http://mccaskill.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=1802

Even if the costs of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan are subtracted, the defense budget has swelled by 68 percent since 2001.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates, a Republican appointee and a former CIA director, has repeatedly acknowledged that military costs are untenable and decried the Pentagon’s “culture of endless money.”
The United States wields more military power relative to other nations than any country has ever known, including Rome at the peak of empire.
http://www.newrepublic.com/article/politics/magazine/79066/waste-defense-spending-america-pentagon#
Rampant Wasteful Spending in Pentagon Budget
But the reality is that a large chunk of the DOD budget has nothing to do with defending this country.
http://sago.com/2012/11/29/rampant-wasteful-spending-in-pentagon-budget/
Senator Tom Coburn’s (R-Okla.) just-released report on wasteful and duplicative spending in the Pentagon.

The report identifies savings totaling at least $67.9 billion over the next decade in the Department of Defense. The common thread linking these disparate recommendations — from axing non-military research and development projects ($6 billion) to eliminating Pentagon-operated grocery stores ($9 billion) — is that the expenditures “have little to do with national security” and therefore could be implemented “without impacting our national security.”
“Many of these programs, initiatives or research projects,” the report explains, "may serve worthy interests, but should not be the job of our military tasked with fighting and winning the nation’s wars."
http://www.policymic.com/articles/19120/fiscal-cliff-solution-by-senator-coburn-will-save-68-billion-in-pentagon-spending-cuts

In all the talk about the federal deficit, why is the single largest culprit left out of the conversation? Why is the one part of government that best epitomizes everything conservatives say they hate about government—- waste, incompetence, and corruption—all but exempt from conservative criticism?

Of course, I’m talking about the Pentagon. Any serious battle plan to reduce the deficit must take on the Pentagon. In 2011 military spending accounted for more than 58 percent of all federal discretionary spending and even more if the interest on the federal debt that is related to military spending were added. In the last ten years we have spent more than $7.6 trillion on military and homeland security according to the National Priorities Project.
Adding insult to injury, last September, the GAO found that the new computer systems intended to improve the Pentagon’s financial oversight are themselves nearly 100 percent or $7 billion over budget and as much as 12 years behind schedule!

The Pentagon is not just incompetent. It is corrupt. In November 2009 the Pentagon’s Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA), the federal watchdog responsible for auditing oversight of military contractors, raised the question of criminal wrongdoing when it found that the audits that did occur were riddled with serious breaches of auditor independence. One Pentagon auditor admitted he did not perform detailed tests because, “The contractor would not appreciate it.”

Why would the Pentagon allow its contractors to get away with fraud? To answer that question we need to understand the incestuous relationship between the Pentagon and its contractors that has been going on for years, and is getting worse. From 2004 to 2008, 80 percent of retiring three and four star officers went to work as consultants or defense industry executives. Thirty-four out of 39 three- and four-star generals and admirals who retired in 2007 are now working in defense industry roles — nearly 90 percent.
http://www.onthecommons.org/why-most-wasteful-government-agency-not-part-deficit-discussion
 

Lloyd H. (46)
Saturday February 23, 2013, 8:10 am
J.L. A., et alia, you are all making the false assumption that you are having a dialogue with John C. or any of his Tea Bagged ilk, when all you are doing is talking to a religious zealot for whom fact are irrelevant to their belief system. The Tea Bagged/Neocons/Repugs no longer practice 'politics or government' as sane people define politics and government. For those like John all government is evil unless it feeds Corporate profit, enriches the rich and promotes war and that is it. Their political ideology has been set in the religious model, everything is seen as orthodoxy vs heresy, dissent is sin, facts and numbers and reality have no effect on belief and faith. The Repugnican opposition to Hagel for Secretary of Defense has nothing to do with his qualifications it is solely based on his heresy, he opposed their lies for their Iraq War of Profit and Oil, and worst of all he publicly called their lies lies. Their economic Wunderkind can not do arithmetic that works in a 2+2=4 universe. Their economic policies are intentionally designed to do one thing and one thing only Redistribute Resources to the Top 1% and the expense of the true Job/Wealth Creators the 98% at the bottom. The Repug Military Budget is at least $1 Trillion over the maximum wish list from those actually in the Military. And you make the unfortunate and totally erroneous assumption that John and the Repug/Tea Bagged and their Corporate Puppet Masters consider success of Socially Beneficial programs, the safety nets, education, healthcare, elimination of poverty and hunger, unemployment, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid a good use of resources, they do not. You need to remember that to them the only good Socialism is Corporate Welfare, War profiteering, and infrastucture that benefits profits not people. Sinful Socialism is anything that benefits people who are not already at the top of the capitaist food chain. Remeber they know exactly what they are doing and they know exactly whom it hurts and whom it profits.
 

JL A. (274)
Saturday February 23, 2013, 9:07 am
Thank you for your remarkable response Lloyd.
The founding fathers chose to list promote the general welfare before providing for the common defense in their chosen constitutional language, which in law often is interpreted to mean a higher priority. At that time corporations had a short-term lifespan and ended when their project ended.
 

Cheriann P. (17)
Saturday February 23, 2013, 11:04 am
Noted. Unable to sign. L♡ve ☮ Peace.
 

JL A. (274)
Saturday February 23, 2013, 11:10 am
Thanks for trying Cheriann.
 

John S. (297)
Sunday February 24, 2013, 6:44 am
Does anyone really think any of the cuts will hinder and goverment service?
 

JL A. (274)
Sunday February 24, 2013, 7:16 am
Since some programs' funding end without action, and many federal employees will not be authorized to work and be paid since there is no budget for the year which began in Oct.--yes lots of services will be affected.
 
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