I just listened to a general of the Army explaining to Congress that if the sequestration is allowed to take effect it will mean that they can’t train more solders to go to Afghanistan and the ones that are there will have to stay longer. I couldn’t help but think that is a common ploy used by organizations every time someone tries to cut their revenue when the revenue is from taxpayers.
This sequestration was a way to provide automatic cuts to congressional spending if congress couldn’t agree on another process for cutting spending. That right there is an impossible task–to ask congress to cut spending. The cuts they make are all on paper, things that will happen way down the road and will probably be changed before they take effect. If you and I cut spending in our budgets we just stop spending, but for congress they simply cut the planned increase in spending which is not cutting spending today but spending down the road. There goes that can getting kicked again.
Back to the military. They have one of the largest items in the Congressional budget. And I don’t doubt that severe cuts will have a negative impact on our national defense. But saying they will have to stop training soldiers is just a load of, well it just doesn’t seem true. School districts use this same ploy when they try to get a millage passed. They say they’re going to layoff teachers to try to scare voters into saying yes to any increase they want.
Certainly teachers, and soldiers, are a big expense but I’ve spent enough time in education to know that there is a lot of stuff that can be cut without impacting the mission of the schools. I believe that this applies to our military as well. I truly believe that 10% can be cut from every budget, even our personal budgets. But no one wants to give up their cable or satellite dishes. Does anyone really believe that the military cannot cut 10% from their budget without eliminating new soldier training? Is nothing such a luxury in our schools or military that can’t be cut?
Asking organizations to cut back is like asking a child to go to bed. They both kick and scream and threaten and say the most outrageous things. Children learn that this type of behavior will lead to some form of discipline. But organizations that are taxpayer funded just tell us that we’ll be punished for not giving them what they want. Maybe we need to step up a little and remind them who pays the bills and that the money they spend comes from our budgets at home and they need to treat us with some respect and stop making threats and start making cuts.