Dec. 6, 2013
Dec. 2, 2013
Rabbi Moshe Grylak: Attack on Chanukah's scholar-warriors an affront to all people of faith
U.S. boxes in Israel, not Iran: Surrender in Geneva
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom
: Vanessa Bayer & Jacob, the Bar Mitzvah Boy; Adam Levine, nickname "the Bear Jew," is People's Sexiest; Eastwoods Need to Say "Kinehora!"
The Kosher Gourmet by Kim Ode:
Fried and gone to heaven: Dense, fried Slovenian doughnut-like rolls, krofi, on Chanukah is a treat you'll want to eat all year long
: Tracking babies' eyes, scientists find signs of autism in 2-month-olds
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom
: Hunger Games: Jewish Connections; A 'Minyan'of Jewish Celebs Recite the Gettysburg Address On-line; Walter Matthau's Reaction to JFK's Death
Nancy A. Youssef :
Christians too afraid to complain as treatment in new 'democracy' worsens
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom
: Jewish MLB managers; Past and Present; Movie News and Dancing W/the Stars Shocker; Paula Abdul's Israeli bat mitzvah and bio facts rarely reported
Jewish World Review
Jan. 15, 2013/ 4 Shevat, 5773
Yes, defense spending should be cut --- in the right way
Republicans, and many Democrats, are upset by the prospect of so-called sequestration cuts to the nation's defense budget. Pentagon chief Leon Panetta is so alarmed that the day before the Senate took up what became the "fiscal cliff" agreement, he called a key Republican lawmaker, Sen. Lindsey Graham, to express deep concern that the cuts might go into effect. As it turned out, Congress put them off for two months.
Sequestration would force the government to reduce discretionary spending by about $1.2 trillion over the next decade. Roughly half of that, or $600 billion, would come from defense -- a hugely disproportionate amount to take from the Pentagon. And the cuts would be the worst possible sort: everything slashed, across the board, good programs and bad.
That's no accident. Sequestration was designed to be so awful that Congress would find a better way to cut spending. So far, that hasn't happened.
But just because the sequestration cuts are bad doesn't mean the defense budget should be sacrosanct. In fact, there are hundreds of billions of dollars in Pentagon spending that can be cut without compromising the military's effectiveness.
Maintaining national security requires underwriting a lot of departments: Defense, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs and countless others. But looking just at the Defense Department, the Obama administration this year plans to spend (without sequestration) $550 billion on the basic operations of the Pentagon, plus $88 billion specifically on the war in Afghanistan -- a total of $638 billion.
Back in 2007, the Pentagon's base budget was just $431 billion, with $132 billion added for the war in Iraq and $34 billion for Afghanistan -- a total of $597 billion. Given that it was a peak year for war spending in Iraq, in part because of a costly troop surge, is there any reason the U.S. should be spending more on the Pentagon's base budget today, adjusted for inflation, than it did in 2007?
"If we go back to '07, we had the Army we have today, and it was surging in Iraq, with all the logistical support it needed," says one senior GOP Senate aide. "No one in '07 was screaming that we didn't have enough money for the military."
How to get back to those 2007 levels? Watchdog groups, along with Republican Tom Coburn, the Senate's leading budget hawk, have plenty of suggestions.
For example, the Pentagon is building several versions of the F-35 fighter plane. Models specific for the Navy and the Marines have been "plagued by cost overruns and schedule delays, and are now estimated to cost just under $200 million each," according to a report by Taxpayers for Common Sense and the Project on Government Oversight. Replacing the two extra models of the basic F-35 with the F/A-18 fighter -- ending up with the same total number of planes, but a combination of F-35s and F/A-18s -- could save about $61 billion over the next decade.
Then there is health care. Coburn wants TRICARE, the military health care system, to require greater out-of-pocket payments from retired soldiers who were not in any way disabled by their service and are not yet eligible for Medicare. Their out-of-pocket expenses have been basically unchanged since 1995, while health care costs have risen dramatically. Making that change and a few others in TRICARE, Coburn estimates, could save more than $180 billion in the next decade.
Then there is outside services contracting, a practice that has nearly tripled in cost since 2000. Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates tried to slow it down, and there are measures in place to freeze it. But Coburn points out that "reducing Department of Defense spending on service contracts by 15 percent over the next 10 years would still leave contract spending at approximately the level it was in 2007, when the U.S. was fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan." Doing so would save an estimated $370 billion over the next 10 years.
There are many other possible savings. The long-troubled Osprey tilt-rotor plane is still a problem; it could be mostly replaced by helicopters, for a saving of $17 billion. An additional $9 billion could be saved by ending the Pentagon practice of running its own domestic grocery stores. And so on.
In all, Coburn envisions a possible $1 trillion in cuts over the next decade. Others see cuts in the $600 billion range. In any event, it's big money. Whatever the figure, the bottom line is that Republicans decrying the sequestration cuts should remember the Pentagon budget still needs to be reduced -- just in the right way.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
Comment on Byron York's column by clicking here.
01/08/13 Republicans bet on stronger hand in spending fight
01/03/13 For Obama, the economy never comes first
12/26/12 Anxiety rises as Americans face start of ObamaCare
12/18/12 Get ready for the costs and chaos of Obamacare
12/11/12 Obama ups bid as GOP looks for way out of crisis
12/04/12 Will Republicans support yet another Bush for president?
11/28/12 Hispanics favor Dems, but didn't decide election
11/20/12 Governors take power as balance shifts inside GOP
11/13/12 In 2016, GOP needs candidate voters believe in
11/06/12 Polls don't reflect Romney's momentum in Ohio
10/30/12 Romney, not Obama, shows concern for nation's poor
10/23/12 Entering stretch, Obama campaign running on empty
10/16/12 Will Romney push Libya issue or opt for caution?
10/12/12Romney should expose irs as enforcer of ObamaCare
10/03/12 Obama's problems multiply as GOP frets over Romney
08/25/12 With everything at stake, where's Mitt?
08/21/12 Can Romney fight distractions and stay focused on jobs?
08/14/12 When 1,099 felons vote in a race won by 312 ballots
08/07/12 Heeding critics, Romney finally sharpens pitch for long run
07/31/12 Under second Obama term, a more dependent nation?
07/10/12 Should Rmney apologize for RomneyCare?
07/03/12 Roberts' dodge at heart of ObamaCare decision
06/26/12 For Obama, working for business was working for enemy
06/19/12 Obama suffers amnesia about first year as president
06/12/12 As Romney-Obama fight heats up, Bain will be back
06/05/12 Two books, two standards for Obama, Bush
05/30/12 Obama, Rubio birthers should read the law
05/22/12 Extend Obama's grace period just a wee bit longer?
05/15/12 In new biography, Obama asks: Am I an American?
05/08/12 With serious talks, Gingrich elevated GOP race
05/01/12 Romney braces for 'vast left-wing conspiracy'
04/24/12 Obama faces defeat on pipeline as Dems defect
04/17/12 Time for a cease-fire in phony 'war on women'?
04/10/12 To Obama, legal precedents are all about politics
04/03/12 All of the liberal panic unnecessary --- and all the conservative hope unfounded?
03/27/12 Obama headed for defeat in pipeline fight
03/20/12 Why do island territories play key role in GOP race?
03/14/12The real bias in 'Game Change'
03/06/12 In politics fight, Breitbart knew culture is key
02/27/12 Hollywood makes 'Game Change' into Sarah Palin story
02/22/12 Why did Santorum lose in 2006?
02/14/12 After wins, Santorum targets Romney's native state
02/07/12 Running as businessman may be Romney's curse
02/01/12 What REALLY happened to the Gingrich ethics case?
01/25/12 Romney's unsolvable Massachusetts problem
01/18/12 If Romney wins, count on Obama to dig into Bain
01/10/12 Is New Hampshire fit to pick a president?
01/04/12 How Romney began journey on abortion
12/28/11 Blame Florida for GOP's holiday craziness
12/20/11 Huckabee dismisses draft but remains a force in Iowa
12/13/11 Surging fast, Gingrich looks to take Iowa
12/06/11 Voters like Newt, but wait to see if he's real
11/29/11 Despite surge, peril for Gingrich all around
11/22/11 To bounce back, Perry must mix it up
11/15/11 Newt's wonkish, unconventional campaign
11/08/11 Tim Pawlenty, the man who coulda been a contender
11/07/11 Gingrich big winner at key Iowa event
10/31/11 Perry's right: Republicans drowning in debates
10/25/11 Romney health plan still faces challenge from GOP
10/18/11 Lesson of Perry's candidacy: Think before you run
10/06/11 In veepstakes, candidates deaf to Rubio no
10/04/11 Cain's 9-9-9 plan sounds good, but will it work?
09/27/11 Media bias 101
09/20/11 Obama plagued by Dems' ingratitude
09/13/11 Will immigration cripple Perry's bid?
09/06/11 Left paints the campaign as a religious war
08/30/11 Keep your health plan? Don't count on it
08/24/11 GOP operatives fear lasting Ron Paul problem
08/16/11 Michele Bachmann and the submissive question
08/09/11 Obama partisans ignore facts when bashing Bush
08/02/11 When partisans fling charges of partisanship
07/26/11 Obama could be comeback kid if he heeds Clinton's lessons
07/19/11 Book casts doubt on Obama healthcare story
07/12/11 Controversial budget law begins to pay off
07/04/11 Anti-Mormon bias persists, notably among Dems
06/27/11 Huntsman tries McCain model, but he's no John McCain
06/06/11 Amid media circus, Palin lays out policy positions
05/30/11 GOP condemns Dems' breathtaking refusal to produce budget
05/24/11 Eye-for-an-eye filibuster stops Democratic nominee
05/17/11 Amid RomneyCare fight, voters ask: Where's Mitt?
05/10/11 Bin Laden coup won't help Obama in budget fight
05/09/11 Inside the GOP debate: Pawlenty underwhelms, Cain struggles, Santorum scores
05/02/11 Huckabee decision will shape GOP presidential race
04/27/11 Get ready for game of chicken over debt ceiling
04/25/11 McCain: Libyan rebels seek U.S. recognition, might pay for war costs
04/18/11 Have the U.S. and NATO given up on Libya mess?
04/11/11 Reforming entitlements is key to a strong military
04/05/11 Jihadis Who Killed Americans Get U.S. Support in Libya
04/04/11 Unions deploy money and muscle in Battle of Wisconsin
03/30/11 Labor fight in Wisconsin is far from over
03/28/11 Obama fails to grasp the gravity of going to war
03/21/11 Union equates lavish benefits to black civil rights
03/15/11 GOP should heed lesson of 1991: No guts, no glory
03/14/11 GOP focuses on NPR's subsidies, not its politics
03/08/11 While Obama seeks new ideas, his bureaucrats stifle them
02/28/11 Why the GOP shouldn't fear a government shutdown
02/22/11 In Hawaii, a dispiriting glimpse of one-party rule
02/21/11 Obama team uses slippery words to tout budget
02/15/11 Myth and memory: The battle over Reagan's legacy
02/07/11 Invoking Reagan, Palin says this is a time for choosing again
01/31/11 With each passing year, Reagan grows larger in the American political imagination
01/24/11 House GOP begins long drive to dismantle Obamacare
01/17/11 GOP gears up again to strip NPR of federal funds
01/10/11 To House GOP, illegal immigration is a jobs issue
01/03/11 Obamacare mess is legacy of Dems' moment of power
12/27/10 Smiling Dems will soon cry Washington is broken
12/20/10 Dems are earmark junkies but GOP goes straight
12/13/10 Needed: A more presidential Palin
12/06/10 With Dems in a funk, Obama charts a new course
11/29/10 Obama's poll numbers point to his defeat in 2012
11/22/10 Holder ignored risks of civilian terror trials
11/16/10 Dems love facts and science --- except when they don't
11/08/10 Obama, new GOP lawmakers are on collision course
11/01/10 New GOP star on track to defeat Dem legend Russ Feingold
10/26/10 If Dems lose, Obama will blame everyone but himself
10/19/10 Profligate Congress should read its own bills
10/13/10 Why Big Labor couldn't match Glenn Beck's rally
10/11/10 Trash-talking Democrat faces defeat in Florida
10/05/10 A GOP unknown in striking distance of Barney Frank
09/28/10 Administration inflates green-jobs numbers
09/20/10 In Delaware, GOP should target Dems, not O'Donnell
09/14/10 GOP Insiders Wary of Landslide Predictions
08/31/10 For Obamacare supporters, judgment day approaches
08/23/10 Obama has himself to blame for Muslim problem
08/17/10 Cut spending without cutting services? Start here
08/17/10 For Michelle Obama, extravagance dents popularity
08/09/10 Obama's zealous civil rights enforcer gets busy
08/02/10 A battle between Left and Right --- inside the GOP
07/26/10 GOP spoiling for fight over Berwick appointment
07/20/10 How long will the public tolerate Afghan war?
07/12/10 NASA's Muslim outreach: Al Jazeera told first
07/02/10 Legal complaint against Gore is detailed, credible
06/28/10 Obama and Dems heading for electoral disaster
06/21/10 Who told Obama drilling is absolutely safe?
06/14/10 Billions for green jobs, whatever they are
06/07/10 Sestak a no-go for any job. So what was the deal?
05/31/10 As economic worries worsen, White House puts on the glitz
05/25/10 GOP dilemma: Fight Kagan, or go along?
05/11/10 Enforcing nation's immigration laws would be a bargain
05/03/10 How Obama could lose Arizona immigration battle
04/27/10 What's behind the anti-Tea Party hate narrative?
04/20/10 As government expands, beware the post-office example
04/19/10 Who wins in 2010? Good luck reading tea leaves
04/12/10 GOP Obamacare strategy: Try repeal, then cut
04/05/10 Obamacare was mainly aimed at redistributing wealth
03/30/10 Message to Dems: People still don't like Obamacare
03/23/10 The coming consequences of Obamacare
03/16/10 Marco Rubio and the Republicans who love him
03/15/10 GOP hopes town halls take health care off table
03/08/10 Dems turn risky health vote into manhood contest
03/01/10 Why Obama defies the public on health care
02/22/10 South Carolina mulls 2012: Romney? Palin? Huck?
02/16/10 GOP winning war over Miranda rights for terrorists
02/09/10 Who are the 300 terrorists held in U.S. prisons?
02/02/10 Is Obama dissatisfied with being president?
01/19/10 The Republican dilemma: Good Michael or Bad Michael?
01/12/10 Now the lawmakers are figuring out what they didn't know
01/05/10 GOP deserves blame for Democratic excesses
12/29/09 Dems' dreams of a blue West begin to turn red
12/22/09 Why Dems push health care, even if it kills them
11/30/09 Dems' kamikaze mission: Health care by New Year's
11/23/09 Why it's a mistake to bring Gitmo prisoners here
11/16/09 Dems' slick fix: $210 billion of fiscal restraint
11/10/09 Obama can't be community organizer for the world
11/02/09 At key moment, Obama leaves health post unfilled
10/26/09 Fierce urgency' for jobs, not health care
10/12/09 Facts hurt Jennings in youth sex controversy
10/05/09 Amid terror threat, Dems chip away at Patriot Act
09/27/09 In Afghanistan, let U.S. troops be warriors
09/21/09 Under fire, Democrats abandon ACORN in drove
09/14/09 Dems stifle Republican health care plans
09/08/09 For Dems, a serious Charlie Rangel problem
09/07/09 Obama's speech: Wrong setting for a sales job
09/01/09 What happened to the antiwar movement?
08/24/09 Why Dems may jam through health care plan
08/17/09 GOP thinks the unthinkable: Victory in 2010
08/10/09 The empty words of a journalist turned flack
08/03/09 Probe finds new clues in AmeriCorps IG scandal
07/27/09 Obamacare haunted by unkept promises of stimulus
07/20/09 Why the GOP failed the Sotomayor test
07/13/09 What the GOPers will ask Sotomayor
06/29/09 Serious questions remain for Mark Sanford
06/22/09 How GOPers can crack the AmeriCorps scandal
06/16/09 Worried about Sotomayor? Consider Andre Davis
06/08/09 Can Mitch Daniels save the GOP?
06/01/09 When the Dems derailed a Latino nominee
05/26/09 Why the GOP will defeat Obama on healthcare
05/19/09 Rosy report can't hide stimulus problems
05/12/09 The Reagan legacy is the man himself
05/05/09 Sen. Specter, meet your new friends
04/27/09 Ted Olson: ‘Torture' probes will never end
04/20/09 Who's Laughing at the Axis of Evil today?
04/14/09 Congress needs Google to track stimulus money
04/06/09 Beyond AIG: A bill to let Big Government set your salary
03/30/09 On Spending and the Deficit, McCain Was Right
03/24/09 It's Obama's crisis now
03/17/09: Geithner-Obama economics: A joke that's not funny
© 2009, NEA
Richard Z. Chesnoff
Frank J. Gaffney
Victor Davis Hanson
A. Barton Hinkle
Judge A. Napolitano
Debra J. Saunders
J. D. Crowe
David Ray Skinner
Ask Doctor K