Today President Trump will be releasing his administration’s 2018 budget document. Hold your hats and get ready for the same incessant ranting from the progressive socialist left, the Democrat Party, along with their media henchmen to decry its awfulness.
Yes, bringing back work requirements for certain entitlements is just so very hateful. The Democrats will beat their chests, Chuckie Schumer will shed more fake tears, and the liberal progressive media will issue fake news. You see, the left wants to expand the welfare nanny-state, and under the rein of Obama they did just that. They ensured more Americans were living in poverty and having to go on food stamps – record, depression era numbers. Why? Because they desire the dependency society; that’s the way they maintain a hold on power. The Democrats and liberal progressives don’t want economic empowerment for American citizens. No, they prefer economic enslavement. They want to own you, and do not be fooled, that’s what Obamacare — or their real objective, single payer healthcare is all about — control by way of dependency.
Earlier this year we shared with you the facts that Barack Obama was the first U.S. president to spend more on social welfare programs than on our defense. And it shows, and has taken a very detrimental effect physically and mentally upon our forces. Yes, I can hear them now, the leftist progressive naysayers who believe we don’t need to spend resources on our defense. They believe that we do too much.
Then ask yourself, how is it that folks cheer when their favorite sports team doles out the cash to get the best players, in order to win championships? How is it that folks revel in certain colleges and universities doling out scholarship money to get the top notch recruit in order to win championships…but we want our men and women in uniform to be treated like some doggone bargain basement sale?
I served on the House Armed Services Committee during my stint in Congress and one of my subcommittee Chairmen was Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Tx). Rep. Thornberry is now the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and he gets it. He’s been a true visionary and realizes the dangerous state of our Armed Forces, and what it bodes for the future. He’s just published a white paper entitled “Rebuilding National Security — The Price for Freedom.” Chairman Thornberry states, “It is morally wrong to task someone with a mission for which they are not fully prepared and fully supported with the best weapons and equipment this Nation can provide.”
This is a monumental change of thought from that of former U.S. Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, who stated prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom, that you go with what you have. Yes, our men and women will always answer the call, but the duty, the commitment we should have to them is to provide them the best, not bargain basement.
Chairman Thornberry’s white paper confirms what I’ve said many times.
“Since 2011, defense funding has been a pawn in the partisan back and forth over other issues and has even been held hostage for other priorities. The result: — The Army is the smallest it has been since WWII. Of the 58 remaining Army Brigade Combat Teams, only 3 could “fight tonight.”
— The U.S. Navy is the smallest it has been since WWI. Less than half the Navy’s fighter aircraft can fly as of February 2017. We have stretched deployments, keeping sailors at sea longer, and cutting the time for maintenance when ships return home. By the end of this year, 6 submarines will lose their diving certification, unable to operate. We can no longer consistently maintain an Aircraft Carrier in the Persian Gulf.
— The Air Force is the smallest and oldest it has been in its history. The Air Force is short 1,550 pilots and 4,000 mechanics. Flight hours have been reduced due to the lack of available pilots and aircraft.
— Last year, the Marine Corps lost 15 Marines to aviation mishaps. Marine Corps aviation accidents resulting in loss of life or loss of the aircraft have increased 50 percent in the last 2 years. For all of Fiscal Year 2016, the Marine Corps had 8 major aviation accidents. In the first three months of Fiscal Year 2017, the Marine Corps has already suffered 7. Last year, the Marine Corps was only able to field about 66 percent of the aircraft required by training and operational needs.”
When the budget is released and we hear the wailing and gnashing of the teeth of the Democrats, realize how morally repugnant it is. They prefer to keep Americans economically impoverished as part of their scheme, and socialism does not work, ask the folks in Venezuela.
Can it be that Democrats have little care and concern about this deplorable state of our military readiness? Since 2010, we’ve gone from a total obligational authority of defense spending in constant 2017 dollars of $768.2 billion down to $594.6 billion. However, in spite of this decrease, we still had a growth in the defense civilian bureaucracy.
Now, ask yourself, how can it be that we’re spending less, yet we see a rise in civilian bureaucracy and defense contracting? We shared with you the Defense Business Advisory Board report that was sequestered by Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work detailing the wasteful bureaucratic spending in the billions. And yet the same Robert Work who served the Obama administration is in the same position in the Trump administration. Barack Obama’s Fiscal Year 2018 Defense Budget was $584 billion, President Trump will be requesting $603 billion, the question is, where does that increase go, what does it purchase?
Chairman Thornberry has stated, if we’re serious about rebuilding our military force capability and capacity, meaning we stop running our troops, their families, and their equipment into the ground, we’ll need $640 billion. And in his white paper he lists the unfunded requirements, and none of it has to do with civilian staff and contractors.
Another critical aspect of rebuilding our defense capability is our acquisition and weapons procurement reform, which Chairman Thornberry will be introducing a piece of legislation to advance. We have an antiquated system that prohibits rapid purchase of goods at the best price because our Department of Defense is restricted to some GSA schedule. The DoD is precluded from immediate purchase of off-the-shelf items. In Fiscal Year 2015, the Pentagon spent some $274 billion through contracts, 53 percent of which was on contracted services…why? I can give firsthand witness, because DoD civilians are part of a government bureaucratic union, and you must walk the burning sands for miles to fire one. Therefore, for the sake of “efficiency” often private sector contractors are brought in with a specified scope of work to accomplish what is otherwise not being done.
We need a better defense contract audit process. In 2016, it took on average 885 days to close an incurred cost audit by the Defense Contract Audit Agency…and yes, the American taxpayer incurs that cost. Most importantly, we need an acquisition system that operates from the bottom up, providing what the Warfighter requires and requests, not top down emanating from the defense industry…and members of Congress who get campaign contributions because they keep certain providers flush with taxpayer dollars.
This is what our senior military leaders said before the House Armed Services Committee about the problems our forces face.
“It will do just that, it will increase risk to the nation and ultimately result in dead Americans on a future battlefield. Lack of 2017 appropriations and no supplemental increase in funding will significantly impact readiness and increase the risk to our force.” – Gen. Mark A. Milley, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army
“Those sailors know clearly they are sailing into harm’s way,” Richardson said. “Back here at home, there’s less evidence that we get it. There is tangible lack of urgency. We’re not doing what we should to help them win.” – Adm. John Richardson, Chief of Naval Operations
“It takes 10 years and $10 million to train a fighter pilot, and 1,000 [pilots] short equates to $1 billion in capital investment that walked out the door… Of all the things that we can do to retain pilots the most important is to get them airborne. Pilots who don’t fly, maintainers who don’t maintain, air traffic controllers that don’t control, leave.” – Gen. David Goldfein, Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force
Russia, Iran, China, North Korea, and the global Islamic jihadist threat…and we want to keep more people on welfare programs? The preeminent responsibility of our legislative branch is to “provide for this common defense” and their Article I, Section 8 duties in the Constitution are listed. Funny, I wonder if Chuck Schumer cries for the deplorable state of readiness of our military? He certainly does so for illegal immigrants.
I’ll be watching and paying attention to the unrighteous indignation and rhetoric from the liberal progressive left today. They’ll certainly clue us in to what they see as priorities. I for one, as we enter this Memorial Day weekend, care little for burying more of our Warriors, our heroes, because we didn’t provide them the tools for victory.
What are your budget priorities for this Constitutional Republic…more food stamps, or vanquishing the enemy?
[Learn more about Allen West’s vision for this nation in his book Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Faith, Family and Freedom]