Hurt by the sequester


George Washington “..overgrown military establishments, which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to Republican Liberty.”

Eisenhower: “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

Concerned about our combat readiness?

So, have you visited any of your golf courses lately? What golf courses. you say? Well, you and I own more than 170 golf courses worldwide. Presumably, we also pay for upkeep of the clubhouses, the greens, and perhaps, even the bartender; not only here, such as the beautiful one at the Air Force Academy, but I understand the one in Dubai is pretty spectacular, too. Then there are the personal planes, the chauffeurs, the cars and the other amenities that accrue to flag officers. Incidentally, the number of these officers has grown by about 100 since 2001. What do all those generals and admirals do? Many of them never move out from behind a desk, spending their time lobbying congress for more money to increase “combat readiness.” The only thing they command is attention, by their ostentatious lifestyles. Perhaps budget cuts are needed to remind them that they are soldiers, not princes. If you thought $75 hammers and $600 toilets were a thing of the past, you haven’t been paying attention. Congress members are only too happy to buy whatever new armored vehicle or plane that would be manufactured in their district, whether or not the military needs or even wants it. Any surplus, the Pentagon simply gives away, and that is why you can find a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle in the sheriff’s department at a tiny place like Bastrop, Texas.

Perhaps you have not noticed the quiet militarization of some law enforcement units, but you may be sure that once the police departments have military vehicles and weapons, it is only a matter of time before they will use them against our children. Young people do have a tendency to disturb the peace with their rowdy parties and protests.

Also, I’m pretty sure it’s been a while since we had to defend against Santa Anna, or even Quantrill’s raiders, so why do we need 10 army bases in Texas?

I will tell you why. Texas historically is not kind to those who don’t own gas wells, pipelines, refineries, or thousands of acres of ranch land.

Consequently, many Texans must rely upon “Uncle Sugar” to provide them with a means to earn a living, and for them the U.S. government is the only job creator. How many times now have we been told that the sequester cuts hurt the Pentagon most of all?

No doubt you are already aware that the sequester cuts do not apply to any overseas operations. There is also in the budget an item called “Overseas and Contingent Operations (OCO). Congress can move any amount of money into that account and funnel it wherever they wish. After all, one can always find a “contingency.”

We currently already spend more on equipment and personnel (and golf courses) than the entire gross domestic product of Australia. One F35 plane costs $1 trillion, a C-27 cargo plane costs $1.6 billion, an Abrams A-1 tank costs $400 million, an A-10 Thunderbolt costs $212 million.

Just a little something to keep in mind the next time we hear someone whining about how our “combat readiness” is hurt by the sequester.

Lola Johnson