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Columnist proves she is ‘spoiled’

April 15, 2013

Editor, OBSERVER: I would like to comment on the column by Froma Harrop in the OBSERVER (March 7) headlined “Is the sequester that awful....

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225522

Apr-27-13 8:12 PM

Thank you Richard for stepping up. Good work.

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concerned

Apr-19-13 8:18 PM

darkstar you are right just shows that China gets more bang for their bucks!

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DarkStar

Apr-18-13 11:55 AM

Cont from below:

In addition to those points you run into fact that everything the Chinese military does will be considerably less expensive then it is in the US. On individual solder will not only be paid far more in the US Army then in the Chinese Army, but it will cost more to train, feed, house, care for, transport him, and equip him.

Now, this isn't to say that our current spending level is justified, I'm just showing that comparing military spending between nations isn't as clear cut as it appears.

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DarkStar

Apr-18-13 11:43 AM

concerned,

Your posts raises a few interrelated issues.

Let's compare the US to China's newest fighter aircraft as examples.

The US sunk huge amounts int o R&D to design the technologies that allowed the development of the F22 & JSF. China on the otherhand mainly used espionage to get what was needed to design theirs.

Then when it's time to build an aircraft the US has a highly skilled and high paid workforce specially trained just for that task. China on the otherhand owns the factory and pays it's workers next to nothing and while the aircraft might not be the equal to the US version they can pump out several for each US aircraft produced.

Now on to the pilots, the US invests millions into training it's pilots and goes to great lengths to ensure their survival. China on the otherhand views all of their military personel as expendable and thus the average pilot recieves far less training.

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DarkStar

Apr-18-13 7:18 AM

stangv8,

Exactly, although I was pointing out that much of the spending isn't requested by the DoD and is mandated by Congress, which is the same group we would expect to cut the fat but leave the muscle in the DoD's budget.

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stangv8

Apr-17-13 8:17 PM

DarkStar, here's one for you. Back in the 70's, the Air Force spent $40,000 to determine that male members can carry a black umbrella in their left hand while in uniform. I told my supervisor I would have made that determination for them for only 50 bucks.

Military waste is astronomical. I lived that first hand for a long time and have posted some of the examples here in the past.

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concerned

Apr-17-13 6:44 PM

Judeye these experts you say can estimate other countries spending are they the same experts who swore Iraq had WMD"S? If you honestly believe anyone can tell the true military spend of nations like China and Russia then you must also believe in the tooth fairy!

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DarkStar

Apr-17-13 2:34 PM

A few examples of political spending in the DoD budget in recent years:

- Funded a study of the color of feathers of prehistoric birds.

- Funded a study on the use of slang on Twitter

- Funded a study on what the behavior of fish can tell us about democracy

- Funded a study to evaluate when the best time to take a coffee break and to develop and app for it.

- Funded SETI

- Funded a study to observer the reaction of babies to robots.

- Since Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs started in the early 90's it has mandated that billions be spent on non-military related medical research such as breast cancer research ($1.2 billion in 2012 alone.) In fact the DoD spends over $45 million a year just to oversee this mandated spending.

- Has more renewable energy initiatives ongoing that the Department of Energy.

This doesn't even touch the duplication of research or the 1500 Chevy Volt the DoD "decided" to buy.

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DarkStar

Apr-17-13 1:41 PM

The problem isn't that the defense department couldn't provide sufficient security to our country and it's interest for less money, it's that any cuts will be made by a group of politicians whose main concern isn't national defense, but maintaining their position and power.

Consider the OV-22 Osprey, neither the DoD or any of the branches of our military wanted it yet Congress spent over $50 billion on it simply because it's development and construction was spread across many Congressional districts.

Another example, from last year (or was it the year before that) was funding to develop and un-needed and unrequested alternative engine for the Joint Strike Fighter, which isn't even deployed yet.

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whoseits

Apr-17-13 8:49 AM

THE GOVERMENT BITE'S OFF IT'S NOSE TO SPITE IT'S FACE.THE GOVT. IS ALWAYS IN A HURRY TO MAKE CUTS AND PUT THE BURDEN ON THE BACKS OF THE PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY.THEY WANT TO CUT SS. MEDOCIARE BECOMES A PROBLEM FOR EVERYONE.LARGE CUTS IN DOMISTIC SPENDING. HOW ABOUT IF THE GOVERMENT PUTS THE BRAKES ON FOREIGN AID.SUCH AS LETS PROMISE EGYPT $250,BILLION IN AID FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH.WHAT IS THE PROBLEM WITH GIVING THAT MONEY FOR OUR OWN GROWTH.IF THIS WOULD HAPPEN SS ,MEDICARE AND A LOT OF OTHER PROBLEMS WITH SEQUESTER WOULD NOT HAPPEN .HOW ABOUT WE COME FRIST EVERYONE ELSE SECOND,AND NO NEED TO RAISE TAX'S.

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stangv8

Apr-16-13 10:37 PM

Judeye, we have fewer nukes, ships, and weapons today than we had 23 years ago. Twenty three years ago, we had a fleet of over 300 B-52’s; today we have about 77. Since 1989, over 350 military instillations have been closed by the BRAC. In 1990, the US Navy had 570 warships and in 2011, the number was down to 285. Where did all that savings go since 1990? It didn’t pay down the debt because Clinton took around 2 trillion from Social Security to do that. That savings went into social programs; the programs you say aren’t funded enough. You say we spend 6-7 times more than the next highest spender. Who is that next highest spender? Is it Russia or China? How much of their GDP is spend on defense compared to ours?

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judeye

Apr-16-13 8:17 AM

Defense spending of all countries is available. Yes you can google it. They have experts that can estimate the amounts, just like they can estimate how many bombs, warheads, nukes, etc that a country has.

It might be in the Constitution for defense spending, but HOW much do we need? We already spend 6-7 times more than the next highest spender on defense. How many more nukes, ships, weapons do you really think we need before we have enough?

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stangv8

Apr-16-13 7:36 AM

Marcia, maybe the Soviet Union collapsed but Russia is still here. The Soviet Union was noting but puppet states that supported Russia. The Russians are back to their Cold War cat and mouse games with the US. Their bombers are probing US Airspace again and this past summer, a Russian attack submarine, armed with long range cruise missiles, went undetected in the Gulf of Mexico for several months. It wasn’t until it was leaving that it was detected. The Chinese are engaged in a massive military buildup. Six years back one of their submarines went undetected and surfaced in the middle of the USS Kitty Hawk battle group within striking distance of the carrier. And, you and Judy need to understand that National Defense is constitutionally mandated; government programs to provide for your needs are not.

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concerned

Apr-15-13 10:21 PM

judeye where did you get your information on china's budget if it is on the internet? Do you believe everything you see on the internet? I really doubt that China or Russia give out that info so stop made up figures to support your opinions!

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Conrad

Apr-15-13 2:28 PM

Mr. MaKuch says that Froma Harrop is not a real American and has a liberal attitude. I wonder, is a 'real American' only a Christian Conservative? Maybe we should set up a Christian theocracy. No freedom of speech then. Is that what Mr. MaKuch really wants.

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Marcia

Apr-15-13 9:42 AM

The US spends way too much on defense. First of all, by posting troops all over the world, in places such as Europe and Asia, we are adhering to the cold war mentality to protect the world from communism. And yet, the Soviet Union collapsed almost 25 years ago, and China is hardly likely to attack a country that supports their economy so handily. These countries must be made to take up their own defense and not put it on the backs of the American people. Also, many legislators spend billions on planes, ships, etc. the the pentagon does not want or need to create jobs in their home areas. Both of these things should stop, which would save billions.

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Christopher

Apr-15-13 9:32 AM

"We need leaders with real backbone to stand up for the working people. Seems like more and more is being asked of us and yet fewer and fewer benefits for our sacrifices." Unfortunately, the Democrats are supposed to be those people, and haven't been in years and years, maybe decades. I said it before, and will again, in my estimation President Obama is in over his head, and might be the most ineffective president since Jimmy Carter.

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judeye

Apr-15-13 8:02 AM

"I think Obama showed a total lack of nerve, intelligence and integrity by agreeing to the "chaining" of Social Security benefits."

I agree and I did work to help get Obama elected. I still support him as I think he just might be playing a very good game of chess. Yet, ss and medicare should NEVER be on the table for negotiations and cuts. There is NO need. It does not add to the deficit. There is money in there right now. To get more money into ss just raise the income threshold for paying into it.

We need leaders with real backbone to stand up for the working people. Seems like more and more is being asked of us and yet fewer and fewer benefits for our sacrifices.

Get the money out of our ballot boxes so the voices of the people can be heard over the sound of money.

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judeye

Apr-15-13 7:56 AM

The USA spends the more on defense spending than any other country..MUCH more. In fact our military budget is 6 to 7 times higher than that of China. Our military budget in fact is larger than the next 20 largest military spenders COMBINED. Yet, some think that is not large enough?

Name calling is at the core of the problems in our country. You do not believe what she wrote so now she is not even an American? Our country was based on disagreements, debates, and compromises. It is good for democracy. Name calling and feeling like you are better than those you disagree with do not help to move our country forward to address the real issues and challenges facing us ALL.

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Christopher

Apr-15-13 7:41 AM

By the way, I think Obama showed a total lack of nerve, intelligence and integrity by agreeing to the "chaining" of Social Security benefits. But then I was against him becoming president to begin with.

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Christopher

Apr-15-13 7:39 AM

No doubt, The Blue Angels not flying is placing us in GREAT danger!!! I love how those who want to cut government always want to do it on the backs of the most needy while leaving the biggest drains on the economy and those who can most afford it alone. It was the REPUBLICANS who demanded the "chaining" of Social Security, for example. Obama is only guilty of agreeing to it in order to get SOME cooperation from the "Party of No".

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