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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 12, 2010 / 2 Elul, 5770

Downsizing Defense

By Cal Thomas




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | As Republicans take their case to the voters in November about the Obama administration's massive overspending and record debt, they should seriously consider what could be a rare bipartisan objective: cutting defense spending.


Defense Secretary Robert Gates -- a George W. Bush appointee and an Obama holdover -- has announced plans to reduce what he calls the "cumbersome" American military hierarchy. Gates also wants to cut spending by more than one-quarter on support contractors and close the Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, Va., which, according to the Washington Post, "employs about 2,800 military and civilian personnel as well as 3,300 contractors, most of them in southeastern Virginia." Gates' proposal got the attention of Senator James Webb, Virginia Democrat and Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, a Republican. Closing a national security facility would cost jobs and Virginia, which recently announced a budget surplus and houses the Pentagon and other military venues, doesn't want to regress.


It is one of Washington's major embarrassments that no matter which party controls Congress, members use defense spending to create jobs and do favors for political contributors in their states and districts. But like the bipartisan Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, which operated through Republican and Democratic administrations and resulted in the closing of 350 outdated military bases, a similar approach to cutting unnecessary defense spending might also produce benefits to taxpayers.


The problem has been that the Left too often wants to cut defense for its own anti-war and political agenda and the Right thinks all defense spending is good and to cut it is unpatriotic. So how about starting with the most outrageous and unnecessary spending, which should make harder cuts a little easier?


Citizens Against Government Waste (www.cagw.org) offers some useful places to begin. In the 2010 defense budget, "$3,385,000,000 was added anonymously for four projects. According to the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007, signed into law on Sept. 14, 2007 by President George W. Bush, members of Congress are required to add their name to each earmark. However, they continue to violate this law by adding anonymous earmarks to fund projects -- often big-ticket items -- at the expense of taxpayers." Why can't Congress live under laws it passes to regulate itself?


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Another anonymous earmark for $250,000,000 was added, "For advance procurement of components for the two DDG-51 destroyers planned in fiscal year 2011. According to a Sept. 29, 2009 Associated Press article, the DDG-51 destroyer is "to be built in Pascagoula, Miss., home to Republican Sen. Thad Cochran," Ranking Member on the Appropriations Committee. "Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), John Kerry (D-Mass.), (former senator) Paul Kirk (D-Mass.) and Rep. Travis Childers (D-Miss.) added $8,100,000 for a hybrid drive system for the DDG-51 destroyer."


Spending may be Washington's last bipartisan activity.


Again anonymously, $2,500,000,000 was earmarked for "10 additional C-17 aircraft. In a floor statement posted on his website, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) voiced his opposition to the C-17 funding: 'what we would do in this bill is effectively fund the purchase of new aircraft that we neither need nor can afford with critical sustainment money. That would have a significant impact on our ability to provide the day-to-day operational funding that our servicemen and women and their families deserve.' "


It will take more than spending reductions to make the Pentagon -- and the American economy -- healthy again. Ultimately, the political leadership must develop a policy about the proper role of the United States in the world and what weapons are necessary to fight modern wars against terrorists.


President Obama has said (and so have his predecessors) that he doesn't like the pork in defense bills, but he has to sign what Congress sends him. The least he could do is to shame those members who won't attach their names to spending measures, or who support spending for weapons the Pentagon neither wants, nor needs.


Wasting money on the Department of Defense may strengthen the political careers of politicians, but it weakens our defenses.


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.


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Cal Thomas Archives

JWR contributor Cal Thomas is co-author with Bob Beckel, a liberal Democratic Party strategist, of "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America". Comment by clicking here.

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