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Even though the Army doesn't want them, lawmakers are pressing the Pentagon to accept production of more M-1 Abrams tanks. Meanwhile, more than 2,000 gather dust at an Army depot in a California desert.

HERLONG, California (CNN) - If you need an example of why it is hard to cut the budget in Washington look no further than this Army depot in the shadow of the Sierra Nevada range.

CNN was allowed rare access to what amounts to a parking lot for more than 2,000 M-1 Abrams tanks. Here, about an hour's drive north of Reno, Nevada, the tanks have been collecting dust in the hot California desert because of a tiff between the Army and Congress.

The U.S. has more than enough combat tanks in the field to meet the nation's defense needs - so there's no sense in making repairs to these now, the Army's chief of staff Gen. Raymond T. Odierno told Congress earlier this year.

http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2012/10/09/army-to-congress-th...

Republicans want to pay even more for defense but the military doesn't want what they have.
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As the piece makes clear,

that was a bipartisan bill... both Dems and Republicans signed off on refurbishing those tanks.
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"that was a bipartisan bill... both Dems and Republicans signed off on refurbishing those tanks."

So it was a 50/50 Rep/Dem?

"To be exact, 173 House members - Democrats and Republicans - sent a letter April 20 to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, urging him to continue supporting their decision to produce more tanks.

That's right. Lawmakers who frequently and loudly proclaim that presidents should listen to generals when it comes to battlefield decisions are refusing to take its own advice.

If the U.S. pauses tank production and refurbishment it will hurt the nation's industrial economy, lawmakers say."

These politicians are all supporting their own states. Obviously they have no military reasoning behind their decisions.
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All of the "quick fix" proposals to just cut military spending overlook the reality that if the automatic "sequestration trigger" goes into effect, it will cause (estimated) a 1% increase in the national unemployment rate.

How many years has it taken to lower the unemployment rate by just 0.3%?

Consider that there are states whos economies are built on the Defense industry (Connecticut) and that the loss of that many jobs that quickly will all but send the state into bankruptcy as a major source of revenue is cut out.


Bears
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"
Consider that there are states whos economies are built on the Defense industry (Connecticut) and that the loss of that many jobs that quickly will all but send the state into bankruptcy as a major source of revenue is cut out."

The same thing happens when you lay-off federal employees. Lost jobs from anywhere cost jobs. Just because UNION defense jobs are eliminated doesn't matter. Like you say, if they can't get another job, they are just lazy.
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<i.All of the "quick fix" proposals to just cut military spending overlook the reality that if the automatic "sequestration trigger" goes into effect, it will cause (estimated) a 1% increase in the national unemployment rate.

The same could be said for reducing Medicare, Social Security, Unemployment Compensation, or even Tuition Aid. All those dollars go back into local economy.

I always get a chuckle when I encounter the republican double standard about spending, they natter away and pee and moan about the debt doomsday coming to our children, but soon as someone talks about cutting defense or raising taxes their priorities shift.
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It would be cheaper to put those workers on unemployment/welfare. As it is we are paying their salaries and benefits, PLUS we are paying for materiel (which we don't really want or need). Go straight to unemployment and you save the cost of the materiel. Eventually those folks will surely find other work and get off unemployment, and we still have the cost of the materiel.

Defense shouldn't be a welfare program for defense contractors.
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I always get a chuckle when I encounter the republican double standard about spending, they natter away and pee and moan about the debt doomsday coming to our children, but soon as someone talks about cutting defense or raising taxes their priorities shift.

I believe that the cuts would initally put some 360,000 out of work

Do we need to cut military spending ..... yes

Can it be done with the slash of a Liberal pen? .... not without destroying the country

Military spending shoulde be phased out over ... maybe decades. Honor existing contracts, reduce the spending on new purchases. Allow the industries time to cut back through retirement and slow down sizing.

No double standard

You cant cut SS and Medicare with the casual slash of a Liberal pen (or by passing a health care bill before it is even written) It must be a slowly phased in series of constructive changes.

Obama does not see it that way

Bears
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It would be cheaper to put those workers on unemployment/welfare.

Another liberal slash and burn

Why does the guy in a shipyard matter less than some guy hanging tires at GM?

Bears
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"Military spending shoulde be phased out over ... maybe decades. Honor existing contracts, reduce the spending on new purchases. Allow the industries time to cut back through retirement and slow down sizing."

As anyone can see, it's about jobs and not defense. You might as well have them make Widgets instead of having them make unused military equipment. Republicans are not smart enough to figure out how to do it.
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As anyone can see, it's about jobs and not defense. You might as well have them make Widgets instead of having them make unused military equipment. Republicans are not smart enough to figure out how to do it.

Life in the Liberal world

We need to cut military spending

Rather than phase it out, we will build an all new "Widget" industry complete with many Widget factories, Widget part suppliers,Widget income filter down to the local economy (schools, Police force, restaurants)

We will then train everyone how to make Widgets, find people who want to buy the Widgets

Cost of this ObamaWidget stimulus plan ....? Several Trillion dollars to employ people who are already employed in some indirect manner by the government

Typical Liberal thought ... move one expense from column A to column B on the same balance sheet and call it a success.

Spend several trillion (or much more) to gain nothing

No wonder we are doomed!

Bears
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"
No wonder we are doomed!"

No WE, just U

Good thing you were not smart enough to get it; otherwise you would be mistaken for a real conservative.
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No WE, just U

No, trust me, we are in fact doomed.

To much water under the bridge world wide.

Bears
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Why does the guy in a shipyard matter less than some guy hanging tires at GM?

For the record, I was against the bail-out. Other companies (like Ford) were just fine. Seemed unfair to give GM a bail-out.

However, to answer your question, it would be about utility. The guy in the shipyard building destroyers we don't need (or, better still, the TWO aircraft carriers that are planned and/or under construction, that we don't need) is, well, building crap we don't need. The GM guy is building cars for people to buy. If we take it further, the cars then enable people to go to work, go on vacations, etc. The destroyer (or aircraft carrier) goes to sea to protect us from enemies whose navies are of no consequence, that we could eliminate easily with what we already have, and sucks further funds from the government to maintain and operate.

1poorguy
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But, you wanted to put those ship workers on unemployment/welfare. They could remain there forever rather than being able to contribute to the local economy

You pull Military spending out of the State of Connecticut and it will blow up the state.

Is it right the state is so dependent? ... no

Can we do anything quickly to change it? .... no

Bears
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You pull Military spending out of the State of Connecticut and it will blow up the state.

Is it right the state is so dependent? ... no

Can we do anything quickly to change it? .... no


Fair point. I assumed (yeah, that word again!) that it wouldn't be as sudden as turning off a light switch. Cut back some this year, some next year, etc., for 5 years. Maybe 10 years. That gives them time to transition to something else.

But if I had to choose between supporting all those people AND buying their hardware that we don't need, and just supporting those people, I choose the latter because we save the cost of the useless hardware.

1poorguy
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Fair point. I assumed (yeah, that word again!) that it wouldn't be as sudden as turning off a light switch. Cut back some this year, some next year, etc., for 5 years. Maybe 10 years. That gives them time to transition to something else.


Think that was where I started

Honor existing military contracts

Then begin cutting military budget .. and reducing new contracts

At least gives a few years advanced notice to the reduction, you dont lose all the R&D benifits and there is still a future contract budget for the companies to anticipate cuts they need to make or different directions they can take

Bears
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