Protecting our most valuable 1 percent -- the U.S. military

  • Follow Opinion columns

The “1 percent” has been getting a lot of attention recently. Its members are essential to America’s interests, yet have become pawns in our politics. Both parties profess to support the 1 percent while using them to their political advantage.

In Congress, 80 percent of the members have never been part of the 1 percent. That might explain why it’s easy for them to make decisions that threaten the 1 percent’s well-being.

Who are these 1 percent under threat? Are they multimillionaires? No, they are Americans who serve in today’s military. Our military troops and national defense are under threat by a Congress that cannot seem to compromise to prevent the painful automatic cuts known as sequestration.

Starting Jan. 1, 2013, sequestration imposes $500 billion in defense cuts over the next decade. These draconian cuts were intended to force Congress’ Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to compromise and produce a deficit reduction deal. They were never intended to actually take place.

Not surprisingly, civilian and military defense leaders, and even members of Congress, have strongly condemned sequestration. Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James Amos described it as “very, very dangerous.”

THE DAMAGE done to national security aside, sequestration will lead to enormous wastes of money. For example, if military contracts are pre-emptively cancelled, termination clauses require payment even if no work is done.

To head off sequestration, Congress needs to approve a plan to produce the same deficit reduction with a combination of spending cuts and revenue increases.

The Republicans want to fix the sequestration problem with spending cuts only. But Democrats agreed to the Republicans’ demand in 2011 to no increases in revenue during the debt-ceiling deficit reduction process. They will not accept that deal again.

The Democrats propose to eliminate sequestration through a combination of spending cuts and revenue increases. President Obama told Democrats they will have to accept entitlement cuts in exchange for Republicans accepting revenue increases.

Republicans now face a very difficult choice: Stick with their position of no revenue increases and cause a self-induced defense funding crisis, or accept revenue increases and maintain adequate defense spending.

REPUBLICANS HAVE countered that since the president is the commander-in-chief, he has the responsibility to protect the military, and therefore he should accept their plan. Thinking that Republicans can be absolved of responsibility for national defense is nonsense. Republicans need to be part of the solution.

Republican leaders should make the choice to protect the military by accepting revenue
increases along with spending cuts.

Republicans, independents and many Democrats would applaud a Republican leadership that compromises on taxes to defend the military. Such a move would bring the Republican leadership in line with more than 60 percent of American voters who believe that increased revenues need to be part of a solution for our fiscal imbalance.

Those Republicans who now believe in no revenue increases would agree to increased revenues if it meant preserving a strong military.

Republican U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia has been a national leader in formulating a rational plan to control the deficit. He has articulated clearly how sequestration damages national security and Georgia’s defense industry. He would replace sequestration with a balanced plan of spending cuts and increased revenue from an overhaul of the tax code to include lower rates and reduced loopholes.

Republican leaders should follow Chambliss’ lead and protect our most valuable 1 percent.

(The writer is a retired U.S. Navy officer. He lives and writes in Savannah.)

Comments (11)

Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
omnomnom
3964
Points
omnomnom 09/30/12 - 06:08 am
4
6

these cuts are hardly

these cuts are hardly draconian. quite frankly the military is a BIG part of the problem when it comes to deficit spending (<3 ya reagan!).

All these talks of cuts cuts cuts mean nothing if the military isn't included. Eats up a big ol chunk of the budget the military does.

Ga Values
27
Points
Ga Values 09/30/12 - 07:22 am
6
0

Since Saxby regurarly sells

Since Saxby regurarly sells out vote to the highest bidder, I can't think he knows what the right thing to do is. Georgia needs to vote out the RINO SAXBY

soapy_725
43306
Points
soapy_725 09/30/12 - 07:55 am
0
0

The wars need to stop, not resources for

Unpublished

our military men and women. The wars are where the cuts need to come and fast. But politicians fool you by declaring you cannot separate wounded warriors from the "power hungry political wars mongers in DC". It would be UnAmerican and ungodly. And it would cut into the politicians fortunes. The politicians create the wars, politicians benefit from wars, politicians blame wars for deficits and American military men and women die.

omnomnom
3964
Points
omnomnom 09/30/12 - 08:23 am
3
0

2,000th death of a u.s.

2,000th death of a u.s. serviceman stationed in afghanistan.

... how can we best protect them ...

oldsarge
5
Points
oldsarge 09/30/12 - 09:23 am
3
1

protecting the force

I am a retired First Sergeant and also have two sons serving in harms way. I have voted for the GOP for many years and will do so in the upcoming election. I would support raising taxes on those making more than $250,000 simply because they can afford it, not because of any other reason. I have watched the OBAMA administration make an all out assault on military retirees and their families. They want to QUADRUPLE our TRICARE health care premiums, they want to take away or reduce our commisssary benefits, and cut retirement benefits for future soldiers. Well my sons have over 3 years each serving in combat for their country. They're not the same young men that they were in 2001. Tell that retiring NCO that we appreciate your service and your sacrifice but we're tripling the cost of your health care because you and your family are a burden to the taxpayers. Protecting the military from cuts means not only protecting the number of tanks, ships, and planes, but the troops and retirees as well. I would not recommend a military career to any young man or woman because of pending cuts in miltary benefits. Do one tour and get out.

Jon Lester
2208
Points
Jon Lester 09/30/12 - 12:51 pm
1
4

If it's the actual personnel you care about

then you should take issue with such things as drone attacks on Pakistani wedding parties, congressional efforts to build more F-35's than the Pentagon even wants, a 10-year $750 billion nuclear armament upgrade (ten times what Russia expects to spend over the same period), and an unnecessary Asia-Pacific strategic buildup that serves only to antagonize China, which is not an expansionist power to begin with. There is no reason why any of these things should have priority over the VA, and if anyone suggests otherwise, it's time to question what they really stand for.

Sargebaby
4690
Points
Sargebaby 09/30/12 - 07:48 pm
4
1

"Eats up a big ol chunk of

"Eats up a big ol chunk of the budget the military does."

Yep, and it protects your right to say something like this. Liberals have always tried to weaken our Nations Defense force. If these cuts are allowed to take place, one should learn to speak and understand Arabic, Chinese, and Russian. You'll need one of them for sure!

KSL
105367
Points
KSL 09/30/12 - 08:55 pm
2
1

Probably Chinese

My father attended an Ivy League school in the 40's. His education was interrupted by a war, so I don't know when he took a course in which his professor stated with authority that China would be in the future the significant enemy of our country. He told me this in the 60's when everyone was worried about a possible war with Russia, probably around the time of the Cuban missile crisis. The professor had actually said WW3, I there is one, it would be us against China.

fedex227
8407
Points
fedex227 09/30/12 - 09:41 pm
2
2

Lest we forget as was so well articulated in this article.

"Republicans want to fix the sequestration problem with spending cuts only" ... "Democrats propose to eliminate sequestration through a combination of spending cuts and revenue increases."

Who are the ones unwilling to compromise? Thank you Tea Party for bringing our government to a screeching halt.

allhans
21921
Points
allhans 10/01/12 - 01:21 am
1
0

It's a shame we have a leader

It's a shame we have a leader who is so detached that he doesn't get involved in the problems we are facing. One of Obama subordinates said just today that it is not Obama's failure to lead that is the problem, after all he doesn't have time to deal with Congress and sends Biden to do the job...
No excuse is too miserable for the administration to use.

longleafpine
3689
Points
longleafpine 10/01/12 - 03:35 am
1
0

To all,

There is a SPENDING problem, not a revenue problem. Raising taxes and spending more for more BIG government is what dems do best. We need smaller government and less taxing. Spending MUST be cut and unnecessary and redundent government agencies need to be reduced in size or elminated completely. The military is not one of them. I have a daughter and grandson who have served in harms way and they protect even those who speak unkindly of them.

Gary Ross
3346
Points
Gary Ross 10/02/12 - 02:55 pm
0
0

How can we speak of any

How can we speak of any solution when we don't even have a national budget?

Back to Top

Top headlines

Regents approve tuition hikes

DAHLONEGA, Ga. - Tuition is going up for Georgia students at all 31 state colleges and universities under a budget plan approved Tuesday by the state Board of Regents, including the largest ...
Loading...