reply to post by citizen6511
but it cost 1 million dollars a year to keep a soldier in Afganistan.
This is not really true.
Defense spending is a nightmare to track. You can try to average expenses - but it really is an exercise in futility. You have your entire logistics
chain that goes into supporting not just soldiers in Afghanistan, but also in Iraq. There are frequent mobilizations of reservists to Kuwait to
process military into and out of those countries (serving as customs - mostly to ensure people aren't bringing back flash-bangs, ammunition, drugs,
and other things that need not travel back to the U.S. in their luggage).
Do you count the FTS personnel supporting those reserve commands in the costs of putting a soldier in Afghanistan? Surely - their time is related -
part of their function is to ensure that the paperwork for those supporting the logistics of the war get their orders, paperwork, etc straightened
out. But they would be there whether we were fighting a war or not. Their pay would also be the same.
Our squadron is the same way - we fly missions in support of a number of different things - but the staff is there and getting paid whether there is
work to do or not. There were at least two days this past week that the four of us being paid to man an AE/AT shop had, quite literally, nothing to
do but actively find something to do to stay busy - like trying to help the AMs (who don't really want our help, but find ways to make changing a
panel last four hours... yeah - if that's all you've got to do that day... but not when you are behind on work and Maintenance Control is pitching a
fit). We still get paid whether we are there over-time to fix a gripe or just have to show up and make an appearance with nothing else to do.
In that way - you can often come up with figures where the sum of the parts is far greater than the whole of spending - or vice-versa, depending upon
how you are doing your accounting. To be honest - I'd have to discuss the issue with my friend working on his Masters' in accounting (emphasis on
auditing) to get a better understanding of how those types of things are commonly handled.
The point is - pulling 500 soldiers out of Afghanistan is not going to eliminate $500M in military spending next fiscal year.
we need police officers, firemen, our local government work force has been decimated.
if we hired these ex soldiers for profesions that our society needs, we could still save a lot of money.
I'm not going to shoot this down immediately - but you do have to consider the relative change. I'm an aviation electronics technician - an E-5
with 5 years of service. My base-pay (not including allowances for housing, food, dependents, etc) is something like $2,200/month.
I'm a reservist - I have a civilian job that replaces military income as a primary source - so I don't really get that kind of money. However, the
point I am trying to make is that America has some of the best paid military service people out there. For the most part - I don't think pay in the
military is an issue. The engine I was helping to service the other day costs more to replace than the entire squadron gets paid in three years'
time. A mistake can cost far more than the people. Sure - I feel a bit odd, coming from a civilian factory environment to a salary position while on
ADT, to get paid while there's not a whole heck of a lot going on and the command seems a bit over-staffed....
Anyway - the point is - can you afford to pay that much to firemen - or something that is going to afford me a similar quality of life in that region?
I'm coming off active duty - I probably have a family. I know more than a few people on active with two or three kids - and they can afford to
raise them in a very good quality of life. Often they are some fairly young couples - both the mother and father attend an institution of higher
education or a trade school.
Are similar benefits going to be provided?
Now - I know "we are all going to have to tighten our belt and adjust to the times" - but you're going to find that a lot of communities don't
have the means to support civil servants with that kind of additional baggage. Even if the economy were in a much healthier state. Hell - most
don't really even have the need. The only place more police are needed is in heavy urban areas - sure, military training would come in handy in
those areas where you have higher gang activity - but you don't need a division of marines storming Cabrini Green.
Further... like I said... I'm an electronics technician - what am I going to do for the police? Program their squad-car's Garmin? I say that in
jest - but I'd be little better than a rookie officer or fireman - I've had some basic training in firefighting, first aid, and am weapons-qualified
- but I'm not going to have nearly as smooth of a transition into that kind of job as, say, a Master-At-Arms or FMF Corpsman is.
at least 10 to 20 state and local positions for the price of sustaining a soldier overseas.
You're forgetting the costs that go along with fire departments and police forces. If you want to bring a techie like me into either - I would be
more than happy to go. You're looking at increasing the support for operational personnel as well with such a scheme - which means you're going to
be increasing the inventory of and updating equipment. Why shouldn't a small town of 5,000 have a police helicopter, ten fire trucks, and a
I'm exaggerating a little - but your costs are going to change if you are really wanting to employ a "more functional" set of fire/police/etc. You
can hire ten more fire fighters - but how are they going to get to the fire or fight it if they don't have more hose and ladder trucks? You can hire
a dozen more police officers, but how are they going to respond to emergencies if they don't have a patrol car? Can your armory support that many
officers, or do you need to expand? Can your current administrative department handle more officers - or do you need more clerks and investigative
personnel? Can your courts currently handle the violations?
the country is broke and needs bridges and to fix at least some pot holes.
isn't time to get out of Guantanamo, Iraq, and Afganistan?
and a hundred other places.
The whole of U.S. Military spending does not exceed 900 billion dollars for the fiscal year. That's including pay and paying retired service members
and compensation benefits as well as all operational expenses across all branches.
Medicare/Medicaid is 1.4 Trillion - with plenty of 200 and 50-ish billion dollar separate allotments for "income security" and "quality of life
assurance" programs within separate areas of the federal budget.
Just giving you a little bit of perspective, there. Waste in medicare attributed to outright fraud is estimated to be around 200 billion - +/- 50
billion or so. Unnecessary treatment is another heavy hitter that is estimated at about 150 billion. Total waste in medicare/medicaid spending is
estimated to be between some 450 billion and 650 billion (working from memory - I'm rounding those figures a lot).
About 1/2 to 2/3 of the military budget is estimated to be outright wasted within the medicare/medicaid budget. And it is the segment of the budget
with the most rapid historical and projected growth.
Yeah - the military spending structure can be reworked to save some money... but that medicare/medicaid one is the one that is going to bite us in the
ass. We can take on another two wars before we'll match medicare spending - and still not be anywhere near its rate of growth.