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paintgun
06 Jan 12,, 12:41
The Future Military: Your Budget Strategy

The Pentagon has committed to $450 billion in reduced spending over the next 10 years, but may have to come up with a total of $1 trillion in cuts if Congress follows through with deeper reductions. Make your own plan to reduce the budget by choosing some of the most common, interesting or provocative cuts that have been proposed by various parties.

The Future Military: Your Budget Strategy - Interactive Feature - NYTimes.com (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/01/02/us/you-cut-the-defense-budget.html)

zraver
07 Jan 12,, 03:58
I cut 101%
101% of $450 billion goal

Category
Cuts
Pct.
Benefits
$111
24%
Salaries
$88
19%
Personnel
$73
16%
Weapons
$8
2%
Nuclear, Missile
-
-
Operations, Maint.
$174
38%

Chunder
09 Jan 12,, 02:47
I only Managed 65%
Cutting 15% of ground forces
Attrition of Pentagon Civilian staff
Cutting the number of people based overseas.

I have left long lead items off the chopping block. They are just as important as investing in R&D IMO.

bonehead
13 Jan 13,, 22:37
I only cut 304 billion/67%

Benefits 6.7 2%

Salaries 16 5%

Personnel 73 24%

Weapons 46 15%

Nuclear 43 14%

Operations,Maint 120 39%



The "All or nothing" choices are brutal. You should be able to cut some parts of programs without gutting the whole thing. Case in point, "close defense department elementary/secondary schools" When there are viable alternatives then cut. If not then the school should stay but these decisions must be case by case, not all or nothing.

wellman
17 Jan 13,, 02:20
I did 118% by cutting troop levels. what exactly are the problems with cutting troop levels so much? I mean other then the fact you are simply firing people, I don't see how it can be that bad.
all current weapons projects would be kept. but the main reason I did not cut anything else was simply lack of knowledge. So if someone would educate me on the subject I would be most
appreciative.

TopHatter
17 Jan 13,, 03:35
I did pretty good I suppose

102% of $450 billion goal

Benefits $78 17%

Salaries $16 3%

Personnel $73 16%

Weapons $44 10%

Nuclear, Missile $39 9%

Operations, Maint. $208 45%

Officer of Engineers
17 Jan 13,, 04:40
Horse puckey!!!!

This freaking site ignores the primary cost - cut the fucking missions!!!!!

USSWisconsin
17 Jan 13,, 05:04
Your cuts
$543billion
121% of $450 billion goal

CategoryCutsPct.
Benefits $119 22%
Salaries $16 3%
Personnel $220 41%
Weapons $51 9%
Nuclear, Missile $39 7%
Operations, Maint. $981 8%

TopHatter
17 Jan 13,, 16:35
I did 118% by cutting troop levels. what exactly are the problems with cutting troop levels so much? I mean other then the fact you are simply firing people, I don't see how it can be that bad.
all current weapons projects would be kept. but the main reason I did not cut anything else was simply lack of knowledge. So if someone would educate me on the subject I would be most
appreciative.
There's a whole laundry list of problems with deep troop cuts, but to get you started:

Because you'll wind up with 10 missions and only enough troops to cover 5 of them.

zraver
19 Jan 13,, 00:24
149% 669 Billion



Category
Cuts
Pct.
Benefits
$295
44%
Salaries
$88
13%
Personnel
$73
11%
Weapons
$8
1%
Nuclear, Missile
-
-
Operations, Maint.
$206
31%

bonehead
19 Jan 13,, 07:18
There's a whole laundry list of problems with deep troop cuts, but to get you started:

Because you'll wind up with 10 missions and only enough troops to cover 5 of them.

That I can live with...we prioritize.
Sending troops into harms way without the training, materials, weapons, support, follow up care afterwards is where I draw the line. War isn't cheap and our troops are not disposable.

zraver
19 Jan 13,, 13:29
That I can live with...we prioritize.
Sending troops into harms way without the training, materials, weapons, support, follow up care afterwards is where I draw the line. War isn't cheap and our troops are not disposable.

Cut pay and benefits for troops and increase combat pay. Our troops are not disposable but neither do they deserve the level of pay they get when not actually fighting. A married E-1 stationed at Ft Leonard Wood gets over $2700 a month in direct compensation plus another 6-800 a month in indirect compensation. $42000 a year in direct and indirect compensation, plus the GI Bill for an 18yo kid with no real skills or responsibilities... That is more than a lot of cops get paid and the cops face a lot more danger day in and day out. Its breaking our military budget.

Gun Grape
20 Jan 13,, 04:02
Cut pay and benefits for troops and increase combat pay. Our troops are not disposable but neither do they deserve the level of pay they get when not actually fighting. A married E-1 stationed at Ft Leonard Wood gets over $2700 a month in direct compensation plus another 6-800 a month in indirect compensation. $42000 a year in direct and indirect compensation, plus the GI Bill for an 18yo kid with no real skills or responsibilities... That is more than a lot of cops get paid and the cops face a lot more danger day in and day out. Its breaking our military budget.

Break that down for me.

I'm getting different numbers.

I'll also disagree with cops facing more danger day in and day out. Most cops will go their whole career without ever drawing a weapon.

Its not the base pay thats killing the military budget. Its health care.

USSWisconsin
20 Jan 13,, 04:40
A soldier joins the service early in their life and puts in their 20 yrs, then starts to draw retirement - they might be > 40 years old, and then draw retirement pay and benifits for another 40 yrs. In civiliain life, retirement starts at 65 or so - most likely they'll only draw retirement for less than half the time. There's a big difference in how much they cost (and both are expensive). Can we afford it? I believe we'd need to make any changes going forward, it wouldn't be fair to break the contract already made with soldiers already in the system.

zraver
20 Jan 13,, 11:48
Break that down for me.

I'm getting different numbers.

base pay + separate rations + housing allowance (used Ft Leonard Wood)= direct compensations
used average price of a civilian family health insurance plan to get an idea of indirect compensation.


I'll also disagree with cops facing more danger day in and day out. Most cops will go their whole career without ever drawing a weapon.

And outside of a combat zone most troops don't even see a weapon... I've got no problem boosting pay when the danger is actually present, but paying an 18yo kid better than his parents when he is stateside.... come on.


Its not the base pay thats killing the military budget. Its health care.

Its personnel costs overall. Base pay is part of the problem as is health care and other types of compensation.

zraver
20 Jan 13,, 11:50
A soldier joins the service early in their life and puts in their 20 yrs, then starts to draw retirement - they might be > 40 years old, and then draw retirement pay and benifits for another 40 yrs. In civiliain life, retirement starts at 65 or so - most likely they'll only draw retirement for less than half the time. There's a big difference in how much they cost (and both are expensive). Can we afford it? I believe we'd need to make any changes going forward, it wouldn't be fair to break the contract already made with soldiers already in the system.

Honor the contracts going forward, but we need to change when new recruits are promised or we will end up with a military like the UK- ever shrinking...

Gun Grape
20 Jan 13,, 23:42
base pay + separate rations + housing allowance (used Ft Leonard Wood)= direct compensations
used average price of a civilian family health insurance plan to get an idea of indirect compensation.

SO when you make these comparisons, are you including workmans comp for the cop? or what the employer pays for insurance? If I have a employee that earns $12.00 in overall compensation it will cost me around 60K.

That young E-1 to E-3 doesn't seem so burdensome.






And outside of a combat zone most troops don't even see a weapon... I've got no problem boosting pay when the danger is actually present, but paying an 18yo kid better than his parents when he is stateside.... come on.

So will you change everyones pay to that? Cops will get paid less except when they are involved in a shootout?

This "Troops are more valuable when they are getting shot at" is bullshit. The young E-2 working at finance back in Kansas City is just as important as the 11 bullet stopper. You don't pay him less because he isn't in harms way. He makes sure that that young kid in the combat zone is payed correctly, and that the deployed soldiers wife can pay the bills and not get thrown out of their apartment. IOW he allows that young deployed soldier to focus on the mission.



Its personnel costs overall. Base pay is part of the problem as is health care and other types of compensation.

Base pay falls close to the average civilian salary. Unless you want to start paying by MOS. You will always have some fields that are over payed and some that are underpaid.

(edit) I will add that in the last few years with civilian pay taking a huge hit the military has done well. According to the CBO the average pay for the military is 6K per year higher that a civilian with the same level of experience and education

zraver
21 Jan 13,, 00:24
SO when you make these comparisons, are you including workmans comp for the cop? or what the employer pays for insurance? If I have a employee that earns $12.00 in overall compensation it will cost me around 60K.

That young E-1 to E-3 doesn't seem so burdensome.

Add in all those indirect costs to the E-1 and he does. I only added indirect compensation, not indirect costs.


So will you change everyones pay to that? Cops will get paid less except when they are involved in a shootout?

Nice twisting of my words, I said combat zone not shoot out. Every day at work has the potential for violence for the police ie combat zone. I said nothing about specific actions.


This "Troops are more valuable when they are getting shot at" is bullshit. The young E-2 working at finance back in Kansas City is just as important as the 11 bullet stopper. You don't pay him less because he isn't in harms way.

Actually we do and its calld hazardous/combat duty pay. For enlisted its an extra $7.50 a day/ $225 a month.


He makes sure that that young kid in the combat zone is payed correctly, and that the deployed soldiers wife can pay the bills and not get thrown out of their apartment. IOW he allows that young deployed soldier to focus on the mission.

He is a clerk...


Base pay falls close to the average civilian salary. Unless you want to start paying by MOS. You will always have some fields that are over payed and some that are underpaid.

First you were adding indirect cost, now you are ignoring added compensation. Median, base weekly income for the E-1's age group is 449wk. That is before the cost of health insurance.

Compare to the married E-1 example I gave which is 1000 a month mor ein direct compensation plus the free health care for another 6-800 in value or more than 2x the civilian side.


(edit) I will add that in the last few years with civilian pay taking a huge hit the military has done well. According to the CBO the average pay for the military is 6K per year higher that a civilian with the same level of experience and education

Hence the freeze in the pay and benefit increases. Its breaking our military. Health care costs alone eat up almost half of the defense budget, though I am wary of citing that number as a solid fact until we no longer have streams of injured and wounded warriors being flown to our hospitals from a war zone. A large amount of that high number of health care could simply be a war cost we have to absorb.

Gun Grape
21 Jan 13,, 04:03
Nice twisting of my words, I said combat zone not shoot out. Every day at work has the potential for violence for the police ie combat zone. I said nothing about specific actions.

Actually we do and its calld hazardous/combat duty pay. For enlisted its an extra $7.50 a day/ $225 a month.

Not all police officers have the same potential for violence as someone in a combat zone. There is an average of 150 police officers killed per year. And most of those occur in cities that have a higher base salary than your 18yr old married E-1. At the 6 month mark a NYPD officer makes $46,288. (time in grade to make E-2) The E-2 single MP will make 20,397.

And that combat pay almost makes up for the commuted rations that the E-1 lost for being deployed. ( Not all services take away comrats when deployed)


He is a clerk... and his job is just as important as the 11b in a combat zone.


First you were adding indirect cost, now you are ignoring added compensation. Median, base weekly income for the E-1's age group is 449wk. That is before the cost of health insurance.

Compare to the married E-1 example I gave which is 1000 a month mor ein direct compensation plus the free health care for another 6-800 in value or more than 2x the civilian side.

And you are taking someone that isn't within the norm (married 18 yr old) and comparing them to a regular 18 yr old. The average age of a persons first marriage is 28 for males and 26 for females.

compare the 18 yr old unmarried E-1 for a better comparison. He receives 1516.20 in pay does not receive comrats or BEQ. So he makes 18,194 a year. Or around 379 a week




Hence the freeze in the pay and benefit increases. Its breaking our military. Health care costs alone eat up almost half of the defense budget, though I am wary of citing that number as a solid fact until we no longer have streams of injured and wounded warriors being flown to our hospitals from a war zone. A large amount of that high number of health care could simply be a war cost we have to absorb.

The health care cost has less to do with active duty, although changes need to be made there. Its us retired folks that are eating up the health care cost. This was the first year that Tricare has had an increase in premium since 1996.

zraver
21 Jan 13,, 04:28
Not all police officers have the same potential for violence as someone in a combat zone. There is an average of 150 police officers killed per year. And most of those occur in cities that have a higher base salary than your 18yr old married E-1. At the 6 month mark a NYPD officer makes $46,288. (time in grade to make E-2) The E-2 single MP will make 20,397.[/qute]

NYPD isn't exactly a representative example.

[quot]And that combat pay almost makes up for the commuted rations that the E-1 lost for being deployed. ( Not all services take away comrats when deployed)
and his job is just as important as the 11b in a combat zone.

IMO, combat pay should be a premium, not a replacement.


And you are taking someone that isn't within the norm (married 18 yr old) and comparing them to a regular 18 yr old. The average age of a persons first marriage is 28 for males and 26 for females.

Marriage is more common in the service since there is a direct financial incentive to get married.


compare the 18 yr old unmarried E-1 for a better comparison. He receives 1516.20 in pay does not receive comrats or BEQ. So he makes 18,194 a year. Or around 379 a week

housing and rations allowance work out to about the same in compensation since the unmarried private is getting room and board.


The health care cost has less to do with active duty, although changes need to be made there. Its us retired folks that are eating up the health care cost. This was the first year that Tricare has had an increase in premium since 1996.

OK, I'll take your word for it.

Gun Grape
21 Jan 13,, 04:56
The first thing that needs to be done IRT cutting the defense budget is exactly what OoE stated. We need to define the missions that we will do. And quit starting never ending missions.

Next we look at major end items and capabilities. Look at what is in the pipeline, what it is replacing and how many we need.

And look at personnel cost. But its easy to grab onto personnel cost in this time of economic downturn and see that as the easy way to save money. We did the same thing in the late 70s.
And some of us are old enough to remember what pay was like after. It took a few years of double digit percentage raises to bring us up to being close to civilian wages. Recruitment and retention were so bad that there was serious talk of a peacetime draft.

As for retirement benefits, as a percentage wise its not a killer. Less than 1% of the US population have served in the military. Of those that serve less than 17% will make it to retirement (20-30yrs).
My retirement check after 21.5 years is enough to make my vehicle payment but in no way off sets the difference in pay between me and an average person my age in the same job. He has over 20 years of experience and I was like that 18 yr old just coming out of high school/ or that recent college grad with no experience in the "real world".

Gun Grape
22 Jan 13,, 23:17
I'm making a list of things I would cut/consolidate and will post them at a later date.

But a quick pay/personnel that I would do, instead going after the E-2's pay, is call the SecDef in and ask questions such as this:

The US Navy has 285 ships. Could you explain how the Navy can justify the 336 Admirals they have on active duty?

I could assign an Admiral to every ship, from tugboat to CVN and still have 51 Admirals to spare.

zraver
22 Jan 13,, 23:59
I'm making a list of things I would cut/consolidate and will post them at a later date.

But a quick pay/personnel that I would do, instead going after the E-2's pay, is call the SecDef in and ask questions such as this:

The US Navy has 285 ships. Could you explain how the Navy can justify the 336 Admirals they have on active duty?

I could assign an Admiral to every ship, from tugboat to CVN and still have 51 Admirals to spare.

That seems high but is it?

6 numbered fleets = 6 admirals each min (commander, XO, +4 for the shops)
1 admiral per carrier group
1 admiral min per regional command
2 admirals per major installations
2 admirals min per major sub commands like training, air operations submarines, science etc.

I think the number could climb very rapidly.

Also another source says the navy has 254 flag officers but 340 when combined with the USMC.

While I agree that the number is probably high, after all the navy has added 36 flag officers since 2001. I doubt its a real budget buster, Overall since the beginning of the GWOT the US military has added 93 flag officers.

Gun Grape
23 Jan 13,, 00:29
I got my numbers from here

Navy.mil Leadership Biographies (http://www.navy.mil/navydata/bios/bio_list.asp)

336 navy only.

zraver
23 Jan 13,, 00:46
I got my numbers from here

Navy.mil Leadership Biographies (http://www.navy.mil/navydata/bios/bio_list.asp)

336 navy only.

Hrmmm, that is almost a hundred more than the law allowed in 2011.

Chogy
23 Jan 13,, 14:36
The Pentagon spends more than $300 million a year on what are now 154 military bands. Historically bands offered morale to troops on the battlefield. This proposal would cut their funding by two-thirds.

$300,000,000?? I am having trouble with that number.

154 bands... let's say the average band is 12 troops. That is 1,848 band members. $300,000,000 / 1,848 = $162,000 in pay, benefits, etc, per band member.

They could probably reduce the number of bands to 30 or so.

TopHatter
23 Jan 13,, 17:49
$300,000,000?? I am having trouble with that number.

154 bands... let's say the average band is 12 troops. That is 1,848 band members. $300,000,000 / 1,848 = $162,000 in pay, benefits, etc, per band member.

That figure does sound just a bit dodgy, although I'm sure it also includes things like travel expenses, instruments etc.

Gun Grape
23 Jan 13,, 20:34
$300,000,000?? I am having trouble with that number.

154 bands... let's say the average band is 12 troops. That is 1,848 band members. $300,000,000 / 1,848 = $162,000 in pay, benefits, etc, per band member.

They could probably reduce the number of bands to 30 or so.

The portion of the 2d Marine Div band that played at my retirement consisted of 45 Marines.

TopHatter
23 Jan 13,, 23:07
The portion of the 2d Marine Div band that played at my retirement consisted of 45 Marines.
No arty salute? :confused:






:Dancing-Banana:

Gun Grape
24 Jan 13,, 01:38
Heck no. Those guns are way to noisy. My hearing was bad enough already :biggrin:

TopHatter
24 Jan 13,, 01:47
Heck no. Those guns are way to noisy. My hearing was bad enough already :biggrin:
Bad hearing? How'd that happen?? :eek:

Officer of Engineers
24 Jan 13,, 01:48
Bad hearing? How'd that happen?? :eek:He got married.

Gun Grape
24 Jan 13,, 02:04
He got married.

Its not Bad hearing Col.

That's called Selective Hearing.

Even now, the other half will tell you that, through modern technology I can hear leaves rustling in the wind. But, my hearing aids don't pick up "Wife Speak"

Albany Rifles
27 Jan 13,, 15:30
Funny how my hearing loss back in the 1980s started at the exact pitch of my ex-wife's voice....

tbm3fan
07 Mar 13,, 05:50
Talking about cutting the defense budget I just saw this about the M1 Abrams tank production line. Army says yes, politicians say no. Who is right?

Budget Cuts: Army Plan to Halt Abrams Tank Production Draws Bipartisan Fire in Congress - ABC News (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/budget-cuts-army-plan-halt-abrams-tank-production/story?id=13582237)

YellowFever
07 Mar 13,, 16:51
I'm actually following this idiot around to see what he posts.

I know he's copy/pasting but I'm still doing it.

God, I need a life... :frown:

Stitch
07 Mar 13,, 19:11
Talking about cutting the defense budget I just saw this about the M1 Abrams tank production line. Army says yes, politicians say no. Who is right?

Budget Cuts: Army Plan to Halt Abrams Tank Production Draws Bipartisan Fire in Congress - ABC News (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/budget-cuts-army-plan-halt-abrams-tank-production/story?id=13582237)

Heard/saw a slightly newer version of this story on NPR about nine months ago:

Plant Pleads To Stay Afloat, But Army Says 'No Tanks' : NPR (http://www.npr.org/2012/07/25/157256332/plant-pleads-to-stay-afloat-but-army-says-no-tanks)

briany8s
08 Mar 13,, 03:43
I can speak from some experience here. I studied the oboe under the first oboist of the West Point concert band, and played with one of the air force's concert bands. They have a full band. According to their website the USMA band has 43 members. I can attest to the fact that the air force band I played with had similar numbers. Thinking of it, the USMA also has the Jazz Knights which has 14 or so people.

Maxor
08 Mar 13,, 04:08
And outside of a combat zone most troops don't even see a weapon... I've got no problem boosting pay when the danger is actually present, but paying an 18yo kid better than his parents when he is stateside.... come on.


.

An enlisted man under 21 is going to see at most $30,000 a year in base pay stateside. That's giving him alot of credit as well such as getting Sgt in 3 years or less and 3 year time in service assuming her went and joined and went to basic between the junior and senior years of high school to get time in. If that is better than his parents they are mature adults earning essentially minimum wage or less than full time. In either case I would hope we pay a full time soldier better than that. As for the housing and substance allowances, would you suggest that as a society we don't allow our soldiers a chance to have families and a decent living standard? Otherwise those of less than E-5 or so even with moderate amounts of time in service would be very hard pressed to afford a normal quality of life with the service member being the primary bread winner. Unless the spouse is in a very high demand career field the somewhat transient nature of military service would demand either living separately or the spouse is forced to seriously compromise career opportunities and advancement.


I'm not claiming a bit of reform might not be in order but its not as though most career military families are making incomes that would be called much above working or lower middle class.

briany8s
08 Mar 13,, 04:40
I completely agree. I grew up living adjacent to West Point and my neighbors were all employees and I spent much of my time there in the form of sport camps or musical endeavors. As other people have brought up, how do you financially support those that put their 20 years in and get full benefits but are only 38+. By no regards am I saying it isn't deserved, I just wonder how this can be funded in light of current budget cuts and efforts to curtail military spending. Is their a good answer?