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Front Page » August 23, 2011 » Opinion » The Wasatch Behind: Outsourcing the military
Published 1,503 days ago

The Wasatch Behind: Outsourcing the military

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Outsourcing the military

They say Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Like Nero, our president and congress have been fiddling around while our nation goes down in flames. Funny how history repeats itself.

The congressional debt debate of a few weeks ago solved nothing. We raised the debt ceiling - again, and in spite of all the talk, we will print more worthless money and still spend 40% more than the treasury takes in. For the first time in history we lost our triple-A+ credit rating because of bad debt. Unemployment is rampant, the cost of everything is going up, and the stock market is like riding the roller coaster at Lagoon.

So what are our fearless leaders doing while the dark clouds of doom and despair gather for the perfect storm? Obama is at Martha's Vineyard schmoozing wealthy political donors while congress takes a well-deserved vacation. They work hard, you know, making sure we use environmentally friendly light bulbs. But wait, our president says he has a secret plan to reduce the debt and put America back to work. He's going to unveil his plan in September, after he gets back from vacation. He didn't have a plan during the debt crisis debate. The cold water must be getting close to the bridge of the Titanic.

We don't know what the secret plan is yet, but there have been rumors Obama plans to cut military spending. One of the things being considered is changing the military retirement system. Today military people can retire after 20 years with 50% of their base pay and they can draw that pension as soon as they leave the service. Some enlisted people retire at age 37. Officers must wait until 42. The president's advisors recommend we put the military on a 401K-retirement plan and raise the minimum retirement age to 60. Soldiers would be required to pay into the plan and it would be vested after 10 years of service. And then, Obama said back in 2009 that he wanted soldiers to start paying part, or all, of their health and life insurance premiums.

So what's the problem? It's about time those freeloading military bums paid their fair share. We all make sacrifices, right? Why should soldiers expect free health care? Most of them don't even qualify as illegal aliens.

Besides, soldiers know they're going to be shot at and maybe killed. They should be happy to buy life insurance. The government helps military families enough already. Most qualify for food stamps and they get subsidized housing and travel expenses.

And, what makes soldiers think they deserve to retire earlier than other government employees? Just because they spend five or six combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, living in fox holes in 115-degree heat, dodging bullets, eating Christmas dinner from a can and not being home while their children grow up? Big deal. Community organizers have tough jobs, too.

Take congress for example. Base pay for a congressman is only $174,000 and they don't even get food stamps. A poor congressman with four years of service must wait until age 62 to retire with 100% of his congressional salary, free medical care for life and dozens of other perks not affected by stock market crashes. No risky 401K for those guys. But, they deserve it. Congressmen give much more to this country than soldiers. Soldiers only pledge their lives.

Tinkering with military benefits will likely kill the all-volunteer army, and we know that reinstating the draft would be a joke in today's social and political climate. To solve this dilemma and save money, Uncle Spud suggests that we outsource the military.

Let's contract with the Red Chinese. Our politicians trust them with our financial and economic future, why not our military future? They've got a huge military with great missile technology provided by Bill Clinton. Let's hire them to defend us. I'm sure they'd be happy to do it for a dollar or two a day and no benefits at all. Think of the money we could save.

We could lay-off all of our military people and train them to do the green jobs Obama has promised. We could meltdown our tanks and guns and sell the scrap to Chairman Mao's relatives. We could turn our military bases into homeless shelters. Money saved could be used to expand our social welfare system and buy votes.

But then, didn't the Romans outsource their military during their final days? I don't think it worked out well for them.

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August 23, 2011
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