Everytime the defense department starts thinking about cuts in operations and consequently in budgets to military bases, Utah's Congressmen and Senators start rattling swords about how Hill Air Force Base and Dugway Proving Grounds shouldn't, and more to their point, can't be downsized or eliminated.
Last week the defense department announced that they are looking to downsize the military, and ultimately this means base closures or something similar.
Although I have not heard anything from him about it, I am sure the governor is concerned as well.
Of course none of these Utah politicians have a problem with bases in other states being cut; they are only thinking about their own re-election, not the good of the country overall.
Our governor boasts about the economic growth in Utah and how it is accomplished because Utah is a state that is independent and business oriented. He talks all the time about free enterprise and how it is the driving force in our economy. He is always saying that the government should stay out of private business and the tail should not be wagging the dog.
I have heard before that Utah pays little taxes to the federal government and gets a whole lot more back. But having examined the figures, Utah does receive slightly more than it pays (based on a dollar paid to the federal goverment, the state gets back a $1.07).The state is in the middle on almost all categories concerning the money that moves both ways, no matter how one looks at it.
But that still doesn't give us the right to think we are special, just because the state as a whole has a hot economy.
These politicians that are complaining about possible military cuts are the very ones that complain that the countrys budget is out of balance and that we are sinking into the depths of indebteness. Yet they always think the cuts to military spending should come elsewhere.
I say let this private and hot Utah economy they all claim we have take over and forget about the federal dollars we get from defense spending. These men don't seem interested in the dollars that we could get through medicaid and some other social programs, so why should they care about this?
When you think about it, aren't the military bases here really a social program too?
You really can't have it both ways and truly be a private the enterprise state these very people claim we are. Sure the government will always need things from private enterprise in terms of supplies, materials and contract services.
But shouldn't we be the first to say we're hot and other states are not, so let us make some sacrifice here.
And while we're at it shouldn't these guys start worrying a little more about the rural economys in the state instead of trying to pump more and more people and business into an already overcrowed and polluted Wasatch Front?