Over-Spending on Military Equipment: What Can We Do?
A story has been circulating in the past few days about this simple fact: the Pentagon has asked Congress to stop buying military equipment that is not needed.
Every year, a certain budget is set for each area of the government, including the military. If that full budget is not spent, the budge is reduced the following year. It seems logical, but because it is nearly impossible to get funding if your budge is not enough, Congress (and other organizations, for that matter) are reluctant to let the budget go unspent, lest they risk not having the funds they need the following year.
What has this led to? Tons and tons of waste. Did you know that it's common protocol for soldiers to "waste" their bullets, even if not used, so that there is no surplus? Did you know that we keep making a certain kind of tank, even though we have 100s of them sitting in a warehouse (and have sold 100s to other countries) just to keep a factory going and to spend extra money? It's become an economy of waste. It's apparently not OK to not spend all the budge, but it is OK to waste.
And that just doesn't make sense to me. Isn't there an easy solution to this problem that follows common sense? Reduce the budget, but keep the difference in a fund or investment of sorts that can be accessed if needed. It's that simple.
The real problem is that the military has become such an economy in the US that if we transition away from that, all of our work will be outsourced to other countries where labor is much less expensive. But to me, this kind of constant waste that is only digging us further into debt is not the answer.
There are plenty of other areas were we could set up jobs and use that money: setting up better infrastructure, schools, and countless other things. How long (or how big of a disaster?) will it take for us to change?