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  #1  
Old 04-11-2009, 02:04 PM
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Gates Calls for Cuts to High-Tech Weapons Programs

What is he thinking...

Gates Calls for Cuts to High-Tech Weapons Programs

Defense Secretary Robert Gates announces a broad range of cuts to weapons spending, saying he plans to slash programs ranging from a new helicopter for the president to production of the $140 billion F-22 fighter jet.

FOXNews.com
Monday, April 06, 2009


Two F-22 Raptor aircraft are shown in this April 2, 2007, file image provided by the U.S. Air Force. (AP Photo)







Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Monday recommended a broad range of budgetary cuts to high-tech weapons programs, including production of the F-22 fighter jet.
In a move that won mixed reviews from lawmakers on Capitol Hill, Gates said his $534 billion budget proposal represents a "fundamental overhaul" in defense acquisition and reflects a shift in priorities from fighting conventional wars to the newer threats U.S. forces face from insurgents in places such as Afghanistan.
He called for production of the F-22 jet to stop at 187 jets. The U.S. military has 183 jets in service now, so just four more would be funded as part of the fiscal 2009 supplemental budget if President Obama approves the recommendations. The planes cost $140 million each.
Lockheed Martin has already warned that ending this production would result in the loss of more than 90,000 jobs.
Plans to build a new helicopter for the president and a helicopter to rescue downed pilots would also be canceled. A new communications satellite would be scrapped and the program for a new Air Force transport plane would be ended.
Some of the Pentagon's most expensive programs would also be scaled back. The Army's $160 billion Future Combat Systems modernization program would lose its armored vehicles. Plans to build a shield to defend against missile attacks by rogue states would also be scaled back.
To fight new threats from insurgents, Gates is proposing more funding for special forces and other tools.
"In many ways, my recommendations represent a cumulative outcome of a lifetime spent in the national security arena -- but above all, questions asked, experience gained and lessons learned from over two years of leading this department, and in particular, from our experience in Iraq and Afghanistan," Gates said.
He said his recommendations would "profoundly reform" the way the Defense Department does business.
"We must re-balance this department's programs in order to institutionalize and finance our capabilities to fight the wars we are in today and the scenarios we are most likely to face in the years ahead, while at the same time providing a hedge against other risks and contingencies," he said.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the 2008 GOP presidential nominee, said in a written statement that Gates' plan was a "major step in the right direction."
"It has long been necessary to shift spending away from weapon systems plagued by scheduling and cost overruns to ones that strike the correct balance between the needs of our deployed forces and the requirements for meeting the emerging threats of tomorrow," he said.
But Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., in YouTube video posted on his Senate Web site, said he was "very disappointed" Obama was preparing to cut back the military budget in a time of war, while he's increasing spending everywhere else.
"I can't believe what we heard today," he said. "Right now we have our men and women in uniform, in harm's way, and we hear an announcement we're gutting ... our military."
Inhofe and five other senators sent a letter to Obama opposing what they called "deep cuts in U.S. missile defense programs that are critically important to protecting our homeland and our allies against the growing threat of ballistic missiles."
The promised emphasis on budget paring is a reversal from the Bush years, which included a doubling of the Pentagon's spending since 2001.
Yet some programs would grow. Gates proposed speeding up production of the F-35 fighter jet, which could end up costing $1 trillion to manufacture and maintain 2,443 planes. The military would buy more speedy ships that can operate close in to land. And more money would be spent outfitting special forces troops that can hunt down insurgents.
The Government Accountability Office reported last week that 96 of the Pentagon's biggest weapons contracts were over budget by a "staggering" figure of $296 billion.
A bill in Congress would require the Pentagon to do a better job of making sure proposed weapons are affordable and perform the way they should before the military spends big sums on them. The Defense Department has already adjusted its acquisitions policy to achieve some of those goals.
FOX News' Justin Fishel and The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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  #2  
Old 04-11-2009, 03:37 PM
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I'd like to see social services cut before military....how about jacking the SS benifit age up to 72 insted?


I like F22's, one of the few good uses of my tax dollars.
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  #3  
Old 04-11-2009, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LUVMBDiesels View Post
He called for production of the F-22 jet to stop at 187 jets. The U.S. military has 183 jets in service now, so just four more would be funded as part of the fiscal 2009 supplemental budget if President Obama approves the recommendations. The planes cost $140 million each.
Is 187 not enough? Why not? How does the F22 compare to the F35 that is receiving additional moneys?

Quote:
Lockheed Martin has already warned that ending this production would result in the loss of more than 90,000 jobs.
They don't have to lay those workers off. They just have to build something the customer wants to buy.

Quote:
Plans to build a new helicopter for the president and a helicopter to rescue downed pilots would also be canceled. A new communications satellite would be scrapped and the program for a new Air Force transport plane would be ended.
Does the President need a new (overbudget) helicopter? Are we unable to rescue downed pilots? How much, if any, is the decrease in risk with the new ones?

Quote:
The Army's $160 billion Future Combat Systems modernization program would lose its armored vehicles. Plans to build a shield to defend against missile attacks by rogue states would also be scaled back.
Does the future combat systems modernization program need the particular armored vehicles? What do they use them for? How much is the missile defense system scaled back? Is it scaled back to a point at which it is useless, or is it's scope appropriate to the level of rogue state missile attack likelihood? Who determines that likelihood and how? How many rogue states have ICBM capability?

Quote:
To fight new threats from insurgents, Gates is proposing more funding for special forces and other tools.
"In many ways, my recommendations represent a cumulative outcome of a lifetime spent in the national security arena -- but above all, questions asked, experience gained and lessons learned from over two years of leading this department, and in particular, from our experience in Iraq and Afghanistan," Gates said.
He said his recommendations would "profoundly reform" the way the Defense Department does business.
"We must re-balance this department's programs in order to institutionalize and finance our capabilities to fight the wars we are in today and the scenarios we are most likely to face in the years ahead, while at the same time providing a hedge against other risks and contingencies," he said.
What is wrong with this logic?

Quote:
But Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., in YouTube video posted on his Senate Web site, said he was "very disappointed" Obama was preparing to cut back the military budget in a time of war, while he's increasing spending everywhere else.
"I can't believe what we heard today," he said. "Right now we have our men and women in uniform, in harm's way, and we hear an announcement we're gutting ... our military."
Inhofe and five other senators sent a letter to Obama opposing what they called "deep cuts in U.S. missile defense programs that are critically important to protecting our homeland and our allies against the growing threat of ballistic missiles."
What is the correlation of these spending cuts to the men and women in uniform in harm's way? Are commanders of deployed forces, or the forces themselves, requesting more F22s? Are they requesting the new rescue helicopters? Are they in increased danger from ICBM attacks?
Where is the growing threat of these missiles? How much has the threat grown?
Quote:
Gates proposed speeding up production of the F-35 fighter jet, which could end up costing $1 trillion to manufacture and maintain 2,443 planes. The military would buy more speedy ships that can operate close in to land. And more money would be spent outfitting special forces troops that can hunt down insurgents.
What is wrong with this?
Quote:
The Government Accountability Office reported last week that 96 of the Pentagon's biggest weapons contracts were over budget by a "staggering" figure of $296 billion.
How does this overspending help our troops in harm's way?
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  #4  
Old 04-11-2009, 03:45 PM
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How can you have too many F22's? Mach2 top speed? Ridiculous handling? Cmon' what's not to like?
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  #5  
Old 04-11-2009, 03:51 PM
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I'd like to see at least 250-300 F22's, thats about how many they wanted to build original?

The JSF is cheaper, and more versital. F22 is a different animal though.


Why does the President need another chopper? He doesn't like the Italian choppers that Lockheed Martin screwed Sikorsky out of the contract for? Yeah he should get a new chopper, something American made at Sikorsky.
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  #6  
Old 04-11-2009, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatterasguy View Post
I'd like to see social services cut before military....how about jacking the SS benifit age up to 72 insted?


I like F22's, one of the few good uses of my tax dollars.
How about 75? And do the same with Medicare eligibility. And s---can the Medicare prescription drug benefit (one of the main things that turned me away from the shrub). And get rid of the NEA. Then if we still need more revenue to balance the budget, we can legalize and tax marijuana.
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  #7  
Old 04-11-2009, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Skippy View Post
How about 75? And do the same with Medicare eligibility. And s---can the Medicare prescription drug benefit (one of the main things that turned me away from the shrub). And get rid of the NEA. Then if we still need more revenue to balance the budget, we can legalize and tax marijuana.
When will you run for office?
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Old 04-11-2009, 08:43 PM
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Sounds good to me! The whole point of SS was so you could die in dignity. Not live for 20+ years off it.
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  #9  
Old 04-11-2009, 09:40 PM
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The whole point of social security was to get the then majority homeless population off the street, and to dramatically improve the lives of American senior citizens. I'm glad it's there, or there would've been a whole lot of WWII vets thrown out like trash, the way old people used to be treated. Now if it were just possible to stop the raiding of it.


I'm not surprised to hear Americans hate the NEA, but I'm glad it's there. There isn't a people on earth more in need of experiencing art.
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  #10  
Old 04-11-2009, 10:36 PM
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Who should we believe about how this change will affect our military, Inhofe, a guy who never made it past private, or McCain, a Navy fighter pilot with captains bars?
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  #11  
Old 04-11-2009, 11:31 PM
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He might be thinking we have air superiority with 187 F-22 Raptors and
we have low tech needs like better body/vehicle armor for the ground troops.
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  #12  
Old 04-11-2009, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by tankdriver View Post
...
I'm not surprised to hear Americans hate the NEA, but I'm glad it's there. There isn't a people on earth more in need of experiencing art.
Good. You pay for it. I prefer to live my barren life without effete narcissists living off my tax dollars If their art was worth a shyte they wouldn't have to depend on taxes to support themselves.
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Old 04-11-2009, 11:42 PM
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Good. You pay for it. I prefer to live my barren life without effete narcissists living off my tax dollars If their art was worth a shyte they wouldn't have to depend on taxes to support themselves.
If people knew the worth of art, maybe we wouldn't need the NEA.

I don't want to derail this thread though, I'd rather have my questions answered than talk about the NEA.
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Old 04-11-2009, 11:56 PM
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If people knew the worth of art, maybe we wouldn't need the NEA....
Perhaps people do know, and are willingly giving the artists exactly what the artists are due.

It's like going to the symphony, which I enjoy. A very expensive indulgence. Damned if I'm going to waste my money listening to Benjamin Britain or Philip Glass. Modern composers compose music to impress each other and snobbish professional critics -- not to make money by appealing broadly to the consumer. This is in contrast to the finest classical composers who always kept an eye on the consumer. The result is timeless music. The same could be said of playwrights and visual artists.

Think of say, Shakespeare or perhaps Rodin. In their work they never forget their audience. On the contrary, they seduce it. Compare that to artists who essentially work for the NEA or NEH (living off grants), if you can think of any.
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Old 04-12-2009, 12:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tankdriver View Post
If people knew the worth of art, maybe we wouldn't need the NEA.

I don't want to derail this thread though, I'd rather have my questions answered than talk about the NEA.
If that is what you wanted, then why comment on NEA at all?

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