I’m beat, bushed, exhausted as well as pissed-off, fed up, and ready to tell any member of Congress to their face to go throw their useless selves off a bridge. They (“they” being members of both parties) are a bunch of arrogant, out-of-touch, heads-up-their-assess, “we can do no wrong and never have to apologize [unless we get caught and busted by the media]” elitists who neither care nor plan for the good of the nation as a whole. All they care about is securing their own districts and raising money, the goal of both being to get themselves continually re-elected. Yes, they are elected to represent their constituents, but there was a time when they also recognized the responsibility of serving for the good of the nation as a whole, even if that meant occasional sacrifices. Now all it means is anytime something negative comes up, they spend all their energies – and all of OUR MONEY – blaming the other party instead of putting those energies toward fixing the problems.
What’s driven me to this point? Well… just about everything they’ve done for the past several decades, but the straw that’s broken my personal camel’s back is how Congress is dealing – or not dealing – with the budget concerning the military. Don’t get me wrong; I’m pissed off about sequestration, the budget and the economy as a whole, immigration, school issues, crime, etc etc etc, but what’s happening with the military at the moment is a Perfect Storm example of the problem.
So Congress has directed the military cut their budgets. Fine, they manage the money; that’s their role. However (and I’ll use my own service, the US Air Force, here since I’m most familiar with it), even as Congress DIRECTS cuts, they won’t ALLOW cuts. And keep in mind as I go through I’m not arguing for or against of these proposed cuts; that’s a whole ‘nother article. My issue is with the execution of any money-saving efforts, or lack thereof.
If you’ve noticed the news, any effort the USAF has made to actually cut the funds they’ve been directed to cut has been met with Congressional roadblocks being thrown up by anyone whose district is threatened. The Air Force attempted to retire the A-10 and U-2 fleets: blocked by Congressionals from those districts because those aircraft are “vital to the nation.” Retiring the B-1 fleet or a portion of the F-16 fleet: hell no, say Congressionals from those districts because they’re “vital to the nation.” Attempts to retire seven E-3 AWACS aircraft, reduced to four by the Congressional from Oklahoma who would’ve lost 350 jobs in his district (but hey, at least something got through). The service has said it could cut its entire KC-10 Extender refueling fleet, but the Congressional panel blocked that move even before it had a chance to be proposed because they’re “vital to…”… aw screw it. What’s more, Congress has added verbiage to next year’s spending bill preventing the Air Force from trying to reenact these cuts next year.
It seems the only things Congress is willing to cut are manpower, and health care and benefits, because the “pain” would be spread equally across the nation, and the blame for the cuts could be laid squarely on the Chiefs of Staffs of the services instead who’s really at fault, who’s responsible, who should be held accountable and voted out of office for sheer, complete and ongoing incompetence: our “elected” representatives.
Post-edit: About an hour after I completed my rant, this foreign policy piece on SecDef Hagel pops up. I shall add “mind-melds with SecDef” to my resume’ 😉