The Sequester is upon us. I just saw a feed on CNN that the military is going to cut back on military funerals at Arlington National Cemetery. One might think these nuts have their priorities out of whack.
Anyone who talks revenue increases confine themselves to taxing the top 2% income bracket. But what about costs? Clearly we need to establish some c0hesive priorities. Why not look at some of the priorities of the Pentagon? We are not talking here about training or providing equipment for troops in battle zones – how about the Pentagon priorities for medical care for returning veterans? and how about education opportunities for children of soldiers? and how about those spectacular military golf courses used by the upper brass and members of congress?
Walter Reed medical center has been at the center of controversy. Extremely poor conditions that would be unfit for illegal immigrants are regularly offered to the brave soldiers who risk life and limb to protect America. The contemptible funding for medical care for wounded war veterans is an embarrassment to anyone old enough to vote. From Sourcewatch:
“The conditions of Building 18 of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center are described in the article as rodent and cockroach infested. Stained carpets, cheap mattresses, and black mold are other signs of neglect. No heat and water have also been reported by soldiers staying at Walter Reed. In addition, security is inadequate and ‘soldiers feel especially vulnerable.’ Right outside the unmonitored entry, ‘drug dealers work the corner at night.’ Struggling, injured soldiers, most suffering from PTSD, paranoid delusional disorder and traumatic brain injury, are forced to ‘pull guard duty’ to obtain a level of security.”
And from the Washington Post:
Behind the door of Army Spec. Jeremy Duncan’s room, part of the wall is torn and hangs in the air, weighted down with black mold. When the wounded combat engineer stands in his shower and looks up, he can see the bathtub on the floor above through a rotted hole. The entire building, constructed between the world wars, often smells like greasy carry-out. Signs of neglect are everywhere: mouse droppings, belly-up cockroaches, stained carpets, cheap mattresses.
And how about military base education being offered to the children of our soldiers? On top of the extraordinary psychological trauma of having a parent deployed in a war zone the Pentagon has neglected the care of the eduction system for families. Check this video of the deplorable conditions of the education system for our soldier’s children:
What else is there to say? Well, how about this quote from Newsweek:
The Pentagon acknowledges it has a significant problem, as nearly $4 billion in needed renovations and new construction at its schools have piled up during a decade of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Military officials’ own reports to Congress in 2008 and 2009 show as many as three quarters of base schools the Pentagon operates are either beyond repair or would require extensive renovation to meet minimum standards for safety, quality, accessibility, and design.
We completely understand that this country is operating at a deficit. We get that. So when we look at cost savings our position is that we should establish some clear priorities. It should go without saying that medical care for returning vets and education for their abandoned children should have a higher priority than a golf course for military brass and members of congress. But clearly that is not the priority.
Go here to check Army Golf Courses, Navy Golf Courses, Marine Golf Courses, and Air Force Golf Courses. Don’t get us wrong, we like to play golf as much as most people. But when we establish our personal budget we make sure that golf comes after food, shelter, medical care, and education for our children.
Sadly, this is just one example of priorities being established by the military brass and congressional supporters. They control the money – and they direct the money to their own whims.
Sometimes it really is embarrassing to be and American, where value systems are based on rank and economics.
Was anyone impressed with President Obama and House Speaker Boehner using a game of golf to talk about budget priorities? These guys are yukking it up at our expense. If they want to know where the budget went wrong they need only look around at their weekend resorts.