The federal government does not have enough money to keep the bargain it made with its servicemen and women when it sent them off to serve two and three tours of duty in Iraq. They can not get an appointment at the VA. They can not get their disability pay. They can not find a job. They can not find a place to live.
At the same time, the military always seems to be able to find the money to hire Lockheed or some other contractor to build a new bomber or new weapon that may not ever be used. Why? Because military brass--retiring generals---count upon second careers as private sector "consultants" with the companies to whom they award lucrative DOD contracts. So, the Pentagon always insists that it needs lots of money for new weapons and new jets and new toilet seats---and it is not be nearly as concerned about the needs of its discarded soldiers.
The math is crystal clear:
Military Admirals and Generals Need for Money Post Retirement > All Other Needs of All other Service People.
So, here is my suggestion. Rather than forcing our generals and admirals to retire on their modest military pensions, which encourages them to seek private sector consulting jobs with the companies that "owe" them, maybe we could save a lot of money by giving our retiring admirals and generals generous retirement bonuses. A million dollars would be a lot cheaper than spending a billion dollars making a jet that no one will ever fly. And, with the money we save, we could hire more doctors for the VA, fund for jobs programs, pay more college tuitions.
For those who say "But military spending is good for the economy!" consider Japan and Germany. When the US relieved them of the need for military spending after WWII, we allowed their economies to boom. Military spending is actually a very poor way to jump start the economy. Too much money goes into too few hands. The "product" sits on the shelf---or, if used, results in a net financial loss rather than gain. If you really want to use public spending to spread the wealth and make your economy grow, you invest in education first and health spending second. Lots of well paid jobs, and the "product"--better educated and healthier workforce---makes your economy even stronger. That is why Germany rules the European Union. That is why Japan is a world player.
This is not so far fetched. We pay farmers not to grow crops. Why shouldn't we pay military brass not to buy weapons and high priced toilets that we do not need? Spend that money in the education and health sector where it will benefit the economy. The improvement in benefits will attract better candidates to the military, making it stronger.
And, while we are at it, rather than paying trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives invading a foreign country so that a few oil companies can get oil contracts worth a few billion dollars---contracts that will become worthless once US troops pull out and the locals realign the government---maybe we should just give the oil companies a bigger tax break. Let them write off a billion instead of spending a trillion. Seems pretty obvious to me.
What do you think? Is the math simple enough for even a Tea Partier to understand?