President Eisenhower warned us about the “military industrial complex”. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is discovering just how difficult it is to control military spending. If it’s not the Pentagon he’s battling, it’s politicians whose home districts rely on weapons-building and military bases. Gates is looking to cut 78 billion dollars from the Defense budget over the next five years.
The military’s health care program – Tricare – has gone from 19 billion dollars a decade ago to a current price tag of 50 billion. Gates is proposing to raise health care fees only on military retirees under the age of 65, who presumably have access to health care in their civilian jobs in addition to military pensions, and haven’t seen a rate increase in more than 15 years. This would save taxpayers an estimated seven billion dollars over five years.
Gates is getting opposition from veterans’ groups who reason that the nation owes them something for their military duty, and they don’t think fee increases are fair.
Our thought for today is from Rita Mae Brown:
“For you to be successful, sacrifices must be made. It’s better that they are made by others but failing that, you’ll have to make them yourself.”