Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel came to South Carolina and got booed. He told about 300 defense department employees that the 20% pay cut they all took with sequester will probably continue next year and may get worse. Last week Hagel ordered a 20 percent cut over five years in the budgets of his own office, the Joint Staff, and the headquarters elements of the four military services.The Office of the Secretary of Defense has about 2,000 staffers, while the Joint Staff has about 4,000. The cuts, which will affect not only DoD civilians and military personnel but also contractors, will trim up to $2 billion from the budget. But they need to trim 50 billion more for 2014.
So is this fearmongering? Hagel is a lifelong Republican who fell out of favor with the party when he started openly mocking VP Cheney and President Bush over the war in Iraq. By 2008 rumor had it that Obama may pick Hagel to be his VP and CBS reported that Hagel would accept the offer. In other words Chuck Hagel has spent the past 5 to 8 years leaning left. As Seinfeld would add "not that there's anything wrong with that". But the left has a vested interest in making cuts seem as painful as possible in order to spend more money. Whatever it is they can fix it with more tax dollars!
Photo: Getty Images
The reason the sequester cuts hurt is because they were designed to hurt. The idea was that they would be so horriffic that both parties would negotiate to prevent them from being implemented. It's like putting a timer on a loaded gun that is aimed at your own head. Note to self don't try that. Because Congress tried it, and splattered what little brain matter they had, all over their written promise to negotiate.
The cuts hurt because they don't allow department heads the freedom to make the cuts as they see fit. It's an across the board cut. But with the 2014 fiscal year starting in just over 2 months (Oct 1st) that should allow the heads to rearrange their departments as they see fit. The defense budget is big, but not the biggest as most liberals argue. That honor goes to Dept of Health and Human services with 940 billion. Second place is Soc Security at 882 billion. A distant 3rd is Defense at 672 billion. Anyways cutting 52 billion is never easy but when it makes up around 7% of the budget most managers can find a way to cut 7%, without making the entire dept miserable. As you can see from this nifty chart salaries only make up 100 of the 672 billion.
Source: Office of Management and Budget, Graph: Dylan Matthews
So Chuck and crew could keep salaries the same, or even give a raise to some much deserving folks, and cut from other areas. And with the largest portion of money being spent on war operations that would seem a natural to cut. Seeing as how 2014 coincides with the President's announcement that we are ending the war in Afghanistan. So yes it would appear to me that Chuck is trying to scare people. Which is what we hired him to do. But we wanted him to scare people who are trying to hurt American's, not those defending them.