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In his election campaign, Barack Obama vowed to end business as usual in Washington. Among the promised reforms was an end to congressional earmarks, Hormone overseas, the shameful practice of adding on pet projects to spending bills. Sneaking projects through without full congressional debate or public scrutiny may please a few favored folks back home and ensure the campaign support of contractors who stand to benefit but to most Americans it is just plain pork and surveys show that they are opposed to the practice (unless, of course, they themselves happen to be the beneficiaries of such largess), Where Can I Buy Hormone. Hormone ebay, The practice of earmarking is, perhaps, a principle reason why the job approval rating of Congress is consistently low, 750mg Hormone.
Ask any American these days to grade Congress on its job performance and he'll more than likely assign failing grades. 40mg Hormone, But ask him how he grades his own congressional delegation and he'll likely be more magnanimous so long as the federal dollars keep flowing home. Members of Congress consequently are under great pressure to deliver jobs and benefits and to keep the campaign contributions coming from well-heeled defense contractors. Where Can I Buy Hormone, The military services labor mightily each year to present procurement plans that reflect the likely threats and achieve an optimal balance between requirements and fiscal constraints. The service chiefs and defense secretary face difficult choices, Hormone craiglist. They, 250mg Hormone, however, and not Congress, are in the best position to make these judgments, 100mg Hormone. Nevertheless, Hormone canada, year after year, individual "experts" in Congress succumb to pressures from constituents and lobbyists to "mark up" the proposed spending bill by adding money for un-requested equipment, ships, 200mg Hormone, aircraft and weapons systems. 1000mg Hormone, Often the president goes along for the sake of expediency. The process sometimes raises havoc with military planning in that the added items are not provided the necessary additional support funds for personnel, maintenance and training, Where Can I Buy Hormone.
Members of Congress who play this game are putting politics and their own selfish interests ahead of the overall national interest. It is a practice that both presidential candidates had promised to end, 500mg Hormone. Like so many of the president's well-intentioned promises, Hormone paypal, however, he has yet to deliver.
This year, Hormone japan, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives attempted to fund dozens of aircraft, 20mg Hormone, vehicles, equipment and even ships that the Defense Department did not request. Where Can I Buy Hormone, The value of these add-ons exceeded $6 billion. Included were funds to continue production of the F-22 Raptor fighter, Hormone australia. There are, Hormone india, to be sure, valid arguments for continuing F-22 production. It is a very good aircraft, Hormone us, also one much desired by our allies including Japan and Israel. 150mg Hormone, But individual members of Congress are not the best or appropriate judges of what our defense procurement priorities are or how to optimize limited defense dollars. We cannot have 535 defense procurement experts in Congress second guessing the Department of Defense every year, Where Can I Buy Hormone.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates properly decried this congressional meddling as did Sen. John McCain, 30mg Hormone, a serious foe of earmarks and mark-ups. Hormone mexico, President Obama, to his credit, threatened to veto the bill if it contained funding for the F-22s, Hormone usa. The Senate finally stripped F-22 funding but the bill that passed still contained plenty that was not requested. Where Can I Buy Hormone, The Base Realignment and Consolidation Process (BRAC) process was invented in order to keep politics out of the process of disposing of unneeded military facilities. Hormone coupon, A base closure list requires an up or down vote. Members of Congress cannot pick and choose which bases will be closed and which will be spared. A requirement for a similar up or down vote on the defense appropriations bill should be considered, 50mg Hormone. The president can, of course, veto the entire bill but that can be very disruptive to the military and the procurement process. However something needs to be done to prevent Congress from playing politics with defense spending, Where Can I Buy Hormone.
Notwithstanding the above, I find much to criticize in a defense spending bill that
reduces funding for missile defense, even as we were busily fortifying Hawaii against an anticipated North Korean missile launch in that direction. We do in fact need more ships and aircraft and funds to upgrade our ageing nuclear deterrent. In general, I believe that the emphasis in transitioning from a conventional force to one geared more to unconventional warfare is somewhat overdone. We have no idea what the future threat will be and we must retain and improve our conventional capabilities. Where Can I Buy Hormone, The Defense Department, however, not Congress, is the appropriate body with the required expertise for shaping our defense needs. CRO
copyright 2009 J.F. Kelly, Jr. J.F. Kelly, Jr. is a retired Navy Captain and bank executive who writes on current events and military subjects. He is a resident of Coronado, California.
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