Active duty Soldiers and SPOUSES can now be reimbursed for books and other supplies. Does that mean if they sell the book back, do they have to return the money back to DoD/Treasury? Beginning Oct. 1, active duty members and their spouses can receive up to $1,000 for books and supplies, per academic year, as part of the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill. Active duty members were not previously eligible for the books and supplies funding, Veterans are. Spouses? Spouses are considered a part of the military almost as much as those who took the oath of service. Spouses just don't earn a retirement unless they divorce the service member after 10 years of marriage. If Congress' Super Committee of 12 wanted to strip a few million dollars from the DoD budget they could start with all non-service member benefits under the GI Bill. To me it is just to much "pork" in a program that costs a lot of money.
Department of Defense: The mission of the Department of Defense (DOD) is to provide the military forces needed to deter war and to protect the security of our country. Almost seems worth $700 billion and is mandated by the Constitution.
The Army currently at 570,000 plus active duty members and the Marine Corps currently with 201,000+ or - was deemed capable to fight 2 wars with only 483,000 soldiers and 171,000 Marines respectively. So with the draw down of troops in both Iraq & Afghanistan why can't they go back to the post cold war numbers established under Bush I & Bill Clinton? The so-called Cheney Powell doctrine. There is no reason not to return the Navy & Air Force to those levels. The Coast Guard should be left alone in force reductions & budget cuts, 1.3 million men and women on active duty (should be reduced to post cold war numbers), nearly 700,000 civilian personnel (should be cut at least in half), and 1.1 million citizens who serve in the National Guard and Reserve forces (best value for the dollar).
Other things that could be done to reduce the current deficit budgets is do away with "Americorp", end the Bush prescription drug program under part D of Medicare, do away with the departments of Education, HUD, Energy & Labor.
Department of Education: Do away with the bureaucracy and the money that is sent to the states can continue. The states can do a much better job of spending the money without federal government help. Besides "No Child Left Behind" is a farce and a failure. The U.S. Secretary of Education oversees the Department's 4,200 employees and $68.6 billion budget.
The USDA also plays an important role in overseas aid programs by providing surplus foods to developing countries. Why wouldn't you feed the poor and destitute in this country before sending it overseas? In a recent news articles and on TV news food banks all around Utah and the nation need more to help feed those who can't buy their own. $95 billion annual budget
"The Department of Commerce is the government agency tasked with improving living standards for all Americans by promoting economic development and technological innovation. The department supports U.S. business and industry through a number of services, including gathering economic and demographic data, issuing patents and trademarks, improving understanding of the environment and oceanic life, and ensuring the effective use of scientific and technical resources. The agency also formulates telecommunications and technology policy, and promotes U.S. exports by assisting and enforcing international trade agreements." Do you see anything wrong with that statement from the whitehouse.gov/our-government/executivebranch? Those in yellow seem to belong to some other agencies and are duplicated elsewhere in federal & state governments. But why would I throw a tizzy about $6.5 billion budget for a cabinet department with that low of a budget.
Department of Energy:
The mission of the Department of Energy (DOE) is to advance the national, economic, and energy security of the United States. If this agency, formed in the 1970's, had done anything towards accomplishing its mission, perhaps I wouldn't think it should go away. But I doubt it because with its budget of $23 billion it is truly a waste of taxpayer money.