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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Congressman Jason Smith: Obama Budget Hurts Military Preparedness

  • The primary responsibility of the federal government and the President of the United States is to secure the safety of American citizens at home and abroad. President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget is reckless and irresponsible in many ways, particularly with respect to our national security.
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  • The primary responsibility of the federal government and the President of the United States is to secure the safety of American citizens at home and abroad. President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget is reckless and irresponsible in many ways, particularly with respect to our national security. President Obama’s proposed budget cuts leave our military grossly underprepared and underfunded. The biggest threat to our military should not be our federal bureaucracy.
    President Obama wants to scale back American military spending to historic lows and cut some troop levels to numbers not seen since before our Greatest Generation defeated evil in World War II. Reducing our Army by 100,000 active soldiers, the Army Guard by 39,000 soldiers, and the Marine Corps by 14,000 marines will hurt America’s military preparedness. Our men and women in uniform cannot be expected to defend our nation without the proper resources. An undersized military is an invitation for other nations looking to hurt Americans at home and abroad.
    Low troop numbers and antiquated equipment will leave our military unprepared. Our military’s readiness would be unthinkable under President Obama’s Budget. The President’s budget would leave seven Air Force squadrons unable to deploy and only four of forty Army Brigade Combat teams ready to deploy. Planned orders for new Ground Combat Vehicles would be cancelled. U2 Aircrafts and A-10 Warthog Aircrafts would be retired. Eleven Navy Cruisers and the USS George Washington Aircraft Carrier would be taken offline. With the conflicts and threats that constantly arise in our dangerous world, our military can no longer afford to be under prepared.
    Our men and women who sacrifice time with their families and risk their own lives should be honored with the full support of the nation they protect. President Obama’s Budget reduces the pay raise for service members from 1.8% to 1% for the second year in a row. Most TRICARE plans would be eliminated and healthcare costs increased for active duty families and retired service members. Commissaries and housing allowance will also be reduced resulting in rising living expenses for military families. Reducing salaries and cutting benefits to our men and women in uniform is not the way to cure Washington’s budget woes.
    It’s time that President Obama honor and protect our service members who daily honor and protect our country. President Reagan said it best with his, “Peace through strength” motto. America’s military must be prepared to confront threats at home and around the world. With new threats and unrest increasing daily, now is not the time to scale back on military. Defending our nation and supporting our service members should be our top budget priority.

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