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Saturday, May 19, 2012

$642,000,000,000 (billion) for the War Machine "Ike was Right"

Ike was right$642,000,000,000.00 for Fiscal Year 2013 Defense Budget, 8 billion more than what Obama or the Defense Secretary even asked for. I bet the Department of Education would love 8 bil more for their FY2013.

When will this craziness stop? CD1 Congressman Martin Heinrich voted yes, CD2 Congressman Pearce voted yes, CD3 Congressman Lujan voted no. Heinrich voting with Pearce is not good. Heinrich's press release is at the end of this post. To see how Congressional votes across the Country were cast for this bill see this article.

This kind of obscene money spent on war and defense has got to stop. 88 billion still going over to Afghanistan for 2013, that is $1.5 bill every week. Think of what this Country could do with $1.5 bil every week. The bill funds a missile defense site to be built on the east coast, that the military itself opposes, old star-wars garbage, and even Russian cold war garbage. We have gone insane, when we will fund things the military does not even want and threaten drastic cuts to social security for our seniors which is desperately needed now, we have gone insane.

Ok yes there are jobs that come from all that obscene money for people in NM. At Kirkland mainly, yes these jobs have real people working in them, but it is time we ask; do we spend our precious tax dollars on space war or fireman, Russian cold war or teachers, more nuclear weapons or solar energy, fixing the San Juan coal plant that we know is killing people which will cost $800 mil, or 1.5 bil for another week in Afghanistan?

Heinrich says in his statement below: "H.R. 4310 includes language that restores these missions, and includes $25 million for the continuation of the ORS program and $45 million for the continuation of STP. The United States Air Force (USAF) estimates that there are 68 jobs at the KAFB ORS headquarters office, not including the New Mexico small businesses that contract with and provide support to ORS. Further, the USAF estimates there are 74 jobs at the KAFB STP office." So let me do a quick calc...that is 142 jobs for $70 mil tax dollars. Not a good return I say. Maybe if it was even 1,420 jobs or 14,200 jobs for 70 mil I would be more in favor. If you are one of those 142 people working on this project you are psyched, but if you are us underemployed and unemployed, we are not so psyched.

How about the constant drum beat of the funding social security, and medicare costing the country too much money. We have paid into this fund for all the years we have been working, let's face it, it has been used as a slush fund for other war machine spending. It is time we stop being a super power around the world, rebuilding and protecting the world meanwhile our own needs go untended. Our seniors struggling, our children slipping more and more behind. Channel 7 is having a debate tonight with the CD1 Candidates I hope they ask how each of the candidates would have voted for this bill.

These are the questions we face this election. More of the same use of our money for war machine spending or funding realistic things for our citizens needed now. Like President Eisenhower said in his 1961 farewell address "restrain the "military-industrial complex." you can read the entire speech here. 51 years ago, and we are have done nothing but increase our military industrial complex to the point it is now the only budget of our country that receives more and more than requested and has very little accountability for where the funds go, and meanwhile we are out of work, kids have no food to go to school with a full belly, moms and dads are not working, no money for healthcare, no money for sustainability projects.

If the election was today who would you vote for? Who would be the most likely to not cave for star war spending, even if it does have jobs related to it in Kirkland, does it make sense for now? Is it the best use of your/our tax dollars? I do not think so. You decide.

Heinrich Fights to Save KAFB Missions and Boost New Mexico’s Economy
Defense Authorization Bill to Strengthen National Security, Ease Export Controls and Promote Tech Transfer Passes House

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 18, 2012) – Today, U.S. Representative Martin Heinrich (NM-1) announced that H.R. 4310, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2013 passed the House by a 299 to 120 vote. The bill ensures that our military is fully prepared for threats and challenges worldwide and that our troops get the benefits they deserve and have earned. This year’s NDAA includes several important provisions authored by Rep. Heinrich that support U.S. service members and their families, create jobs, and spur economic growth in New Mexico.

“I will keep working to ensure that our national laboratories and military installations have the resources they need to perform their critical national security missions,” said Rep. Heinrich.

In February, as part of the President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2013, the Department of Defense recommended eliminating funding and terminating the Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) program and the Space Test Program (STP), both of which are headquartered at Kirtland Air Force Base (KAFB). Since that time, Rep. Heinrich, a Member of the House Strategic Forces Subcommittee, has led the fight in the House to restore the ORS and STP missions.

As a result of Rep. Heinrich’s work, H.R. 4310 includes language that restores these missions, and includes $25 million for the continuation of the ORS program and $45 million for the continuation of STP. The United States Air Force (USAF) estimates that there are 68 jobs at the KAFB ORS headquarters office, not including the New Mexico small businesses that contract with and provide support to ORS. Further, the USAF estimates there are 74 jobs at the KAFB STP office.

“I asked the tough questions and I worked with my colleagues, both Democrat and Republican, to protect these missions at Kirtland,” said Rep. Heinrich. “As the Department of Defense looks for ways to cut spending across the country, I am committed to fight for New Mexico and ensure that jobs remain intact.”

House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (WA-9) added, “I applaud Congressman Heinrich for his hard work in bringing the committee to a more sensible approach that prevents the loss of the ORS and STP missions and their personnel.”

Additional provisions included in the NDAA that are positive for New Mexico:

  • Preserved Directed Energy jobs at KAFB. NDAA provided an increase of $30 million to preserve the skilled workforce that was involved in the Airborne Laser Test Bed program and to accelerate experimentation with next generation directed energy system development.
  • Increased Technology Transfer. Rep. Heinrich successfully offered an amendment that would authorize a pilot program between one national laboratory and one non-profit entity for the purpose of accelerating technology transfer from national laboratories to marketplace.
  • Ease Satellite Export Controls To Boost NM Small Business. An amendment, based on legislation Rep. Heinrich introduced last year to ease satellite export controls, was accepted. Easing export controls will provide a strong boost to New Mexico’s aerospace industry.
  • Possible 2013 and 2015 BRAC Rejected. KAFB, Cannon Air Force Base, Holloman Air Force Base, and White Sands Missile Range would be protected from a 2013 or 2015 Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC).

May 19, 2012 at 11:19 AM in 2012 NM Senate Race, Candidates & Races, Eric Griego, Hector Balderas, Martin Chavez, Michelle Lujan Grisham, Military Affairs, NM-01 Congressional Race 2012, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03), Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01) | Permalink

Comments

President Obama has threatened a veto if this bill makes it to his desk. But you are right to point out that Heinrich was one of only a few Dems to cross the aisle and vote with the Republicans on this one.

Personally, I don't think it's so much about saving the few jobs but rather saving the votes during this election year.

It takes courage to buck your President and your Party, but when your district is home to Kirtland AFB and Sandia Labs, your allegiance is going to be with the military industrial complex.

We need to change this dynamic ---- seriously.

Posted by: Lora Lucero | May 19, 2012 2:56:00 PM

How come no one is talking about the debate? Was it canceled?

Posted by: Susan | May 19, 2012 3:14:21 PM

Susan --- my photos from the debate party at Eric Griego's campaign.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.4016183528875.2174479.1409943325&type=3

Posted by: Lora Lucero | May 19, 2012 11:02:52 PM

If you are re-thinking your suport for Heinrich, note that Balderas was just endorsed by the Santa Fe New Mexican:

“His life story is testament to the American dream and the power of hard work. His political life shows a man unafraid to battle the powerful. He's the underdog in the race, but should he pull the upset, Balderas will be a force to reckon with, both on the fall campaign trail and in Washington, D.C.”

Just sayin...

Posted by: Ellen Wedum | May 20, 2012 3:08:12 PM

So, this bill still needs to make it through the senate? Will pres. Obama veto it?
Protecting the state labs is important and necessary for our precarious NM economy.
How can you say Heinrich did this for the votes? Yes, it may garner some votes but, could it be that he was actually trying to protect the labs in NM while risking admonishment from his base? This is more indicative of leadership for doing his job of protecting NM fragile economy right now.
Conflating the destabilizing and wasteful Bush wars in the Middle East with the dynamic missions of our longstanding and premier NM scientific research labs is not helpful.

Posted by: qofdisks | May 21, 2012 9:26:02 AM

gofdisks ......

I reject the notion that we must support our country's war machine in order to "protect our fragile economy."

In fact, our economy and Sandia labs and Kirtland AFB will suffer in the long-term if we continue down this path.

New jobs --- YES! Most certainly! But a leader understands that the labs and Kirtland AFB must be repositioned to be leaders in the new economy, not dinosaurs in the old one.

Posted by: Lora Lucero | May 22, 2012 10:13:08 AM

Lora Lucero, if the money is cut off from the labs and they close their doors, the equipment and infrastructure will go obsolete in a shockingly short amount of time. The personnel and all that expertise will dissipate.
The labs need to stay up to date and current and it is a shame that so much of our citizens resources is tied up in defense. But, that is where all the money is right now and that is what funds NM labs.
I agree that the labs mission does need to evolve to peaceful purposes rather than destructive purposes but in this economy, the transition would be better accomplished gradually over decades perhaps.
It is a dilemma but, the labs are critical to the well being of NM.
Under the relative neo-con leadership with the Obama administration, we can not realistically expect the labs to be repositioned soon.

Posted by: qofdisks | May 22, 2012 10:04:45 PM

We can't expect anything to change ---- in the short-term or long-term ---- unless we demand it.

The primary on June 5th is a good opportunity to make demands by the candidates we vote for.

I'm voting for Balderas for several reasons ------ one reason is because he has the vision to transform our economy to a peacetime, green energy economy.

Posted by: Lora Lucero | May 23, 2012 12:08:05 AM