Keeping fees means cutting force

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If Congress blocks Defense Department plans to raise TRICARE fees for military retirees and beneficiary co-pays on drug prescriptions filled off base, the services will have to make even deeper cuts in force strength than now planned, the military’s top health official told lawmakers last week. “Given the constraints of the Budget Control Act, if […]

‘Hollow force’ concerns surfacing

The Congressional Research Service has a message for those who suggest planned defense budget cuts and military compensation curbs will return America to the “hollow force” era of the 1970s. Such references, in light of current force quality and the amount of money used to modernize weapons, infrastructure and benefit programs over the past decade, […]

Official: Base should do well despite cuts

Curry County Commissioner Caleb Chandler Freedom New Mexico Cannon Air Force Base should survive military budget cuts in better shape than many other bases across the country, says Curry County Commissioner Caleb Chandler, fresh from a three-day conference with Air Force top brass. Chandler said Friday that he sees continued growth for Cannon because its […]

Missions reflect truth in defense cuts

W here’s the peace dividend? American troops now are mostly out of Iraq. And their numbers are declining in Afghanistan, with about a third of the 98,000 troops scheduled to come home by summer. Yet, defense spending is not declining despite tough budget times and a federal deficit of $1.3 trillion for fiscal year 2011-12. […]

Cuts coming out of defense budget

The “super committee” that Congress and President Obama created in August to make tough budget choices and slow America’s runaway debt has left military people confused and divided over whether to cheer for its success or pray for its failure as its Thanksgiving deadline nears. Success will be achieved if seven of 12 lawmakers on […]

Cuts to TRICARE Prime proposed

Tom Philpott Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has advised the 12-member Joint Select Committee on Debt Reduction to consider ending access to TRICARE Prime, the military’s popular managed care option, for working-age retirees and their families, to avoid spending cuts that would directly impact readiness. Unless at least seven of 12 super committee members agree on […]

Col. Elton addresses civilian employees on cuts

By 2nd Lt. Stephanie Strine: 27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

Their view: Cut foreign aid before cutting benefits

Karl D. Spence of Clovis offers his view of federal budget cuts.

Commissary boss: Value overlooked

Military grocery stores operate so efficiently that the discounts provided to shoppers are worth double the value of tax dollars being spent to deliver this prized benefit worldwide to U.S. service members and families. Joseph H. Jeu, director of the Defense Commissary Agency, made that point and more in an interview last week amid rising […]

Obama plan over-taxes wealthy

Freedom New Mexico President Barack Obama wants to correct government overspending by over-taxing. He is proposing a combination of cuts and tax increases, the latter accomplished by setting his sights on those earning $250,000 and up. We’ve heard Obama’s class warfare rhetoric before. That may be why the president deemed it necessary to deny the […]

Air Force cuts some training flights in new plan

The Associated Press CANNON AIR FORCE BASE — The Air Force says it determined that its controversial proposal for low-level night-time training flights over New Mexico and Colorado would have no significant impact on the environment, but still made adjustments to proposed fly-zones. A map released with an updated proposal last week cut out planned […]

Their view: Medicaid cuts would hurt New Mexico families

Medicaid cuts would hurt New Mexico families Excerpts from a press release from Families USA on the potential impact to New Mexico if Medicaid cuts are approved. Families USA is the national organization for health care consumers.

Farmers always target for cuts

I’m sitting here reading the newspaper about farms in Missouri and Louisiana being deliberately flooded to prevent inundation of towns on the Mississippi River. Alabama and Tennessee have been ripped with tornados, there’s snow on the ground in Wyoming, it’s too wet to plow some places, Texas is burning up and, at my place in […]

Budget cuts could come at troops’ expense

As Washington engages in a heated political debate about the federal deficit, both parties agree that spending should be cut and no program seems entirely safe from the budget-slashing ax. But history tells us that Congress often makes mistakes during periods of indiscriminate budget-cutting. And this time, the consequences could be tragic for our soldiers […]

Shutdown or not, Congress must make cuts

Freedom New Mexico The current appropriations bill — the Continuing Resolution — funding the federal government is set to expire Friday. If it does, it would cause a shutdown of some portions of the government. With the stakes so high, congressional Republicans ought to, as Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., recently told a group in Newport […]

Petraeus: Afghan war gains enable U.S. troop cuts

The Associated Press WASHINGTON — Amid signs of deepening war weariness among Americans, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said Tuesday he will soon recommend a plan for beginning troop reductions, while embracing President Barack Obama’s goal of pursuing a long-term military partnership with the Afghan government. In a four-hour Senate hearing that was his […]

Editorial: Nation needs budget cuts, not investments

In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama suggested freezing spending on a small fraction of the federal budget and making a few cuts. But, as the National Taxpayers’ Union calculated, the plan actually would add a net $21 billion in spending. And that’s before the unknown costs of seven other major State […]

Legislators must focus on budget

Budget cuts seem to be foremost in everyone’s mind these days — everyone it seems but our elected officials. Budget cutting seemed to get short shrift during the President’s State of the Union address this week. The words investment came up quite a bit, which I’m sure is political code for “spending.” Federal lawmakers aren’t […]

Lawmakers: Cuts likely won’t impact Cannon

Sharna Johnson Cannon Air Force Base is unlikely to be impacted by proposed cuts to the nation’s defense budget, according to area lawmakers. For the first time in more than a decade defined by costly wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Pentagon announced plans Thursday to freeze its ballooning budget, forcing the services to shrink […]

Defense secretary announcing military cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Robert Gates is announcing the latest round of cost-cutting measures for the military, including a plan to do away with a new amphibious vehicle that can ferry troops to shore while under fire. The plan is aimed at staving off potentially deeper cuts by the White House or Congress by […]