Spare no expense on ‘defense jobs program’
by Kevin Foley
Columnist
December 07, 2012 12:09 AM | 1442 views | 18 18 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In the search for budget cuts, many conservatives are quick to name social programs like Medicare and Social Security as the place to start.

Bring up the military, however, and they go ballistic.

America spends nearly $770 billion a year on defense, 25 percent of the annual U.S. budget, far more than any other country. China, number two on the list, spends one-tenth of what American taxpayers shell out for defense. Iran’s defense budget is a paltry $12 billion.

On the drive to Bozeman, Mont., for the holidays, I passed an installation that typifies what a lot of American defense spending really represents.

Ellsworth Air Force Base, near Rapid City, S.D., is a $40 million-per-year Cold War dinosaur. It once served a legitimate strategic purpose, its B-52 bombers ready to drop nukes on the Soviet Union in the event of a hot war.

It doesn’t say so at the Ellsworth AFB web site, but its mission today is to provide jobs. Along with nearby Mount Rushmore, Ellsworth is a catalyst for the Rapid City economy.

The Defense Department recommended Ellsworth be closed in 2004, reasoning that its mission could be consolidated with other Air Force commands without sacrificing national security, saving hundreds of millions of dollars.

But Republican Senator John Thune of South Dakota rode to Ellsworth’s rescue, bragging to voters about his close ties to then President George W. Bush. Ellsworth was saved and, more important, so were those Rapid City jobs.

With a straight face Thune introduced his “Common Sense Budget Reform” bill in 2010, saying, “This legislation is a necessary first step toward reining in Washington’s runaway spending habits, while restoring fiscal accountability to our government.”

Thune’s bill specifically called for an end to Obama’s economic stimulus spending.

We’ve come to expect such hypocrisy from GOP politicians, who claim allegiance to fiscal responsibility until it requires some sacrifice from their constituents.

Thune and Ellsworth also reveal something else about conservatives. They don’t favor government stimulus spending to create jobs unless the jobs created benefit the military industrial complex. Then it’s spare no expense.

So Congress continues to budget for phantom enemies, sophisticated and technologically advanced foes that can exchange bomb for bomb with the U.S. or fight America with high tech weaponry and well trained and armed troops.

That threat disappeared when the Soviet Union imploded more than 20 years ago, yet we still have B-1Bs sitting in South Dakota ready to do … what exactly?

Yes, we need to deter would-be enemies by projecting power. But today we’re fighting fanatic cavemen armed with IEDs, RPGs and C-4, not ICBMs.

A giant, unwieldy conglomeration of air, sea and ground forces is analogous to IBM computers of the 1960s that took up an entire room to produce a fraction of the computing power in your cell phone.

We’re literally getting more bang for our buck with an effective intelligence apparatus and smart weapons like the $4 million Predator Drone and $68,000 Hellfire missile then we are with hundred million battle tanks and billion dollar submarines.

I wrote some weeks back about the run-away waste and fraud in the military budget, citing several egregious examples for the edification of tea partiers who think the comparatively small cost of food stamps is driving the country to economic ruin.

Congress hasn’t begun to seriously address this monumental squandering of defense dollars, let alone responsibly scaling back or eliminating obsolete or unnecessary weapons systems and redundant military bases like Ellsworth.

And thanks to the defense lobbyist dollars flooding Washington to preserve the bloated Defense Department jobs program, change won’t be coming anytime soon.

Kevin Foley is a public relations executive, author and writer who lives in Kennesaw.

Kevin Foley is a public relations executive, author and writer who lives in Kennesaw.
Comments
(18)
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Bugles
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December 12, 2012
You obviously have no idea what the B1-B's mission is, do you? It is one of the most versatile planes in the Air Force's arsenal. The B-1 bomber is flown daily in the Middle East. It can virtually carry any bomb the Air Force has. And provides the US with a huge tactical advantage. Please educate yourself before writing any more articles. Or if you did educate yourself please stop lying
Kevin Foley
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December 12, 2012
Bugles (whoever you are) - Try reading and comprehending at the same time. I know that can be difficult for folks like you, but give it a go.

This column isn't about the B1-B. It's about a redundant air base - one of many - that costs you $40 million every year.
Marie in Marietta
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December 11, 2012
FOR PROGRESSIVE KEVIN FOLEY FAKE NEWS ISN'T NEW!

PR Exec: Fake TV News is Good for You!

by Bob Burton — May 2, 2006



FOR KEVIN FOLEY FAKE NEWS ISN'T NEW!

In a contributed column titled "Are Video News Releases All Bad?," Kevin E. Foley, the president of the Atlanta-based PR company KEF Media Associates, criticized the Center for Media and Democracy's (CMD) recent report on the widespread and undisclosed use of video news releases (VNRs). Foley acknowledges that television stations often use VNRs as a cheap source of dubious "news" filler but defends their use without disclosing who sponsored them. He argued, "CMD would have us believe that some great social harm is being done if a VNR isn’t attributed, but if the newscaster airs a story that holds the viewer's attention and the viewer walks away informed or entertained, who has been hurt?" The report documented an instance where Ohio-based WYTV-33 broadcast an 80-second news feature on MimyX, a prescription skin cream for eczema, where safety information included in the VNR was entirely edited out of the "story."

Kevin Foley
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December 11, 2012
@ Marie - Oh my stars...good golly, mercy me. There you go again you silly goose! You've got all your facts wrong again!

Why don't you take your own advice and ignore me?

Foley's Follies
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December 11, 2012
You can always tell when Foley gets a burr under his saddle. He gets testy and starts calling people names. Really Foley, what is a silly goose?

Oh, I know, the Obama goose, the one that keeps laying golden eggs for all the low information high benefit Obama voters.
Marie in Marietta
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December 11, 2012
Oh Kevin, don't you wish that someone, anyone, would take you nearly as seriously as you take your self? Guess what - nobody does or will.

I have been reading more about your FAKE NEWS enterprise Kevin. And I saw that you tried to explain it away by saying the last investigation came about because of a "far-left" organization. I never laughed so hard.

"top PR executives in the fake news business, including Doug Simon of S Simon Productions, Stan Zeitlin of Glen Communications, Larry Moskowitz of Medialink Worldwide and Media's Kevin Foley. These are the companies that are producing and distributing the thousands of VNRs sent to TV networks and stations each year. The VNRs are fake news stories, paid for by clients ranging from the Pentagon to Monsanto, that are aired by TV news producers as if they were independent reporting and the work of real journalists, rather than PR operatives who used to be real journalists."

To other MDJ readers: The way to Kevin Foley's nightmares is to ignore him. Don't comment at all. His giant ego will be "offended".

My goodness Kevin Foley you are such a phony. And the fact that you show it every time you post is hilarious. And Kevin, Allen West is till a proud black man. And Obama is still a collectivist communist-raised, America hater.
loveandcountry
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December 10, 2012
Nothing is more terrible than to see ignorance in action. One of Ronald Reagan’s three most important pillars of national security was “peace through strength (both military and economic)”. We followed his wisdom and communism collapsed and the Soviet Union crumbled and emerging democracies gave promise to the long held desire of human kind for peace and prosperity. President Reagan increased defense spending by 30% and the American people still managed to prosper. Your column appears to lean towards the conservatives behind our country’s economic disarray and your illustration of Ellsworth Air Force Base to make your case is unfitting at the best. Your 2004 reference did not mention it was a coordinated effort, Senator Thune and Senator Johnson and Representative Stephanie Herseth, both Democrats from South Dakota refuted and demonstrated that moving the base’s fleet to Texas would save millions of dollars. And by the way, in 1995, only one day into his new role as Senate minority leader, Senator Tom Daschle, D-S.D., used its power to pick for the base closing commision a businessman leading the drive to save Ellsworth Air Force Base. Sen Daschle selected a commercial refrigeration business in Rapid City, S.D., for the eight-member panel that decides which military bases are to be closed. You left out a few details in your column.
Kevin Foley
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December 10, 2012
@ loveandcountry - The Reagan "peace through strength" claim is pure myth. The Soviet Union began unraveling in 1979 when the shipyard workers in Gdansk, Poland went on strike. A decade later, it collapsed under its own weight, not because of anything Reagan did or didn't do.

Read a little further. I said "congress" has yet to address the problem. That includes Dems. Thune is noteworthy because of his breathtaking hypocrisy.
anonymous
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December 07, 2012
Will you please do us a favor and go away. Having a strong defense is vital to our country. Paying for lazy, fat, wellfare ridden baby mamas continues to weaken our economy, destroy values, and causes a never ending cycle of destruction. Open your eyes and, for once, understand the truth.
Kevin Foley
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December 10, 2012
@ Anonymous - "...lazy, fat, wellfare (sic) ridden baby mamas" about says it all.

No wonder you don't want people to know who you are. Please don't post under my column again.
Tee for Two
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December 10, 2012
Uhh, Foley, seems when the shoe is on the other foot you get a bit testy? It is ok for you to use such nasty childish words, but when someone else does, you suffer a case of righteous indignation. I think it is called hypocrisy.
Greg1279
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December 07, 2012
Mr. Foley displays his obvious ignorance of the critical mission the B-1B is playing in Afghanistan and played in Iraq and Libya. He also doesn't seem to understand the issue of encroachment or proximity to ideal training ranges. He also seems ignorant of the fact that the Predator UAVs he touts as a wise expenditure of defense dollars are piloted from Ellsworth Air Force Base. Maybe next time he needs to do a little more research before shooting from the hip into a crowd of efficient productive airmen and civilian employees.
Kevin Foley
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December 10, 2012
@ Greg 1279 - Did you read the column? I never said the B-1B didn't have a critical mission. I asked why they're sitting in South Dakota.

You do know they are flown to forward bases and not round trip to Iraq and Libya, right? So why couldn't Ellsworth be closed, as the DoD wanted in 2004, and consolidtated with other Air Force commands? Likewise, why can't the UAV mission be consolidated?

You're the one shooting from the hip, my friend.
More Foley Baloney
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December 10, 2012
Sure Foley, lets put all our military assets in one spot and make it easy for the bad guys to take us out with one bomb. What year did you say you graduated from the Air Force academy?
Foley Ignorance
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December 11, 2012
Mr Foley, your comment below again does not have merit. Combat Missions are flown directly from Ellsworth Air Force Base. Who do you think took-out the munition dumps in Libya? Please Google it. New studies from the GAO indicates consolidation is actually not saving any of the tax payer's dollars. Likewise, UAV missions depend on technology, if for any reason, one location loses satelite connection, the system will automatically transfer the Unmanned drone to another pilot (located in a different geographic area) who still has connection to the satelite. If located in the same location, drones would be dropping out of the sky.
Ellsworth
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December 07, 2012
Open skies, ever heard of them? Lets look at closing bases where you can can longer take off with out hitting something, encrouchment, ever heard of that? How about WELFARE cuts for those who do not and will not work. Oh wait, here are some more Obama Bucks, enjoy your new Government paid for couch to sit on while watching TV on your new Govenment paid for big screen. Welfare cut it.
CobbCoGuy
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December 07, 2012
Guess what? I agree! Drinks are on the house, everyone!

You wrote...

"We’ve come to expect such hypocrisy from GOP politicians, who claim allegiance to fiscal responsibility until it requires some sacrifice from their constituents."

Ok, c'mon now, Mr. Foley. Be honest; Democrats are JUST as culpable in playing the "let's-cut-defense-but-not-in-my-backyard" game.

One example would be Jim Moran (D-VA). He certainly receives his fair share of defense "pork."
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