A Discussion on Federal Spending
a.k.a. Being Responsible!!!
Alan's (also known as the Flower Child) views on what has recently happened in our U. S. House of Representatives. I received this message from a concerned citizen and friend of mine here in the Middle Georgia Area who follows my Blog "The World This Week." His message is printed in italics below:
"This just happened in our world this week.
On Saturday, our "representatives" voted to keep a $45 million military sponsorship of NASCAR but cut SESAME STREET and the rest of Public Broadcast funding. Our government spends $430 million a year on public broadcasting... less than the $500 million that (according to the Washington Post) it spends each year for marching bands in our military.
Please don't make me explain to XXXX that his daddy voted for the men that would rather have the army logo plastered on the side of race car than give him quality, commercial-free, educational shows like SESAME STREET and CURIOUS GEORGE.
Please don't let the Senate seal the deal. Write a quick note to our GA senators asking them not to cut PBS funding!
I hope you agree with me on this matter and share this message with your contacts, friends, and family."
Of course I will share his message with my contacts, you the readers of this Blog and with my Family and Friends. My comments are as follows:
- I also appreciate Public Radio and Public Television. In Georgia we have the opportunity to watch "Lawmakers" produced by Georgia Public Television. This allows us to learn what is happening during the annual sessions of our General Assembly.
- I also have fond memories of my own children enjoying the public television offerings during their youth.
- The amount expended by our U. S. Military to advertise during NASCAR events is considered appropriate to recruit for our Nation's Military. The 45 million dollar advertising/sponsorship of NASCAR can certainly be contested.
- The amount expended on U. S. Military Marching Bands which my friend also mentions in his message may appear excessive; but as a Retired U. S. Navy Veteran let me quickly point out that since the American Revolution we have always enjoyed Music by pipe and drum to full fledged Bands as morale builders. I have fond memories of my own participation in Underway Replenishments (UNREPS) when I served in several U. S. Navy Ships. Sailors working very hard in manual labor to strike below the stores and ammo necessary to meet the mission. During my time in USS Ranger (CVA-61) I recall with fond memory and even great pride as we consistently set underway replenishment records. Can you imagine a crew with the average age of 19 years and 2 months working hard to keep the flow of food items going so that we could receive 352 short tons of groceries in one hour. This takes coordination and a high level of morale to insure that all work at top efficiency. Yes, we did enjoy the benefit of a "Seventh Fleet Band" stationed onboard Ranger. Yes, they did perform for every underway replenishment of food/stores/ammo and fuel.
- I also am aware that every American takes great pride in the Bands of each of the respective services of our U. S. Military. The Annual Cherry Blossom Festival Band Concerts here in Macon, Georgia, performed by various U. S. Military Bands are a mark of civilized society. These concerts are free and are well attended. The mission of the Military Music Program is to assist in the recruiting and retention of qualified individuals. It is a recognized fact that music and the other arts are a necessary part of our culture and have been enjoyed by all cultures of all ages. In short, music and the arts are necessary for the good of all peoples everywhere.
- Before we discount expending monies on U. S. Military programs, I would remind my readers that we all have enjoyed the benefits of an All Volunteer Force since the early 1970s. The U. S. Military must advertise and have programs that attract qualified young citizens to serve us all and defend our great nation. I am also aware that our Military expends great sums of funds for the various demonstration teams that perform all over our Nation every year. The first such organization/team that comes to my mind is the U. S. Navy Blue Angels. Of course the Air Force has the Thunderbirds and the Army has Parachute Teams that also assist in the recruiting/retention efforts of their respective organizations.
- Then there is the "President's Own - The U. S. Marine Band!!"
- I recently learned that only about 24 percent of our Nation's Youth in the 18 year old to 24 year old age range are even qualified for service in Our Military. Therefore the marketing of our Military to attract recruits must appeal to this age group as well as the parents who have raised these fine young women and men. They need to see that the U. S. Military is a civil organization that respects a well rounded person.
I can appreciate the need for our U. S. Congressmen and Congresswomen to attempt to reduce Federal Spending. I would respectfully submit that the first place they reduce cost would be in their own respective offices. I recall that recently our former Speaker was traveling to the West Coast very frequently at great expense to the U. S. Taxpayers. Additionally She required an office suite in San Francisco that many considered an excessive expense. I know that I, the Flower Child did. I am aware of the San Francisco area. The USS Ranger (CVA-61) which I mentioned above was homeported in Alameda, California. I was also onboard USS Ranger during a major overhaul which was performed at Hunter's Point, just down the hill from Candlestick Park in San Francisco.
In summary, I consider the expenditure of funds to recruit/retain our Military a vital aspect of our Government. After all even our U. S. Constitution provides for the common defense of our Great Nation!!