Friday, January 06, 2012

People are too expensive

A Wall Street Journal editorial organized around the theme that pesky "entitlements" (pensions and health care for old people) are squeezing the military budget --

Part of the problem is that military personnel costs are exploding on pace to exceed the entire defense budget by 2030, according to Andrew Krepinevich of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. It's hard to make the political and moral case to reduce benefits for veterans and soldiers, but here's where Mr. Panetta could show mettle on Capitol Hill, especially by reforming military health care. The bulk of any defense budget is better spent on equipment, training and research.

Note that the current military healthcare system -- the base hospitals and Veterans Administration -- is actually a model of efficient government-provided free healthcare.  So what they mean by "reform" is dumping soldiers into the free-for-all of the private insurance system. Maybe as a concession, being in a war will not count as a pre-existing condition. Until the robot army ("equipment") renders actual people unnecessary.

Image: Robocop poster via Wikipedia

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