Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Washington Perspective -- Defense Bill, TA, Debt

Congress passed (late last week) the FY12 Defense Authorization Act. It, like most defense bills, was complex and had many elements. Here is a document which provides a general summary to the Act:

For a better look at elements of the personnel parts of the bill, see this longer piece which compares House and Senate provisions and tells you which were approved: [AFA believes our positions prevailed in a number of areas. We are proud of our efforts (and of the HASC) in not proceeding with a Joint Unified Medical Command. We achieved many of our goals outlined in an earlier Washington Perspective (See: However, we did not achieve a long-held objective of ending the DIC/SBP offset. We will push hard for it next year.]

Additionally, on an item not on the list, we failed to convince the Senate that the Air Force needs to own the Air Force Memorial. As some of you might realize, the Army is the caretaker of the Memorial … but the AF pays most of the bills there through a memorandum of agreement with the Army. While I consider this one a “no-brainer” … and it came at no cost to the government, the Senate Armed Services Committee continued to block the transfer. I will be asking you in the future to send letters to your Senators.

Secondly, Sec Panetta, as a result of our letter and those of others, suspended the adjustment rule to the tuition assistance program. This shows that the Air Force Association does, indeed, make a difference. [For reference letter, see:

Finally, many of you have written me urging a more simple explanation of the erosive impact of our national debt. One of you (thanks, Jim) sent me the version below my name. And … while the numbers are not exactly accurate, they are close.

For your consideration.


Michael M. Dunn

Air Force Association


Snapshot of the U.S. Government financial situation:

      * U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
      * Federal budget: $3,820,000,000,000
      * New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
      * National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
      * Recent budget cuts: $ 38,500,000,000

      Let's now remove 8 zeros and pretend it's a household budget:

      * Annual family income: $21,700
      * Money the family spent: $38,200
      * New debt on the credit card: $16,500
      * Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
      * Total budget cuts: $385



Anonymous said...

The simplified version of the "Snapshot of the U.S. Government financial situation" is an eye-opener and clarifies the sorry position that our elected office-holders (not "leaders" by any definition) have placed our great country in. If I could run my household this way, it would be a very Merry Christmas indeed!

Scruffy19 said...

This "household" is bankrupt. All that is left is the filing.

Anonymous said...

So this has been passed by Congress in conference by by both when does the President sign it? Or is he too busy packing for his Hawaii vacation...