Arguing that cutting tuition assistance is bad doesn't really address my complaint about this decision. It plays into the game that's going on when the White House cuts tours and the DOD cuts tuition assistance. Yes money is tight and as a matter of law, government agencies across the board have to make cuts. But does anyone truly believe that White House tours are over for good or that tuition assistance for military members won't be restored? No! These are temporary cuts designed to make a political point.
Instead, we need leadership from those we've put in charge of the Department of Defense, the White House, and the other governmental agencies. The Department of Defense should take another look at programs such as
- The Global Hawk Block 30 drone program;
- The C-27J Spartan cargo aircraft;
- Upgrades to the M1 Abrams tank;
- Air National Guard funding;
- A proposed East Coast missile defense system.
These are all big ticket programs that the military has said it doesn't need or want at least in the amounts pushed by Congress. While I'm not saying these are the right programs to cut or that they even can be cut, I am saying that when you cut programs that we know will be restored, e.g., tuition assistance for the military or White House tours, we know that these are temporary cuts done for political purposes or because a particular program represents low hanging fruit that can be cut with a pen stroke and restored the same way later.
Instead, we need our military leadership (and the leadership of other agencies) to step up and examine programs like the Seven Big Boondoggles identified in Business Insider and then make real cuts that will have a real and true long-term impact on the US budget.