Letter to the editor

It is a shame what they pay the military. I work for the federal government, and most all of us had to take a course called total quality management. This course tried to show us that "cutting costs" was not laying off people or getting rid of people. It suggested maybe updating procedures, getting new equipment was a better way to cut costs. The "older style" manager has that mind-set of cutting salary or people.

When the public wanted the government to cut spending, the public did not want the government to cut its workforce. We wanted our senators and representatives to stop giving money to other countries to "help" them out, and bring that money back to the United States.

We need a very strong military with lots of equipment. What would have happened in the Gulf War if a couple of nuclear devices had exploded in the Red Sea, or at our stealth bomber base? Would we have recovered? To cut spending, why couldn't we have moved our German bases home, construct buildings, create jobs for U.S. workers and have military personnel's money spent in local communities instead of for rent in German pockets. I am not picking on Germany, but all the countries we are in.

I hope our Congress takes a clear view of what is happening in America. Most of our consumer items come from overseas. We are held hostage by oil prices. Laying off employees and offering early retirements and buyouts in every branch of government is not the answer. All of that technical expertise is needed, especially in the military. You have new personnel working for far less money doing jobs that are highly specialized that should demand higher pay.

Maybe we should offer members of Congress an early retirement, so we can hire cheaper new workers to do their jobs.

I hope this does not offend anyone, but hopefully it offers a new paradigm. It is a vicious circle: lay off people, cut costs, raise prices for higher profits. Going out of business is just as likely.

Can we afford our military going out of business?

Larry Paul McGuire Natural Resources Conservation Service Agriculture Department

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