it's too radical for republicans to like it and not radical enough for democrats to like it
I rarely see a doctor so paying health insurance would be a waste of money for me.
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Posted by gbpxl on 20 December 2013 - 03:59 AM
I am an Iraq War veteran, so I've seen firsthand how the government wastes your tax dollars. I'll go through some key points, starting with some things I've seen personally and then I'll move on to things I've read about in the news or have seen in documentaries
1. contractors. I was a satellite systems operator. when I was in Iraq, there were people employed by General Dynamics who were trained in the same field that we were who were supposed to be the go-to guys in case we were having problems with our equipment. I know of one who didn't know jack shit and in fact had to be trained by my squad leader. When I was doing any kind of training mission in garrison, they were there too, and they'd get mad because I never called them for help or kept them updated on anything that was going on. these guys were getting paid anywhere from $40k-$100k plus, depending on their experience, whether they were deployed, etc. Well over what the service members were getting paid, and doing the exact same work.
2. hiring out menial and security jobs to third party companies. Most of the food I ate in Iraq was cooked and served by Indians or Pakis. I never saw a single person in uniform serving food. I heard that KBR/Halliburton employed a lot of their own people as chefs as well. Again, we have people in the military to do this, albeit perhaps not enough, but the ones I did see were just standing by the doors. Every cook i met in the army told me they were essentially tankers or gunners their entire time in the military. Obviously they didn't that good a job of placing people where they needed to be.
The biggest slap in the face was having to show my ID card to armed Ugandan security guards on an AMERICAN base. Again, a complete waste of money. I saw a lot of Indian or Paki type people that'd come and clean the portapotties and I guess that's not too bad considering I wouldn't wanna clean that shit either.
3. idiotic waste of money put into the base itself. Most of the dwellings were tents that were sprayed with this foam that was supposed to make the tents cooler. really unsightly but they definately did the job. God knows how much that cost. everywhere i went, I had to walk on rocks, which were put there to prevent mud during the rainy season. it didnt rain while I was there but meh, more money wasted in my opinion. I loved that we had money for foam tents and rocks but we couldn't get concrete bunkers near or inside of our tin can houses. The nearest bunker was about 50 yards away, and we'd have to sprint to them every time the mortar alarm would go off, most of the time this would wake me up from sleep.
4. giving soldiers a raise when they get married or have their firstborn kid. this is nothing new. it's been like this since as early as Vietnam. Your average PFC or Specialist makes around $20-25k a year after taxes, this is base pay and not including any hazard pay or meals plans, etc. Soon as you get married and file the paperwork, you're suddenly making an extra 1k a month, roughly. Now, most single soldiers live rent-free in the barracks, so that 20-25k a year is a lot of money as it is, and most apartments in Ft Hood TX are 650-800, so there's about 200 left over each month. as a single soldier, they give you 300 a month for food and take back all 300 of it so you can eat at the dining hall for free. once you're married, guess what, that 300 is all yours to do as you please. you can see now why so many young soldiers get married (and divorced within a year)
5. pensions. i don't know the going rate for pensions these days but I believe after 20 years of service, you get a pension of half of whatever you were making when you retired. not too shabby. but again, this is an area where we could make cuts.
6. GI Bill basic allowance for housing. I'm going to school right now on the GI Bill and as long as I'm taking 12 credit hours a semester and am going to brick and mortar school, I get roughly 1k a month. again, not too shabby. bear in mind now, I work at wal-mart and try to get as many hours as I can there, (usually it's only 33-37) but if it wasn't for my working in the private sector, I probably wouldn't be able to afford an apartment and living on my own. food is crazy expensive.
I don't feel like typing much more but if anyone cares to, watch the documentary Iraq for Sale to see how much of your money the government threw down the toilet. It really is phenomenal and it's a result of Americans feeling patriotic and thinking "man if we pump up our military fund, we'll blast those terrorists sky high!" when in reality, most of that money is just ending up in the hands of war investors.