Do American Soldiers Need Multibillion Dollar Night Lights?
Republicans and hawkish Democrats in Congress warned us all that if the military spending cuts that were part of the sequestration were allowed to go through, we would all be sorry. They lectured us that we would all suffer the consequences of a severe reduction in our national security.
These military spending cuts have been in place for some time now. So, where are the consequences? What terrible things have happened because of the reduction of national security spending?
Look around you. Do you see any any Russians invading? Have the armies of Red China taken over your town? Has an Islamic jihad occupied your elementary school?
No, despite the lowering of military spending that’s taken place as a part of sequestration, the United States has not been invaded, or bombed, or even teased more than usual.
A rational analysis of the effects of military spending would conclude that our nation is suffering no ill effects from a smaller military budget. In fact, we would probably have great economic benefit from further reductions in military waste.
Most politicians in Congress, however, don’t seem interested in a rational analysis of the impact of cuts in military spending.
Despite the lack of any serious problems due to the reduction in military spending, Republican Congressman Mike Turner stood up on the floor of the House of Representatives yesterday and declared that he had found a serious national security crisis caused by the military budget cuts: A crisis of emotional insecurity.
Representative Turner warned that the cuts are diminishing “the morale of our servicemembers and civilian workforce. Imagine going to work and the President feels that you are so insignificant that you don’t even deserve to have the lights on!”
Turner was referring to the decision to turn off unneeded electric lights at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, in order to save money on the military’s immense utility bills. The Wright-Patterson Air Force Base had some darkened halls as a result, but most places got along just fine with natural light. Money was saved. The federal budget deficit shrunk.
Nothing bad happened as a result. There wasn’t a Canadian Air Force invasion. Airplanes from Mexico did not bomb Ohio. No horde of communist infiltrators activated their secret plan to conquer the United States using hot air balloons.
All that happened is that we saved a lot of money.
Mike Turner says that doesn’t matter. Mike Turner says that the government should have spent the money to keep all those unnecessary lights burning anyway.
Why? Mike Turner is afraid that if we don’t keep on burning through huge amounts of money, America’s soldiers will have their feelings hurt. Mike Turner worries that, unless we keep inflating the military budget, these young people who have been taught to kill, to endure hardship, to march through rough terrain for days on end not knowing if they’re going to live or die, are emotionally incapable of turning off the lights when they leave a room.
Apparently, Congressman Mike Turner believes that U.S. soldiers are such timid little crybabies that the American people need to pay for them to have nightlights on at military bases 24 hours a day, just so that they don’t have to be afraid of the dark.
I don’t think that Mike Turner is right. I think that, if the unnecessary electric lights at America’s military bases are turned off to save money, America’s soldiers are strong enough to handle it.
But what if Mike Turner is right? What if America’s fighting men can be caused to crumple into psychological breakdown as a result of the lack of proper mood lighting?
If that is true, then no amount of military spending is going to enable such a spineless soldiery to defend the USA. No amount of military technology will make them tough enough to stand and fight. Really, what would the point be of paying to maintain a standing army of wimps who are afraid of their own shadows?
Personally, I think that Mike Turner isn’t really worried about the emotional feelings of American soldiers who don’t have enough nightlights. I think that Congressman Turner’s speeches in favor of increased military spending have more to do with the fact that Turner has taken almost a half million dollars from corporations that profit from big spending contracts from the Department of Defense.