29 September 2010

Virginia Politicians Still Whining About JFCOM

So Virginia Gov Bob McDonnell is still complaining about the closure of JFCOM, but at least this time it's in economic terms, instead of trying to sound like it's a military necessity.

Virginia leaders pressed the Pentagon on Tuesday for a fuller explanation of the planned closing of the U.S. Joint Forces Command but said they received little more than a promised future meeting with Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Gov. Bob McDonnell and members of the state's congressional delegation met privately in Washington, D.C., with two high-level Pentagon officials in an attempt to pry out more on what went into the military's decision, announced Aug. 9 by Gates.

"The information that came forth was not particularly compelling, not particularly more illuminating," McDonnell said in a teleconference.

The Republican governor was assured that he would get an opportunity to meet with Gates, whom McDonnell said has not taken his calls since the announcement, but he was unable to secure public meetings in northern Virginia and Norfolk on proposed defense cuts.

The Joint Forces Command, or JFCOM, occupies more than 1 million square feet of real estate in Norfolk and Suffolk, an area with a huge military presence, including the world's largest naval base. As its name suggests, the command trains troops from all services to work together for specific missions.

The 11-year-old command employs nearly 6,000, many of them civilian contractors.

Gates' announcement was the first step toward identifying $100 billion in savings over the next five years. The cuts also include deep reductions in military contracts, which fuels a big part of northern Virginia's economy as well.

McDonnell estimated that the JFCOM closing would cost Virginia 10,000 jobs, directly and indirectly, and said other defense cuts would be painful.

You would think McDonnell would be all about keeping spending under control, right?

After all, he told Sean Hannity that it's all about living within your means.

And we did it by cutting spending, reducing our budget estimates to a realistic amount, and making sure that we're doing what American families and businesses do, and that is don't spend more than you take in. It's a pretty simple formula.

And he told an anti-tax group that he's been an advocate of reducing the size of the government for years.

"The thousands of AFP members in Virginia follow state government and public policy closely,'' McDonnell spokeswoman Stacey Johnson said. "They know that Governor Bob McDonnell has been a champion of reducing spending and making government smaller and more efficient.

His own own campaign materials make it sound like he's all about cutting waste.

Bob McDonnell is a friend of the taxpayer, as McDonnell cut taxes while in the House of Delegates, supports eliminating the "death tax", and is a foe of wasteful spending. Something that is very appealing during this time of economic insanity in Washington.

I mean what could be seen as more wasteful than a "military" headquarters that's 2/3 contractors? Especially in a day and age in which the contractors are (a) unpopular - thanks, Xewater! - and (b) expensive?

By: Brant

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