Base closings shows forward thinking

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 26, 2005

Everyone beats up the federal government for some of its questionable spending practices. We shouldn't even have to mention those over-priced toilet seats and hammers that cost hundreds of tax dollars.

Now, Uncle Sam is looking to try and save some money by streamlining many of the nation's military bases and armed forces services. The latest batch of cuts proposed by the Pentagon and voted on by a federal commission includes closing or consolidating a record-setting 62 major military bases and 775 smaller facilities across the nation in efforts to make the services more efficient and redistribute the armed forces.

While we certainly feel for the communities that will suffer a loss of jobs, we believe that the more than $48 billion over 20 years that may ultimately be saved could be used wisely to upgrade the rest of our military, for homeland security or other domestic issues.

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However, the key factor is to use the money "wisely."

Just cutting costs and saving money won't mean anything if we don't utilize it to better our nation. As we often say, this move could lead to many positive effects when looking at the big picture.

Some of the key facilities that will be consolidated include famed Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and Air Force's Brooks City-Base in Texas, a military installation made famous in the 1960s for developing the orange drink Tang.

Of course, Ohioans will be affected by the changes - though not nearly as badly as many people had originally thought. Though several hundred jobs will likely be lost before all the consolidations are completed, the committee preserved more than 3,000 administrative positions in the Cleveland and Columbus areas.

We are happy to see that the government and the Pentagon is finally looking at ways it can streamline itself but still protect our nation and our interests.

If this gives the country $2 billion more per year to work with, we believe that can only be positive. Do we need to continue to adequately fund our military? Absolutely, but that doesn't mean we shouldn’t be willing to shake up the status quo from time to time.

After all, our forefathers were looking to do a little shaking up of their own when they signed the Declaration of Independence. That move worked out pretty well.