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What Would You Ditch From the Budget?

Let’s be honest - family programs could use a little scrub down. We’ve all seen the redundancies, the unused facilities and the programs no one attends because they are poorly publicized or badly operated.

A top Defense Department official asked the Senate yesterday to keep its hands off the budget for family funding and servicemember training as lawmakers seek ways to slash Defense spending across the board.

 "I don't want any money taken out of those," Defense Secretary Robert Gates told the Senate Appropriations committee yesterday, this story reports.

While the story specifically points out a discussion in the hearing on protecting funding for wounded warriors and care for recent veterans (and those are, of course, extremely important), let’s go back to our favorite topic: maintaining funding for the important family support programs.

Gates asked the Senate to “fence” those funds, and instead focus on other areas. This may surprise you, but I don’t think that’s such a good idea. A few budget cuts may force leaders to reexamine priorities and start spending what they’ve got a little better.

The cadre of advisors giving Gates information about what can or should go and what can stay in the budget has no doubt done their homework. But none of them will ever be as close to the programs as we are. If you were speaking to the Senate, what family programs would you gladly sacrifice to the budget axe?

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