Your tax cuts at work!
Walter Reed Army Medical Center has treated presidents, foreign leaders, veterans and soldiers.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A federal commission voted on Thursday to close the crown jewel of Army hospitals as it began its second day of decision-making on sweeping plans to restructure military bases across the country.
Located in the nation's capital, century-old Walter Reed Army Medical Center has treated presidents and foreign leaders as well as veterans and soldiers, including those returning from the Iraq war.
According to the article, they will cram all of Walter Reed's stuff into two other hospitals, one Navy hospital in Bethesda, Md., and a community hospital at Fort Belvoir in Virginia.
Cozy. The administration is calling it "jointness."
On Wednesday, the panel breezed through proposals to shutter hundreds of small and large facilities in all corners of the country, and, ahead of schedule, began taking up recommendations that would streamline support, education, training and medical services across the military branches.
After finishing those joint-service proposals, the commission was moving next to the Air Force plan, much of which includes recommendations to shake up the Air National Guard, a highly controversial effort. The Air Force also proposes closing both Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota and Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico.
"We're doing some very large muscle movements," Gen. Gary Heckman, a top Air Force official who helped lead the service's base-closing analysis team, said in an interview.
He said his service branch wasn't hit in previous rounds of closures as hard as the Army and Navy because overhauling the Air Force's structure -- which is what has been proposed this time around -- is very difficult.
Ellsworth's proposed closing has caused the most political consternation because Sen. John Thune, a freshman senator, had argued during the 2004 campaign that he -- rather his Democratic opponent, then-Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle -- would be in a better position to save the facility. Nonetheless, it showed up on the Pentagon's closure list.
Closing Cannon would cost Clovis, New Mexico, a small town on the Texas-New Mexico line, nearly 3,000 jobs.
Overall, the Pentagon has proposed closing or consolidating a record 62 major military bases and 775 smaller installations to save $48.8 billion over 20 years, streamline the services and reposition the armed forces.
Rummy says these closures and trims in the military budget will make our armed forces more "Nimble." "Smaller but smarter." "Fleet."
The truth is that the government is broke because a whole mess of poor people came out to vote to lower their bosses' taxes and to continue an ill-advised and hugely expensive war. The panel eventually spared New England from the closures (thereby saving more than 31,000 jobs in one base alone) but other communities are going to see several shutdowns of military bases, decimating already struggling towns in some of the poorest regions in America.