(NN&V Staff) – Ilario Pantano, Republican candidate for Congress in the 7the District of North Carolina today praised Secretary of Defense Robert Gates for admitting that programs in his department had “swelled to cumbersome and top-heavy proportions,” and Gates’ announcement of budget cuts to make the American military more efficient and effective.
Pantano, a Marine Corps veteran of two wars, called on other administration and congressional leaders to take a cue from Gates’ action and make serious and deep cuts in the spending levels of their own agencies and offices.
Here is his complete statement:
“Yesterday, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced military spending cuts in programs that he has found to be bloated, redundant, and unnecessary. Good for him. Now we need a similar commitment to cost-cutting and fiscal responsibility from his fellow cabinet members, other agency heads, and, of particular symbolic importance, Members of Congress, who should immediately consider reducing their salaries and office expenses.”
“If Secretary Gates can find some fat to trim, then so can every other bloated government agency – bar none.”
“Secretary Gates is firm in his belief that the military will be better off for cutting back on these unwieldy bureaucracies. I agree. I have always been a proponent of streamlined military operations, and find that the bloated programs create inefficiencies and vulnerabilities in our military operations. I absolutely agree with Gates that we must trim the fat.”
“As a former infantry officer that led Marines in Fallujah, Iraq I know there is a big difference between cutting a bloated bureaucracy and cutting funding for our combat troops in the field. I will never cut any funding that affects our troops in the field or reduces combat effectiveness. We can make the cuts to the bureaucracy Gates has proposed and reallocate more resources to war fighters where they need it instead of throwing money away on fat cat contractors.”
“It is telling and appropriate that the military, with an approval rating seven times higher than Congress’ and more than twice that of President Obama’s, should lead the way in the absolutely essential task of cutting Federal spending, which is the single most important task of government today.”
“The unprecedented and irresponsible over-spending and debt increases perpetrated by President Obama and Congress have utterly failed to fix our ailing economy, and have put the nation’s long-term future prosperity in jeopardy. It may not be the military’s job to reign in this out-of-control spending spree, but as a former Marine, I’m proud of them for taking the lead. Finding a way to cut fat and streamline operations is one more way our military sets the standard, and puts our irresponsible civilian government leaders to shame.”
”Now, it is time for Congress to recognize its abysmal performance and pony up for some cuts of its own, starting with a 25 percent pay cut for the members themselves. It’s about time the congress began to feel the pains of the constituents they are elected to represent. As we say in the Marine Corps, ‘officers eat last.’”