April 1, 2012

Paul Ryan: "I really misspoke."

"I didn’t mean to make that kind of an impression. So, I was clumsy in how I was describing the point I was trying to make."

He's saying that today about something he said on Thursday, which was: "I think there is a lot of budget smoke and mirrors in the (administration's) Pentagon budget, which is not really a true, honest and accurate budget. When you confront military experts — retired or active — they concede these things to us."

So what was the point, put unclumsily?
"What I was attempting to say is, President Obama put out his budget number for the Pentagon first, $500 billion cut, and then they began the strategy review to conform the budget to meet that number... We think it should have been the other way around."

41 comments:

David said...

I think he said it better the first time.

You don't have to confront military experts to get the smoke and mirrors opinion. The ones who are not constrained legally or politically will volunteer it.

Read the blog Information Dissemination for an example from men and women expert in naval strategy and procurement policy.

MSM--of any political stripe--does not touch this. Too complicated. Not sexy. Not sound biteable.

Seeing Red said...

Missle Defense, he always wanted to cut missile defense, he said it before and now he said it again.

What is so hard about this?

, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."

cubanbob said...

A military that can't fulfill it's mission is not only useless but dangerous. It drains the economy without adding compensating value and worse deludes the leadership in to thinking it has capabilities it doesn't.
Ryan is wright, define the mission first then fund accordingly. As per usual, Obama is wrong about first cutting the budget then determining the mission.

leslyn said...

Paul Ryan thinks you should put strategy before numbers?

ROFLMAO.

ricpic said...

The most important aspect of fundamental change is rendering the United States weak enough to fold when attacked by Hussein's allies, Russia, China, Iran and Venezuela.

Seeing Red said...

I wonder if Iran placed the missiles in Venezuela yet.

SGT Ted said...

I don't think its a bad idea to have government agencies developing plans to use vastly lower amounts of money. The Pentagon has been the most responsive to actual budget cuts in trying to meet mission. As long as the military can meet the mission and satisfy civilians leadership budget constraints, then the system is working.

The civilian side of the house seems more intent on turf protecting and subversion in making sure that the major cuts are those that affect the delivery of the services, in order to piss people off enough that they will demand more money for those services. This is primarily the result of the unions. You cannot serve 2 masters when being employed by Government. IOW, they will sabotage the mission in order to secure more funding . We see this in how schools fund things. The DMV in CA was another classic examples of slowdowns trying to effect public policy, taking up to 6 months to get a drivers licence. They thought voters would demand more money go to the DMV to inprove services. All it did was piss off the citizens, who basically told them to take a hike. They screwed themselves out of alot of jobs, however, because now its automated and online for both licences and registrations. Now you get it in 3 weeks. The ones laid off due to no money have never been rehired.

This is coupled with the autocracy of the administrative layer, mostly non-union, that also has a vested interest in keeping the tax money gravy train rolling.

They'll spend hundreds of millions on adminstrative buildings, hire all manner of useless Diversity strap hangers at 6 figures a pop and then tell schools they need to overcrowd the children into portables because "there's no money".

The military does not have the option of declining or sabotaging the mission. They will salute and carry on. The civilian side of the coin turns to their unions to put the screws to the politicians to get their way.

Until you change the culture of civilian civil service back to one of actual service and not turf holding and political corruption via union influence, cutting their budgets back to sustainable levels is going to be an uphill fight. They think they have a right to that money. We need to show them that they don't.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The whole budget is nothing more than smoke and mirror bullcrap.\\

ALL of it.

We are so screwed.

bagoh20 said...

One tenet of my basic philosophy in business and life is: Don't start something unless you commit to finishing it. It's always better to do nothing than waste a lot of resources on doing nothing.

garage mahal said...

The generals are lying! Er, I meant the Pentagon budget wasn't prepared like I'd prefer.

He's definitely Republican Veep material though.

Alex said...

garage - suddenly you're in favor of the military industrial complex?

Alex said...

You mean like Joe "plugs" Biden is super VEEP material?

Skyler said...

That was a very dangerous faux pas.

Anytime politicians attempt to associate the military with their political party is a danger to the republic. The American people trust their military because it is apolitical. If we ever lose the trust of the people then we risk becoming a banana regime.

It is good that he has apologized and I hope he also publicly apologizes to the heads of the services for impugning their loyalty to the Constitution above any party.

Joe said...

The military budget is a lot of smoke and mirrors. Just talk to anyone actually working on the DoD dime. When it comes to wasting money, the military is up there with the best. You could slash the military budget by 20% and nobody but paper pushers would notice. (Okay, the generals would make sure the right programs got cut so people would scream. Of course, they wouldn't reduce the number of generals.)

Alex said...

I mean come on. We could easily slash 50% of the military budget. $900 toilet seats remember? Also why should any plane cost $2 billion to make?

shiloh said...

"I really misspoke"

mittens and Ryan would make a great team! :)

Alex said...

shiloh - at least Republicans admit mistakes. When as your GodZero ever admitted making any mistake?

Fen said...

Not a fan of Ron Paul, but I like that he came out with a "I mispoke and should have said it this way...".

Is he really this honest all the time?

Fen said...

You could slash the military budget by 20% and nobody but paper pushers would notice.

The Congress-critters would. Why do you think the military budget is so bloated?

Its all "cut military spending" until the local base is slated to close down. Having sat through a few of those sessions, I can tell you the long knives come out.

machine said...

He called the generals liars. If a Democrat had said what he said this place would be blowing up (after orders from Rushbo, of course); instead he is defended and the President is attacked...typical.

"We don’t think the generals are giving us their true advice. We don’t think the generals believe that their budget is really the right budget."

Fen said...

Missle Defense, he always wanted to cut missile defense, he said it before and now he said it again.

Whats amazing is that the standard critque of Missile Defense is that it couldn't intercept enough Soviet or Chineese ICBMs to make a difference.

When actually, its the emerging threat of Iranian proxy (Hamas/Hezbollah) missile attacks out of Venezuala.

It would actually be quite useful to counter that threat. Assuming you ever want to visit Los Angeles again.

Henry said...

I think Ryan was right the first time.

The DoD needs to think through priorities just like everyone else.

This is not to impugn the professionalism and sacrifice of our soldiers nor the importance of their mission.

But there is no single holistic mission that demands a great big unitary budget. There are many missions, some competing, and some unnecessary or even counterproductive.

Donald Rumsfeld understood this, even if the Pentagon's apologists don't.

purplepenquin said...

You cannot serve 2 masters when being employed by Government

Only atheists should be allowed in the military?

Lem said...

I think I misspoke yesterday in the tread about Charles Pierce.. or at least I said what I said poorly..

3/31/12 4:51 PM I said..

The I don't write my own blog defence..

Look who's talking.. accusing others of not trying..

Pelosi's "you have to pass it to know whats in it" was way more diligent.


When I said Look who's talking I meant Charles Pierce.. not anyone else.

I should have fixed that yesterday.

edutcher said...

In saying there's a lot of flim-flammery in GodZero's defense budget, Ryan merely states the obvious.

There's always plenty in the budget to please Congress.

leslyn said...

Paul Ryan thinks you should put strategy before numbers?

ROFLMAO.


The way leslyn wants to do it is the reason most big cities are underwater.

The MacArthur-FDR budget flap is the most famous

Bender said...

really a true, honest and accurate budget

You mean like the budget full of smoke and mirrors that Ryan himself put together, continuing the false, dishonest, and implicitly inaccurate process of "cutting" spending by X amount over a ten-year or twenty-year period (but with real-dollar increases), where your own plan calls for over $3.5 trillion in spending next year (Obama levels) rather than the FY2008 levels that you promised to stick to, resulting in spending FORTY TRILLION DOLLARS over the next ten years and not balancing the budget until 2040.

theMickey's said...

"I think there is a lot of budget smoke and mirro..


*Gasps !

\

LarsPorsena said...

Blogger Fen said...

You could slash the military budget by 20% and nobody but paper pushers would notice.

The Congress-critters would. Why do you think the military budget is so bloated?

Its all "cut military spending" until the local base is slated to close down. Having sat through a few of those sessions, I can tell you the long knives come out.

-------------------

The first thing that gets cut is operational maintenance funds. POL, parts, ammunition, etc. i.e. everything that is necessary for realistic training. Pilots will be flying less hours, the troops will have fewer live fire exercises. This all happens in the background, under the radar while all eyes are on the fights over the sexy weapons systems.

Carnifex said...

Well, they can always borrow ammo from Fatherl...I mean, Homeland Security.

A politicians budget is less useful than toilet paper. At least with toilet paper you can clean up little pieces of shit. A politicians budget is made up of little pieces of shit.

@leslyn

Did the dog in your avatar get adopted?

walter said...

"That was a very dangerous faux pas.

Anytime politicians attempt to associate the military with their political party is a danger to the republic. "


Sorry..how did he associate the military with a political party?

This situation seems similar to someone acting one way on the job around their boss and griping about the work situation off the record.

leslyn said...

I should have checked back here earlier, but "Paul Ryan" made me laugh too much to take it seriously.

Comments, in reverse order:
@Carnifex: Yes, I took the dog home the same day. Her name is Maisie. She was so fearful at first that she went around with her eyes nearly squinted shut but now, a few weeks later, she shows her big, beautiful brown eyes. Thank you for asking.

@Bender: Damn straight! You go, girl!

@Skyler: I agree on principle. The services are working hard and conscientiously on planning responsible cuts, prioritizing responsibilities, and making the military flexible and responsive within their constraints.

No matter what they may feel personally about what comes down the pike, what they say and do is directed solely to the mission and upholding their oath. I see this to be true from top to bottom within the service I know most personally.

The only thing that prevents us from becoming a military dictatorship is that grand tradition, vision and conviction--that the oath is true. What makes this even more impressive is that it is a mantle of responsibility that is taken on, and maintained, voluntarily.

For a person in a position of political power to undermine that unity and steadfastness in any way does a disservice to the Nation and the forces which protect it. It is a dangerous example to set. The only thing that protects us from our own military is that military itself.

I wish could say the same about Congress.

walter said...

"For a person in a position of political power to undermine that unity and steadfastness in any way"

What exactly are you referring to?

walter said...

"The only thing that protects us from our own military is that military itself."

Some would contend the 2nd amendment plays a role here.

leslyn said...

"I think there is a lot of budget smoke and mirrors in the (administration's) Pentagon budget, which is not really a true, honest and accurate budget.

The implication is that the services, which have to plan their budgets, strategies and priorities with the good of the Nation as their goal, are not doing this sincerely, but with sleight of hand and trickery. You see, it is the services which decide, for the most part, how their budgets are allocated. (Congress puts in a few earmarks.)

"When you confront military experts —retired or active —they concede these things to us."

I call B.S.! They're not going to "concede" this because they are not doing these things.

Oh, I'm sure there are a few retired military out there who are employed as lobbyists and tell Ryan what he wants to hear for a soundbite. But you can bet the active military did not take to this kindly. Generals are usually polite to civilians, but they have no problem telling them to back off behind closed doors when the military's integrity is being impugned.

If you have any remaining doubts about this, look at Ryan's back-pedaling. It sounds nothing like his original statement. It wasn't the President who brought him to that; it was the generals and their messengers.

And there was nothing wrong with that, just as there would be nothing wrong with telling a person to stop slandering you.

Ryan's remark had the potential to undermine the reputations and integrity of the military when they're trying to grapple with impending cuts and still protect the nation. And when you come right down to it, your reputation in that situation is all you've got.

leslyn said...

garagemahal pretty much said what I said only shorter:

The generals are lying! Er, I meant the Pentagon budget wasn't prepared like I'd prefer.

walter said...

So you are contending the insertion of "(administration's)" is not accurate? That it's strictly generals doing the budgeting?


""When you confront military experts —retired or active —they concede these things to us."

I call B.S.! They're not going to "concede" this because they are not doing these things."


So..it's not true because it's not true.

"Ryan's remark had the potential to undermine the reputations and integrity of the military when they're trying to grapple with impending cuts and still protect the nation."

They are too important to criticize.

Hmm...seems like there have been other instances of criticism...some much more relevant to "mission".

leslyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
leslyn said...

@walter:

If you're going to quote me and then comment it would be nice if you did so without leaving out the accompanying statements which are necessary for an accurate understanding what I said.

walter said...

Leslyn,

The posts close in proximity. Others can certainly see if I am misconstruing your position. Or you can explain yourself instead of crying foul.

leslyn said...

walter said...

So you are contending the insertion of "(administration's)" is not accurate? That it's strictly generals doing the budgeting?

You mischacterize me with what I think is a red herring. But I'll address it.

Yes, and No.

Yes, the administration (the Commander in Chief via SecDef) provides the overall numbers. But the services strategize how to allocate those numbers for the best defense of the Nation. This is a task they take on with utmost seriousness.

No, because the word "(administration's)" wasn't in Ryan's original statement. He said the Pentagon'sbudget was "smoke and mirrors." Ryan said it was "not really a true, honest, and accurate budget." Further, Ryan said that the "active...military" "concede(d) this."

Ryan directly impugned the integrity of the services. When "honor" is a word you live and die by, you don't accept that crap.

No wonder Ryan said he "really" misspoke, and his later statement sounded nothing like the first.

walter said...

Who in "the services" creates the budgets?

If it's true that military folk are coming to him and informing him "smoke and mirrors" is going on, you blame him for calling it out?

Given the military, at least at a budgetary level, is subject to pressures and pork that any governmental agency has..seems likely there is room for criticism when warranted. Giving the pentagon immunity from budgetary scrutiny is not an honorable exercise. I don't perceive Ryan as reflexively anti-military. If he's bringing it up, I place the higher honor on more scrutiny, not shutting him up.