Cut Military Spending To $200B/yr and Budget Will Balance
We'll still be spending 200% over our nearest rival. We could achieve that easily by: reinstating the draft, eliminating 100% of contractors. Also cutting any weapons the Pentagon doesn't want and moving the gluttonously fat military pension system to Social Security.
We'd also have to close 99% of the foreign bases.
Anyone ever see a military base from Japan or Germany here in the USA?
Overseas bases are gigantic boondoggles that have little to do with American security, much more to do with economic security of corporations. It's to make sure foreign governments make their customers pay their bills to multinationals.
Cutting the head count ( Troops ) is not a productive way to cut the budget. The better approach is to study the spending to the military establishment. How many weapon systems can be cut and which ones are too expensive to deploy are the correct questions to serve as a guide. How big does the pentagon have to be to be effective ? How many generals sit on committees that are redundant ? There are too many Field Grade and General Officers and there should be a reduction in force at this level. There should be a study of supply chain and military spending conducted by the CBO . There is so much waste that easy cuts can be made. I am not sure what the correct level is and neither does anyone else today. It can be determined through process examination and re-engineering though. This is not a job for the military and one that Chuck Hagl just does not have the intelligence or bandwidth to manage.