In 2010, he proposed closing Joint Forces Command, reducing the number of flag officers in the military, and curbing contractor workforces by 10 percent a year for three years running. This last recommendation is dubious. Calls for reduction of some arbitrary percentage in a workforce over some period of time are appealing but usually unsuccessful, if the past is a guide. For example, similar goals were established in the 1990s for privatizing defense support functions, with an eerily similar goal of finding 30 percent savings in total support spending. But this effort was largely unsuccessful—privatization did occur in many areas, but 30 percent savings did not, and in fact overall trend lines in operating accounts did not curve downward at all.
A conservative think tank admitting that privatizing everything doesn't actually save money? But let's continue to not give our federal employees raises while we let this engine project drag on and on. I don't know what definition of earmarks the new congress will be using when the new majority is pledging to forgo them, but I hope someone stands up against this ridiculous kind of pet project. Four hundred million might not seem like a lot. This estimate stated extending a public healthcare option to tens of millions of uninsured Americans would cost less than $1 trillion over 10 years. Or, you guessed it, less than we spend on this engine. It's reasonable to fund successful defense programs that are important to our national security and protect soldiers on the ground. It's unreasonable to keep funding these wasteful, local pet projects.