The Defense Department could be shelling out nearly $50 billion in the next 50 years for its military bands, a prominent defense analyst says, a figure that could raise eyebrows amid Washington’s new climate of fiscal restraint.
“The nation's military services really are going to spend over $25 billion on music bands in the coming years,” Lexington Institute COO and industry consultant Loren Thompson said.After adjusting that figure for inflation and other factors, Thompson projects the nominal costs of the bands will approach $50 billion — a price tag he derided as “ridiculous.”The estimate comes at a time when Washington is grappling with the federal debt. Once considered immune from cuts, the Pentagon is getting a fresh look from lawmakers eager to find savings, and the department is expecting budget reductions in 2012.Congressional leaders and the White House already slashed the military's 2011 budget request by $18 billion, and President Obama has called for finding another $400 billion in defense cuts over the next 12 years.
Do we really need and can we really afford these bands? Can't we hire one?