It costs taxpayers between $300,000 to $500,000 per cadet we graduate from the military academies in the United States. Is this a worthwhile investment? Are officers in the military who graduate from Annapolis or West Point really vastly superior to officers who graduated from USC or Washington or Stanford? From the research I’ve done, officers coming from other sources do equally well to military academy graduates.
Taxpayers are REQUIRED to hire every single graduate of a military academy to a very high paying, guaranteed career. Shouldn’t getting a job like this be more competitive?
What seems to end up happening is that graduates band together in a “fraternity” against officers who came from other services, often placing a glass ceiling above them, regardless of actual performance.
Shouldn’t we be strongly encouraging of officers who paid for their own education, supported them as adults independently of the government teat, and made more of a sacrifice to serve our country?
The founders of the United States were strongly opposed to a large standing army because it is likely to hurt the freedom of the citizens in that country (Patriot Act anyone?), is extraordinarily expensive ($680 billion a year currently), and takes many of the best and brightest citizens from other areas of the economy.
I think we do need some budget for defense, but this budget should probably be 1/10th of what it currently is and should be spent on weapons that work in the modern age (not silly pork projects like the $11 billion a year F-35 Joint Strike Fighter).
Shut down the military academies and make our armed forces actually serve the true interests of taxpayers again.