June 12, 2012 in Uncategorized By: Dave Emerson
(Los Alamitos, 5/12/2012) This evening an alert reader reader forwarded us an interesting article about Base Closings published yesterday in StrategyPage.com, a website that “provides quick, easy access to what is going on in military affairs. . . world wide.”
Titled, “How the Military Protects Politicians,” it’s an interesting discussion of both the BRAC process and results. After discussing how BRAC works and why it was set up, the article discussed little known provisions for closing bases “quietly and without fuss.” An “irritated” Congress is now busy passing laws to eliminate these “stealth” closings.
The article continues:
Interfering with these base closings wastes money but in times of high unemployment, any kind of government waste is more popular.
Meanwhile, experience has shown that closing military bases usually turns into a financial bonanza for the military, as well as the areas where the bases are located.
Many bases have, over the years, found themselves getting surrounded by growing suburbs, or even urban growth. Although it is widely known that the bases closed in the last 25 years have actually helped the local communities (on average), most politicians instinctively try to stop the process.
Closed bases have usually attracted commercial firms that move in and provide more, and higher paying, jobs. The former base property now pays local taxes, which reduces the tax load for everyone else in the area.
There are still over 500 bases out there, although about 60 percent of them are quite small. But most are now sitting on very valuable land. In the past, the Department of Defense would simply give the land to local communities. But now the land is being sold, often for over a billion dollars for some bases, providing the military with more money for its shrinking budget.
The military has long had income like this, often from the sale of surplus equipment. But with over a hundred bases liable for closure, the Department of Defense is looking at several billion dollars worth of additional cash.
Interesting hypotheses. . . and quite possibly another good reason the current General Plan process should be broadened to include the Base. [ad]
As they say, “Those who fail to plan are actually planning to fail.”
Maybe a good use for some of those hundreds of thousands of dollars the Council is considering investing or giving back to the community.