RUSH: We move on to Tony in Orange Park, Florida. You're next, and great to have you here.
CALLER: All right, and thank you for taking my call.
RUSH: You bet.
CALLER: I want to make a comment about Robert Gates wantin' to reduce the military by $78 billion. I did over 21 years in the military. I signed up in '72. We had 325 ships. Nixon gave us 340 or 350. Ronald Reagan came along and gave us 650 ships and a half-a-million-man army. When I retired in '94, every president since Reagan has reduced the military.
CALLER: When I retired in '94 we had a 350 ship Navy, with 650 already paid for by the American taxpayers.
CALLER: And now they want to reduce the forces --
CALLER: -- by 175,000 each --
CALLER: -- in Marine and Army.
RUSH: You knew this was coming. What do Democrats do when they start cutting -- I mean, legitimate budget cuts? They go to the Pentagon. I would say... Well, I would agree with you. If we're gonna start cutting federal employees, let's leave soldiers alone. I'm sure we've got... What is the number of military people being cut? What did I see? A hundred-and-seventy-some-odd thousand or something? Whatever the number is, I'm sure we can find that in the civilian workforce all over this country easily.
CALLER: Well, when you send 160,000 people overseas, and then you tell the American people that our armed forces are "fully deployed," something is wrong.
CALLER: If we had the military that Reagan gave us, 9/11 would have never happened.
RUSH: It just depends on your perspective. If you're the American left and 160,000 soldiers are fully deployed, makes total sense to them. It all depends on your perspective here, and they have to be running that branch.
CALLER: Well, we have 300 million people in America, and they expect us to get by with less than two million in forces? I mean, something's wrong. These people are smoking something they won't let us smoke.
RUSH: (laughing) Well, look, I'm totally on board with you. I understand entirely. Robert Gates, defense secretary, yesterday called for shrinking the Army, Marine Corps by as many as 47,000 troops. Now, I know that they've gotta go budget item by budget item by budget item. But if they need to get rid of 47,000 bodies for budgetary reasons, I think you could probably find that in the civilian workforce -- and you'll probably find people making a little more money than soldiers are making, incidentally. You could get rid of 47,000 of them throughout the 50 states and not do a whole lot of damage out there, not as much damage as that degree of cut in manpower the US military would pull off. So I agree with you.