Defense spending cuts have a silver lining, it turns out it. Without them, the Air Force would not have been pressured to find a way to save hundreds of millions of dollars moving military equipment.
In the past, the Air Force was content to pay private contractors to do much of the work. It spent $474 million in 2012 moving 44 percent of its goods on commercial aircraft.
But now the Air Force uses more of its own planes for the jobs. So far this year, just 3 percent of equipment has been moved commercially. That not only has saved millions of dollars -- spending is just $13 million year to date -- but in some cases the equipment gets moved faster than it would have on a commercial jet.
We hope other military units and civilian agencies will also search for innovative ways to save taxpayer money whatever their budget situation.
The savings may not be as dramatic as this example. But no doubt a whole lot of other government programs could be run more efficiently and cost-effectively.