Supposedly “Drastic” Defense Cuts would Merely Return Spending to 2006 Level

Monday, July 16, 2012
In the worst case scenario, the Department of Defense next year will have to make do with only $470 billion—an amount it got by on during the George W. Bush administration while the U.S. was fully engaged in both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Inside the Pentagon, and in the offices of congressional hawks, officials are fretting that Congress will not reach a compromise over how to trim the Defense Department’s budget for 2013. If that’s the case, automatic reductions will go into effect, resulting in the Pentagon’s FY 2013 budget being set at $469 billion.
Military planners had originally requested $526 billion.
But even with only $469 billion, the Defense Department would have more money than it did in 2006 (in 2013 dollars) and more than it enjoyed during the Cold War budgets of the 1980s, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Gordon Adams, a former Office of Management and Budget associate director for national security and international affairs under President Bill Clinton who is now at the Stimson Center, a nonprofit think tank, told iWatch News he doubts the Defense Department will wind up suffering. He added: “2006 was a very healthy level for defense spending.”
The CBO reports states that, historically, the Pentagon has routinely underestimated the costs of health care and salaries. Opponents of defense cuts, although they would never come out and say it, are also defending the freedom of defense contractors to underestimate the costs of weapons systems and then charge government for overruns.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
To Learn More:
Pentagon Actually Gained $50 Billion from Spending Cuts Deal (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)


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