Zbigniew Mazurak's Blog

A blog dedicated to defense issues

Sequestration is even worse than previously thought

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on July 3, 2012


As I have repeatedly explained in great detail here, sequestration – the automatic across-the-board cut of $550 bn out of the defense budget over the next decade scheduled to kick in next January on top of all defense cuts already administered – is even worse than I or others previously thought.

As data stated in the Paul Ryan Budget Plan, in Table 1 of Appendix II, proves, defense would bear far more than half of the burden of the sequester’s budget cuts. The numbers, as the table states, would be as follows:

Category/FY13–14–15–16–17—18—19–20—21—22–TOTAL CUT OVER THE DECADE

Sequester  -­‐98 -­‐93 -­‐92 -­‐91 -­‐91 -­‐90 -­‐89 -­‐88 -­‐88 -­‐90 -­‐913
Defense —-­‐55 -­‐55 -­‐55 -­‐55 -­‐55 -­‐55 -­‐55 -­‐55 -­‐55 -­‐56 -­‐551
Non-­‐Def. -­‐43 -­‐38 -­‐38 -­‐37 -­‐36 -­‐36 -­‐35 -­‐33 -­‐33 -­‐34 -­‐362

As these numbers prove, defense would bear far more than half of the spending cuts burden. In the first year (FY2013), it would be 56%; in FY2014, 59%; in FY2015, 59.78%; in FY2016, 60.43%; in FY2017, 60.43%; in FY2018, 61.11%; in FY2019, 61.79%; in FY2020, 62.5%; in FY2021, 62.5%; in FY2022, 61.11%.

In total, defense would be whacked by $551 bn over a decade, while nondefense discretionary spending would be cut by only $362 bn. Thus, the total amount of cuts would be $913 bn, and defense would bear 60.35% of that spending cut burden, i.e. the vast majority.

This belies the claims of liberals and libertarians such as Raul Castro Labrador (RINO-ID), Dustin Siggins, and Harry Reid that defense has so far been off the table and that cancelling sequestration would amount to putting it off the table. It also belies and renders completely ridiculous demand that defense “start bearing its fair share of the burden.”

This is of course to say nothing of the massive defense cuts already administered and scheduled by President Obama, including the weapon program closures of 2009 and 2010, the New START treaty, the Gates’ Efficiencies and Savings Initiative, and the First Tier of BCA-mandated defense cuts ($487 bn over a decade), under which the DOD has already contributed $920 bn in deficit reduction to date, since 2009 alone, while other government agencies and programs have contributed virtually nothing. These pre-sequester defense cuts, by themselves, prove that the DOD has NEVER been off the table, that it has ALWAYS been on the table, and that it has already contributed more than its fair share to deficit reduction.

In short, sequestration would not only hit defense deeply and across-the-board, thus gutting it, it would also hit it DISPROPORTIONATELY, forcing it to bear over 60% of the spending cuts burden that the sequester would bring about. That is idiotic, suicidal, unjust, and dare I say, treasonous.

But the opponents of a strong defense, while supporting deep cuts to the defense budget, have no problem voting for bloated domestic spending bills, including and especially those that spend money on issues reserved exclusively to the states and the people, such as transportation, housing, urban development, and agriculture. Take, for example, Congressman John Duncan of Tennessee, who says on his website that he supports massive defense cuts and a policy of isolationism. His pretext is that there is waste in the defense budget. But he has no qualms about supporting unconstitutional bills LOADED with wasteful spending such as the FY2013 Transportation and HUD Appropriations Bill and the waste-laden, pork-laden 2012 Highway Bill. In other words, do as I say, not as I do. According to him, wasteful defense spending, indeed, any defense spending is bad – but wasteful domestic spending is great.

This utterly discredits them.

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