The opponents of defense spending haven’t surrendered. And they continue to shamelessly lie about the subject.
The House Appropriations Cmte., for example, claims that the defense budget its newest CR (H.R. 1) provides for ($516 bn) is larger than the FY2010 budget and that it’s only 2.8% smaller than the President’s FY2011 defense budget request.
The fact is that the FY2010 defense budget was $534 bn in 2009 dollars, i.e. $542.76 bn in 2011 dollars, according to the DOL’s inflation calculator. The current defense budget under the current CR is $525 bn. The newest CR, H. R. 1, would authorize only a defense budget of $516, which would be significantly smaller than the FY2010 defense budget – by $18 bn in nominal terms and $26 bn in real terms.
Liberals are falsely portraying the defense budget as if it hadn’t been reduced since the Clinton era. In fact, it has already been reduced since FY2010 and H.R. 1 would cut it even further.
And these defense cuts are really harming the military. The consequences have been detailed by Secretary Gates during his numerous hearings this year, and during his press conference on budgetary affairs. He and other DOD officials call it “a crisis on his doorstep”. His claims have been confirmed by the Heritage Foundation.
According to Secretary Gates – hardly a proponent of bloated, profligate defense budgets – the DOD needs AT LEAST $540 bn for FY2011.
David Ignatius falsely claims that because of new military technology, America can afford to reduce its defense budget. The truth is America cannot. Firstly, DOD weapons spending (like the total defense budget) is inadequate. And secondly, many promising high-tech-weapon programs have been closed or dramatically cut, including the ABL program.
Michael Mendelbaum admits that entitlements are driving annual budget deficits and burying America under a mountain of debt, but he argues for defense spending cuts and for these cuts to fund the forementioned entitlement programs. Such a policy would be disastrous and unacceptable. Defense spending cuts would weaken the military and further America’s decline. Defense spending is not to blame for America’s fiscal woes. The Heritage Foundation has devised a plan to solve America’s fiscal problems without defense spending cuts (the plan calls for defense to be fully funded and for defense spending to grow):