As AT Senior Editor Larrey Anderson likes to say, there are lies; there are big lies; and then there are lies that are so blatant and so outrageous that it’s hard for any rational person to believe that such lies have even been attempted.
Dick Durbin’s claims about the federal budget, made yesterday during the Senate Appropriations Commitee’s hearing on the defense budget, are patently false. No, the base defense budget has not grown in constant dollars by 73% since “the last time we were in balance” (that would be FY2001); domestic discretionary spending has not remained “essentially the same”; and entitlements have not grown by a mere “37%”. In fact, since FY2001, the core defense budget has grown by only 25.7%, while entitlements have grown, in constant FY2005 dollars, by 61.28% and domestic discretionary spending has grown by 43% – a far cry from the virtually no growth that Durbin claimed. (The source: OMB Historical Table #8.2.) By now, i.e. as of FY2012, the OMB estimates that entitlements have grown by $809 bn since FY2001, i.e. by 74%.
According to the OMB, the numbers in FY2005 are:
1) Defense spending (FY2011 dollars):
FY2001: $390 bn
FY2012: $531 bn
Growth since FY2001: 25.7%
2) Total military spending (FY2005 dollars):
FY2001: $364 bn
FY2012: 604 bn
Growth since FY2001: 65.9%
3) Domestic discretionary spending (FY2005 dollars)
FY2001: $390 bn
FY2011: $558 bn
Growth since FY2001: 43%
4) Entitlement spending (FY2005 dollars):
FY2001: $1090 bn
FY2012: $1899 bn
Growth since FY2001: 74%
Other blatant, outrageous lies about defense spending have recently been made by many other people, and I don’t have the time to rebut all of them, so I’ll just refute a few.
RINO Congressman John Campbell (RINO-CA-5) falsely claims that the sequestration of defense spending should not be cancelled because, supposedly, “there is a lot of waste in defense” and supposedly, there is enough for it to pay for such cuts.
But that is a blatant lie. There is some waste in the defense budget to be sure, but not enough waste to pay for a $600 bn sequester on top of the first round of defense cuts ($487 bn) ordered by the Budget Control Act. In fact, there isn’t enough waste in the defense budget to fully pay for that first round of BCA-mandated defense cuts fully with waste elimination and efficiencies. (If anyone still claims that there is $100 bn annual waste in the defense cuts and that sequestration would eliminate only waste, that person needs to prove that claim or withdraw it.) 75% ofFirst Tier BCA defense budget cuts are coming out of military capabilities and force structure, because there isn’t enough wasteful spending to eliminate. The sequester would totally gut the military.
Campbell falsely claims that “we cut cut the defense budget and still provide for our defense”, but that cannot be done if defense is cut as deeply as the sequester would shrink it. That is both because the total cuts would be way too deep and because they would be uniform in all DOD accounts and programs, meaning that everything – the waste as well as necessary programs – would have to be cut by an equal, deep percentage. But even if that were not the case, that doesn’t change the fact that sequestration would cut the defense budget way too deeply – down to just $471 bn in FY2013. Such a small defense budget would equal less than 2.5% of GDP and would be utterly inadequate to protect America. There wouldn’t be enough money to defend the country, not even to pay for the most essential defense programs.
A newspaper article that approvingly reported Campbell’s ridiculous remarks claims (or at least implies) that those who want to prevent sequestration want to “grow” the defense budget and that preventing sequestration would have that effect.
That is also a blatant lie. Even preventing defense sequestration would not “grow” the defense budget or even hold it steady. Even without sequestration, defense spending will still be significantly cut over the next decade, in real terms and as a percentage of GDP. Even if sequestration is cancelled, defense will still be cut below FY2011 and FY2012 levels in real terms, and will still shrink to below 3% of GDP as a share of America’s economy – to a share not seen since FY1940.
Those of us who want to stop sequestration are not fighting to grow the defense budget or even to hold it steady and prevent it from being cut. We are merely fighting to prevent it from being cut deeply, because we know we cannot prevent defense spending cuts completely.
Senator Dick Durbin, Congressman John Campbell, and the newspaper that approvingly reported Campbell’s lies should immediately retract their false claims and apologize for them.