One of the lies about sequestration that its supporters, and other proponents of deep defense cuts, frequently propagate is that it would reduce base defense spending “only” to its FY2006 or FY2007 level. Partially on that basis, it is claimed that sequestration would be totally or nearly harmless for the military (despite the huge cuts in force structure, modernization, maintenance, operations, and training it would force the DOD to make).
But it turns out that this claim of sequestration’s supporters is also a blatant lie. Sequestration, as the CBO has already documented in this report, would cut the base defense budget to a paltry $469 bn in FY2013 (down by $66 bn from FY2012).
If such cut is made, it will mean cutting defense spending to the lowest level since FY2003, in other words, setting defense spending back by 10 years – by an entire decade. This means it would be cut back to its lowest level since FY2003, when the US military was just beginning to recover from the 12 years of the massive post-Cold-War defense cuts.
In FY2004, the base defense budget request was $379.9 bn in then-year dollars, which, adjusted for inflation, amounts to $473.03 bn in today’s money. In FY2005, the base defense budget request was $401.7 bn in CY2004 dollars, which, adjusted for inflation, equals $487.19 bn in today’s money.
$469 bn would be lower than both of these figures, meaning that a post-sequestration FY2013 defense budget would, in real terms, be the smallest since FY2003. And the DOD would have to cut down its budget to that arbitrary level overnight, not over a decade, unless Congress spares it from sequestration.
So the proponents of sequestration and other deep defense cuts, and others who have downplayed and minimized sequestration, have been utterly discredited yet again.