Tag Archives: Federal Budget

Obama has once again proven he knows nothing about defense issues


America’s worst president ever, Barack Obama, has once again proven he knows nothing about defense issues, including the defense budget. During his recent Twitter interview with the voters and with Democratic plants, Obama was asked (apparently by a Democratic plant) a question about whether he plans to cut defense spending to reduce the budget deficit. Obama replied:

“The nice thing about the defense budget is it’s so big, it’s so huge, that a 1 percent reduction is the equivalent of the education budget. Not—I’m exaggerating, but it’s so big that you can make relatively modest changes to defense that end up giving you a lot of head room to fund things like basic research or student loans or things like that.”

To borrow a line from Herman Cain: Mr President, with all due respect, you’re wrong.

Obama was wrong. With that reply, he has proven that he knows nothing about defense issues, including the defense budget. Firstly, the defense budget for FY2011 (the current fiscal year) is $530 billion, and the DOD’s base budget request for FY2012 is $553 billion. 1% of these sums is a microscopic $5.3-$5.5 billion, equals just 4.5% of the federal education budget (i.e. the budget of the federal Department of Education), which is $122 billion for the current FY. This is even less than the 7% that the Heritage Foundation claimed.

Cutting the defense budget by $5.5 billion would not provide enough money for student loans nor for basic research programs. And although Obama has not explained what he means by “modest changes”, it’s likely that for him, even cutting the defense budget by 15-20% would be a chump change.

And although he admitted that “We can’t just lop 25% off the defense budget overnight” and that the US military has legitimate equipment needs that must be funded, he nonetheless insisted that defense cuts are needed, prudent, required by a “strategy”, justifiable, and safe for America – which they are not.

As the DOD has reported on its website, Obama said during the Twitter interview that:

“Though he is committed to cutting the Defense Department budget as part of the overall reduction in the federal deficit, U.S.security and strategic needs must drive the effort, President Barack Obama said yesterday in his first Twitter town hall meeting.

Obama said he conducted the meeting to find out what the public thinks about how to reduce the federal deficit, what costs should be cut and which investments should be kept.

Responding to suggestions for cuts in the defense budget, the president said that is not an easy task.

“We can’t simply lop off 25 percent off the defense budget overnight,” he said. “We have to think about all the obligations we have to our troops who are in the field, and making sure they’re properly equipped and safe.” The need to replace outdated military equipment is another budget consideration, the president added.

“We’ve ended the war in Iraq, our combat mission there, and all our troops are slated to be out by the end of this year,” Obama said. And as Afghan forces take more responsibility for their country’s security, he added, U.S. forces will draw down there as well. But drawing down forces and beginning a new phase in Afghanistan must be done “fairly gradually,” he said.

Obama said that while decisions to cut defense spending will be tough, a reduction requires a balanced approach, as with any government program, to shrink the overall federal budget.

“Those who say that we can’t cut military at all haven’t spent a lot of time looking at military budgets,” he added.

However, the president said, the reductions must take place with the nation’s security in mind.

“One of the things that we have to do is make sure that we do it in a thoughtful way that’s guided by our security and our strategic needs,” he said. “And I think we can accomplish that.””

Actually, I have spent more time “looking at”, reading, analyzing, describing, and devising amendments to, America’s (and Britain’s) defense budgets, as anyone who reads my blog and my articles knows. I’ve spent much more time doing it than Barack Obama or any other Democratic politician has. I’ve spent ca. 90% of my spare time doing so during the last 4 years. America can afford to withdraw its troopers from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, and to zero its spending on these countries and the GWOT, but it cannot afford to reduce the size of its defense tooth or its base defense budget (which is already too small).

Obama claims that “our security and our strategic needs” should guide defense budget cuts and he thinks “we can accomplish that.” That is not true. One cannot accomplish defense budget cuts that would be consistent with America’s defense needs and strategic needs. Those needs dictate that defense spending be increased, not decreased. They do not require defense spending cuts; quite the contrary is true.

Therefore, one cannot credibly claim that “US security needs and strategy must drive the effort to cut defense spending.”

Moreover, it is ridiculous for him to claim that any cuts he will make to defense spending and America’s military will be justified by strategy. They will not. They will likely be arbitrary cuts that will weaken the US military. Moreover, they will be made SOLELY to meet Obama’s diktat of cutting defense spending by $400 bn over the next 12 years. Moreover, the DOD will likely lie that these cuts are justified, make up some excuses, and produce some “strategy” that will pretend to justify these unjustifiable defense cuts. (That’s what it did in 2010 with the QDR – it was written solely to justify Gates’ unjustifiable defense cuts.)

By ordering the DOD to cut defense spending by $400 billion, Obama has put the cart before the horse. He has ordered massive defense spending cuts and has told the DOD to find out how exactly to make these cuts.

I am appalled, but not surprised, by the fact that Obama is “committed” to reducing defense spending. He’s a wimpy weak Dhimmicrat, just like almost all of his party colleagues.

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=64583

The Heritage Foundation has rightly commented that:

“The President’s accounting failures aside, there’s an even bigger problem at work. Obama is of the belief that, for starters, $400 billion can be cut from the defense budget over the next 10 years without putting the military at risk. That’s in addition to the approximately $400 billion already cut by the Administration during the previous two years. In turn, he would take those dollars and apply them to pay for his pet projects at home.

The President is proposing those cuts irrespective of the military’s needs.

Outgoing Secretary of Defense Robert Gates stated that ill-conceived cuts to defense spending could increase America’s vulnerability in a “complex and unpredictable security environment” and that “the ultimate guarantee against the success of aggressors, dictators, and terrorists in the 21st century, as in the 20th, is hard power—the size, strength, and global reach of the United States military.”

But with the President’s proposed cuts, America’s base defense budget would be at its lowest point in more than 60 years (as a percentage of America’s GDP). Meanwhile, the threats Gates spoke of continue to materialize, while challenges remain in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and throughout the Middle East.

And then there’s the state of U.S. forces. Secretary Gates and the Quadrennial Defense Review Independent Panel have agreed that the U.S. went on a “procurement holiday” in the 1990s. Air Force Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz has stated that the present fleet of 187 F–22 fighters creates a high risk for the U.S. military in meeting its operational demands. The U.S. Navy has the fewest number of ships since America’s entrance into World War I. And yet the President sees fit to slash defense?

Contrary to Obama’s belief, the defense budget is not an ATM from which he can pull cash to pay for other projects. And he certainly can’t do it without causing further damage to U.S. military readiness. The Constitution demands that the U.S. government provide for the common defense. That’s a fact the President should keep in mind as he looks for ways to increase domestic spending amid a debt crisis.”

Sadly, yes, Obama sees it fit to deeply cut defense spending, as do his party colleagues and most Republicans (with few honorable exceptions such as Howard McKeon, Allen West, and Randy Forbes) – despite the fact that the PLAN is already larger than the US Navy, Russia and China are waging an arms race against the US, the Russian Navy has more SSBNs than the USN, the USAF’s current fleet of aircraft is the smallest and the oldest it has ever flown (with an average aircraft age of 24 years), the USAF’s ICBMs date back to the 1970s and need to be replaced,the USAF has only 20 stealthy bombers, and access-denial weapons are making current and potential future war theaters unsurvivable and unaccessible for nonstealthy aircraft and warships. The US military has huge legitimate modernization needs, yet both Democrats AND Republicans are committed to radically reducing defense spending, as is Obama.

It is utterly unacceptable for Obama to use defense spending as an ATM from which to finance his pet projects.

http://blog.heritage.org/2011/07/07/what-obama-doesnt-know-about-defense-spending/

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Defense: What would Reagan do?


Today is Reagan’s 100th birthday.

An often-asked question is “What would Reagan do?”

As America is struggling with $1.4 trillion annual budget deficits (and the deficit planned by Obama for FY2011 will raise the debt-to-GDP ratio to 100% if federal spending is not significantly reduced), the Congress and the nation are pondering what to do about defense spending – whether to reduce it or not. Many people, however, don’t ask whether to reduce defense spending, but how deeply to reduce it.

And what would Reagan do? Would he call for reductions of defense spending if he was alive today?

Because he’s no longer alive, it isn’t possible to say for 100% sure what he would do or say. But it is possible to say what he would probably do, on the basis of what he actually did or said while he was President.

When Ronald Reagan assumed office, the budget deficit was also big – it amounted to 6% of GDP! Nonetheless, Ronald Reagan chose NOT to reduce defense spending, as some people (e.g. William Kaufmann) called on him to do. He chose to increase it while shrinking domestic federal spending (e.g. by closing the Education Department and the DOE). He increased defense spending by 35%, from ca. $400 bn in FY1981 to ca. $554 bn in FY1985, and from 4.7% of GDP in FY1981 to 6.2% of GDP in FY1986. In fact, even during FY1981, Reagan and his Defense Secretary, the Honorable Caspar Weinberger, asked for and obtained a “supplemental” to the defense budget, because the defense budget devised by the Carter Administration was inadequate.

Dr Kim Holmes, Vice President of the Heritage Foundation, wrote in the WaTimes:

“On national defense, the lessons are clear. Reagan came to office after years of neglect of our armed forces and launched a military buildup that we live off to this day. He let the threats, not the bottom line, determine defense spending. He revived the B-1 bomber program that President Carter canceled and initiated many other defense programs. He famously told his military planners, “Defense is not a budget issue. You spend what you need.”And by the time he left office, he boosted defense spending 35 percent.

If not for Reagan‘s military buildup, we would not have had the advanced weaponry and excellent fighting force that won the Persian Gulf and Iraq wars with historically low U.S. casualties.”

Please note that, folks. Reagan said, “Defense is not a budget issue. You spend what you need.” That is because America’s defense budget should be based on the real needs of the military, not on artificial budgetary restrictions imposed by the OMB. Of course, the military should not get more money than it really needs, but during Reagan’s time, it did not, and nowadays, it doesn’t, either. The FY2011 defense budget ($525 bn) is actually inadequate.

Reagan was willing to spend whatever was necessary on defense, but not a cent more.

His budget recommendations were based on what his Joint Chiefs told him, NOT on what pacifist politicians like Barney Frank claimed was the real requirement. Reagan accepted the expert advice of his Joint Chiefs of Staff and his Secretary of Defense, although he did think independently.

Would Reagan endorse the defense cuts imposed by the Obama Administration and its mediocre Defense Secretary Robert Gates (who has never seen war)?

The answer is no. During the 1970s, Reagan saw crucial weapon programs cut or closed. When he became president, he reestablished them and started some new ones (e.g. the SDI). If he were alive today, he would’ve opposed the closures of the F-22, C-17, MKV, KEI, CSARX, NLOS, and European missile defense programs, and the cuts of the Airborne Laser, F-35, Ground Based Interceptor, and carrier replacement programs. He would’ve opposed Gates’ delays of the Next Generation Bomber program (de facto dictated by the OMB) and the ludicrous 2010 NPR and BMDR. He would’ve protested against the large force structure reductions conducted by the Bush and Obama Administrtions.

And what about the New START treaty? Would Reagan have signed it as it is now, or would he have rejected it?

Reagan called for a world without nuclear weapons, but in such a world, the US was to be protected by a vast missile defense network which would’ve negated the Soviet Union’s nuclear arsenal (not to mention the Chinese arsenal). This was the very goal of the SDI. The New START treaty not only calls for reductions of America’s nuclear arsenal and its arsenal of delivery systems down to inadequate levels, it also greatly restricts America’s missile defense. Moreover, even before the treaty was signed, Obama unilaterally gave up many missile defense programs, including the ABL, MKV, KEI, GBI and European missile defense programs (the latter was surrendered as a part of the price of Moscow’s signature of the treaty). Ronald Reagan must be spinning in his grave.

Reagan’s arms reduction treaty negotiators, including his chief negotiator General Ed Rowny, and many other former diplomats and Reagan Administration officials, including Ed Meese and Frank Gaffney, protested against this disastrous treaty.

So, what would Reagan do? He would’ve opposed reductions of defense spending. He would’ve opposed the Obama-dictated closures of crucial weapon programs. He would’ve opposed the New START treaty.

As the US celebrates Reagan’s 100th birthday, it is necessary to learn lessons from him and follow his guidance when determining America’s defense policies.

The blueprint for a balanced federal budget – the 3rd edition


The deficit of the FY2011 United States Federal Budget – $1.5 trillion – will be the second- biggest budgetary deficit ever.
Several conservative commentators and analysts (including HF analysts) have already presented their proposals on how to reduce federal spending. Admirably, these proposals do not postulate a reduction of defense spending nor the closure of any defense programs.
But unfortunately, some libertarian organizations, such as the misnamed group “Citizens Against Government Waste” and “FreedomWorks.org”, have called on President Obama and the Congress to balance the budget on the backs of American soldiers – i.e. to significantly cut government spending. Liberal groups, such as the CAP, agree with the CAGW.

We conservatives oppose defense spending reductions, because would weaken the military. Moreover, the federal budget can be balanced even if the DOD’s budget is not reduced. That is why this policy blueprint was crafted – to reconcile a balanced federal budget with an appropriately-sized DOD budget and a strong US military. America CAN have a balanced budget and a well-funded defense with a DOD budget equal to the FY2010 budget.
My proposal is that the US government should reduce only civilian spending – but reduce it to such a degree that would allow it to balance the budget. Most of these proposals are original, and a few were borrowed from AmericanSolutions.com; some of the below proposals are big, others are not. They target various agencies and programs, but they all target those programs that are unnecessary.
Unlike the balanced budget plan of the Republican Study Committee, this Blueprint would reduce the budget by FY2011, not by FY2019.
The total spending reductions would amount to $1.86377 trillion dollars, i.e. $1863.77 billion dollars, which would be enough to balance the budget during FY2011. The specific proposals, from huge budget reductions to minor savings, are as follows (the asterisks denote the sources for the numbers):
Expenditure that should be abolished Saving ($ billion)
Unspent stimulus money [1] 518
Unspent TARP money [1] 368.8
SS savings caused by a hike of the retirement age to 75 (thus halving the cost of the SS) [2] 365
Farm subsidies authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill 57.6
The Federal Railway Admin [2] 2.831
The Education Department [2] 49.697
The Dept. Of Housing and Urban Development [2] 41.59
The Department of Agriculture [2] 26.661
The IRS [2] 12.663
50% of the budget of the DOS [2] 28
The EPA [2] 10.486
The HRSA of the DHHS [2] 7.127
The “National Infrastructure Bank” [2] 5
Subsidies for the postal service [2] 4.344
Subsidies for Amtrak [2] 1
The Americorps [2] 1
Subsidies for the CPB [2] 0.481
Subsidies for the equal opportunity commission [2] 0.367
The Nat’l Endowment for Humanities 0.171
Subsidies for the NRC [2] 0.167
The Nat’l Endowment for the Arts [2] 0.161
The Federal Trade Commission [2] 0.158
The US Institute of “Peace” [2] 0.049
UN contribution [3] 0.440
The budget of the DOC [2]* 7.961
The war on drugs 77
The USDOJ’s BATF 1.163
The SA&MHS program of the CDC 3.394
Subsidies for Planned Parenthood clinics 0.3367
The International Trade Commission 0.083
TV Marti 0.01
Pork barrel spending 29
DOE, DHS, DOI, DOJ and DOL rescissions proposed by Tom Coburn 4.8653
Money annually defrauded from the Medicaid program 120
Money annually defrauded from the Medicare program 60
50% of the budget of the Congress 2.8155
The FDA 2.508
The SA&MH program of the CDC [2] 3.541
The Federal Transit Administration 10.799
The Uranium Enrichment Decommissioning Program 0.708

The DOE’s carbon sequestration program 0.145
DOE vehicle technologies 0.325
Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences budget of the NSF 0.269

Subsidies for the TVA 0.719
National and Community Service 1.438
10% of the DVA’s budget 5.6967
50% of the DHS budget minus the rescissions proposed by TC 20.75

The FCC 0.439

Subsidies for single mothers [4] 300

The total annual spending reduction would be $1863.77 bn. The FY2011 budget deficit is $1500 bn, so the budget surplus would be $363.77 bn. It should be devoted exclusively to debt reduction. America’s public debt, as of March 2011, is $14 trillion. With that big a surplus, it would take 39 years to make America completely debt-free.

Please note that the abolition of the IRS would be the result of the FairTax Act, legislation that I support.

As a final note: significant revenue could be raised for the government even if SS program costs were not halved, by:

a) privatizing Amtrak, the US Postal Service, the Tennessee Valley Authority, GM, GMAC, the CPB and other Government-Owned Enterprises;

b) privatizing federal lands and unneeded federal property (which costs $25 billion to maintain, and would generate $83 bn one-time sales revenue if sold);

c) additional revenue could be raised by permitting oil corporations to drill for oil and natural gas in the ANWR, the Outer Continental Shelf and the Rocky Mountains.

Additional spending reductions that should be made include:

a) all 2,001 federal subsidy programs (including subsidies for ethanol, “green cars”, solar electric plants, wind turbines, and fossil fuels);

b) all federal road beautification programs;

c) the federal vehicle fleet (500,000 vehicles) by 50%;

d) reducing the federal workforce by 50% (rather than by 15%) by replacing only 50% of retiring federal employees;

e) repealing the Wagner Act, the Dodd-Frank Act, the Davis-Bacon Act, and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, as well as 90% of federal regulations on the Federal Register (because they are costly to enforce), and enacting Sen. Demint’s National Right-To-Work Act;

f) banning unions of government employees;

g) privatizing the air traffic control system, the FAA and the TSA;

h) privatizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac;

i) enacting other domestic spending reduction proposals listed in this article: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703779704576073750780454850.html

j) privatizing DVA hospitals;

k) freezing the budget of the Federal Highway Administration;

l) abolishing the Federal Housing Administration;

m) reducing the number of presidential appointees in the federal government (the Under Secretaries, Assistant Secretaries et al.);

n) reducing the number of Congressional committees (by committee mergers) by 33% and the number of Congressional staffers by 50%;

o) reducing federal welfare spending by 75% from FY2010 levels, from $888 bn to $222 bn (including, but not limited to, an abolition of welfare payments to single mothers), and instituting welfare program reforms;

p) abolishing Clinton’s executive order which says that federal documents must be translated into languages other than English;

r) denying federal funding to illegal immigrants and sanctuary cities;

s) implementing IBM’s recommendations on how to manage the government, make it perform better, and reduce its costs, by using technology and private sector policies, to save $1 trillion over a decade, i.e. $100 bn per year (http://www.americansolutions.com/take-action/2011/01/a-republican-house-of-hope-and-opportunity.php; http://www.businessofgovernment.org/);

t) finance and promote research programs that make human kidneys function and stop financing kidney dialysis, to save $20 bn per year (http://www.americansolutions.com/take-action/2011/01/a-republican-house-of-hope-and-opportunity.php);

u) finance and promote research programs aimed to stop Alzheimer’s disease and treat those who are suffering from it, to save $20 trillion over the next 4 decades (2011-2050). (http://www.americansolutions.com/take-action/2011/01/a-republican-house-of-hope-and-opportunity.php);

w) implement all of Rep. Bachmann’s proposed federal spending cuts except those related to defense spending (http://bachmann.house.gov/UploadedFiles/01_27_11_Potential_Spending_Cuts_and_Estimated_Money_Saved.pdf).

But entitlement programs are growing on autopilot, and they will eventually bury American children under a mountain of debt, unless their costs are significantly reduced; hence, such a cost reduction was included in this Blueprint.

All figures in this article are for FY2011 unless otherwise noted.

The sources (denoted in square brackets):
[1] http://www.americansolutions.com/economy/2010/02/sampling-of-deficit-reduction-measures.php
[2] http://www.wallstats.com/deathandtaxes
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations#Funding

[4] Yes, subsidies for single mothers really cost federal taxpayers $300 bn per year. Vide: http://blog.heritage.org/2011/02/08/national-marriage-week-it-pays-to-get-married-even-in-a-recession/
*Note: The US government should abolish the entire Department of Commerce except the NIST, which should be maintained.

Why defense spending should NOT be reduced


Many self-named fiscal conservatives claim that because of America’s current fiscal woes (a $1.29 trillion annual budget deficit and a national debt of almost $14 trillion), defense spending should be reduced – deeply reduced, according to some of them. These advocates of defense spending cuts can be divided into these groups:

1) Those who believe that the defense budget should be the only category of spending that should be reduced;
2) Those who believe that the defense budget should be the biggest, but not the only, spending category facing reductions;
3) Those who believe that all categories of federal spending should face equal or similar reductions;
4) Those who wish to abolish the federal government altogether.

All four groups are wrong. Defense spending should not be reduced even by one dollar per year. Why? For several reasons.

Firstly, defense is not an option, but rather a constitutional OBLIGATION of the federal government, as well as one of the reasons why the federal government was established in the first place. It’s not an option that the federal government might decide to pursue or not to pursue. The federal government is obliged to provide for the common defense, as per the Constitution.

Secondly, defense spending is NOT to blame for America’s fiscal woes. It constitutes only 14.87% of the total federal budget and a paltry 3.65% of GDP (FY2010 data). Total military spending, including the GWOT supplemental appropriation, constituted 18.5% of the total federal budget and just 4.5% of GDP as of FY2010. Obama’s proposed FY2011 federal budget would reduce the DOD’s share of the total federal budget to 14.31% (excluding GWOT spending). American GDP per capita is $46,000 per year, so 3.65% of GDP means that the annual defense budget costs the average American only $1700 per year.

From FY2007 to FY2011, defense spending has increased by $59 bn, from $475 bn to $534 bn, while total federal spending has splurged from $2729 bn to $3591 bilion and the budget deficit has grown from $161 bn to $1290 billion. So post-FY2007 defense spending growth accounts for only 6.844% of the total federal spending growth and only 5.22% of the total budget deficit growth witnessed since FY2007, when the budget deficit was small ($161 bn as of FY2007). The post-FY2001 trend is equally instructive. According to John R. Guardiano of the American Spectator, only 20% of the total federal spending growth witnessed since FY2001 was represented by defense spending growth.

It is evident to any honest person that the DOD is not to blame for America’s fiscal woes.

Thirdly, defense spending is too low already. The truth is that the US military can’t cope with less money than it already has. The FY2010 defense budget constituted 3.65% of GDP. During the entire Cold War, America’s defense budget was larger, except the FY1948 defense warchest (3.50% of GDP). The US military is now facing the necessary task of replacing the vast majority of its equipment: its warships, fighterplanes, attack aircraft, ASW planes, EW aircraft, tankers, cargoplanes, AWACSes, gunships, CSAR helicopters and APCs. These weapons are obsolete and most of them (as well as the military’s tanks, IFVs and attack helicopters) have been worn out as a result of 9 years of continous war. The US military absolutely needs this 3.65% of GDP to replace its weapons, maintain its current force structure (at least the structure of combat units), operate its weapons and bases, and prepare itself for new threats. Don’t believe me? Ask the Secretary of Defense or Rep. Paul Ryan.

That is not to say that every single dollar of the annual defense budget is spent properly or that the DOD can’t afford to abolish any of the items in its annual budget. But only non-combat related items in its budget (e.g. unneeded bases, nonmilitary projects, excessive benefits, oversized bureaucracies and unneeded reports) should be reduced or abolished. Moreover, the DOD needs the savings that would be generated this way to reinvest them in crucial equipment. The Secretary of Defense, as well as defense experts from the HF and the AEI, have said so.

Fourth, contrary to the often-repeated myth that any solution to America’s fiscal woes must include defense spending reductions, the truth is that the federal budget can be balanced without any defense spending cuts. How? By implementing my Blueprint for a Balanced Budget, a logical result of my Blueprint for a Smaller Government.

https://zbigniewmazurak.wordpress.com/2010/04/27/the-blueprint-for-a-balanced-federal-budget-2nd-ed/

http://www.colony14.net/id117.html

These blueprints have proven that a balanced budget and maintaining defense spending at the current level (3.65% of GDP) are not mutually-exclusive goals. Unlike most so-called fiscal conservatives, I have provided a blueprint of how to balance the federal budget without defense spending cuts. Most of them haven’t even presented any plan to balance the budget at all. (Please note that even if the entire DOD was abolished, the federal government would still be facing a $814-bn annual budget deficit.)

So please don’t listen to those who say that defense spending should be reduced. It shouldn’t be cut. If the Congress really wants to balance the federal budget, it should significantly reduced the FG’s bloated domestic spending.

————————————————————————————————————————-

IMPORTANT DEFINITIONS

Defense spending (=the defense budget): The annual core DOD budget which finances the military itself, and is supposed to make it possible for the US to build and maintain a strong defense.

GWOT supplemental spending (appropriation): The annual supplemental appropriation used to finance the GWOT, specifically, the Afghan war and the deployment of American troops to Iraq. It has nothing to do with the task of building and maintaining a strong defense.

Total federal budget: The entire federal budget, proposed by the President and approved (or rejected) by the Congress. Includes both obligatory spending (entitlement programs and debt interest payments) and discretionary spending (which includes defense spending and GWOT supplemental spending).

Domestic spending: Money spent on nonmilitary purposes in the United States. This term encompasses entitlements, debt interest payments, and discretionary domestic spending (e.g. the DHS, the DOT and the DHUD).