As you all know now, the Republicans are trying to weasel out of the Debt Ceiling Deal of which they were architects. The Supercommittee failed both stunningly and predictably, triggering ‘sequestration’ which is just a fancy word for mandatory cuts. As part of this sequestration both non-military discretionary and military spending are to suffer equal reductions in spending of $600B each over the next 10 years. But the Republicans are now screaming, “we will hollow out the military, we can not let this go forward!”. In the Senate there was introduced the “Down Payment to Protect National Security Act of 2012″ which, according to Senator Rubio’s website:
Senator Rubio joined Senators Kyl, McCain, Graham, Cornyn, and Ayotte in introducing The Down Payment to Protect National Security Act, legislation which overrides the automatic, across-the-board cuts to our nation’s defense capabilities, which are scheduled to take effect in 2013 unless Congress acts. Instead of making severe cuts to the Department of Defense that Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has warned would be “devastating to the defense budget” and would “weaken our national defense,” This bill replaces the scheduled cuts by reducing the federal workforce and extending the current pay freeze for federal workers. By doing so, the legislation ensures the debt reduction targets laid out in the Budget Control Act are still on track to be met –without endangering our national security at a time when threats both at home and abroad remain very real.
This pretty much dead on arrival, So the House is now putting up the Ryan Budget version 2.0, the major upgrade from 1.0 being the focusing of the ‘message’ on no military cuts as opposed to the evisceration of Medicare (which is still there). The military is protected from cuts by savaging domestic programs.
Now my question to the GOP is, “Are you fucking kidding me ?!?!” The Defense Department budget accounts for 20% of federal spending on paper. If you include other security and military functions under the umbrella of defense spending you are looking at 25-30% of our budget, depending on how you count things such as Homeland Security (not to mention the US accounts for ~40% of worldwide military spending). In the last ten years military spending has amounted to well over 6 trillion dollars … 6 … TRILLION. Yet, noooooooo, cutting this is off of the table. It is just fine, however, to recoup all these missing savings on the backs of seniors, the poor, our transportation infrastructure, our educational infrastructure, etc.
Man oh man was Eisenhower sadly prescient ..