In an environment in which reforms and streamlining are crucial to keeping America safe, it looks as though the Obama administration will continue to push for avoiding reform by piling more money into the already bloated Pentagon budget.
The Obama administration will propose a defense spending increase to levels not seen since 2012 when it sends Congress a $585 billion Pentagon budget request on Monday.
The plan, like others submitted in recent years, will ignore federal spending caps by $34 billion in 2016 and $150 billion over the next five years, according to a source with knowledge of the proposal. . .
Obama will ask for a $534 billion base budget, which would be the largest base budget in history.
Few would argue against giving the Pentagon the necessary funds to keep America safe. Few dispute the idea that providing adequate military capabilities in an increasingly dangerous world is important.
But when it comes to fighting emerging threats such as ISIS, the money’s already there, in the Overseas Contingency Operations budget, which is immune to budget caps and got an additional $64 billion in the latest “CRomnibus” budget deal.
What’s more, the Pentagon budget is loaded with waste, fraud, and abuse, just like any other government agency. Whether we’re talking about over $1 trillion for a jet that barely works or hundreds of millions in excess equipment being sent to local police forces, or any one of countless examples, it’s strikingly clear that there’s no reason to treat this particular bureaucracy with kid gloves.
We’ll keep an eye out for the latest developments and the actual request when it comes out. Runaway spending — from all departments — is a bipartisan problem, and it will take those of all parties to fix it. Let’s keep working toward that goal.