Last summer, President Obama signed the controversial Budget Control Act of 2011 that raised the debt ceiling and created the infamous “Super Committee” tasked with devising a plan to reduce the deficit by $1.8 trillion over the next decade. The bipartisan Super Committee failed to reach a deficit-reduction agreement before the November 23, 2011 deadline.
Due to the failure of the Super Committee to reach a budget deal, automatic across-the-board spending “cuts”, also known as sequestration, will go into effect starting on January 1, 2013, if Congress does not act. Many notable Republicans are strongly opposed to the sequestration which will “cut” $55 billion from the Pentagon budget next year. Some are even willing to raise taxes in order to stop the Pentagon spending “cuts.”
It’s important to note that the sequester isn’t cutting real spending. The automatic spending “cuts” are only from the bloated CBO baseline. In other words, the sequester will only slow down the rate of spending increases. That means Pentagon spending will still increase over the next ten years even with the sequester.
We have a huge problem if Republicans aren’t even willing to slow down projected spending increases.
With the U.S. official national debt over $16 trillion, we must cut spending across the board. Every federal government department’s budget has wasteful spending in it—including the Department of Defense. There is good reason to believe that the Pentagon budget is filled with billions of dollars worth of pet projects and unnecessary spending.
The Pentagon may spend billions in coming years on weapons systems and programs that it doesn’t want or need. Politicians specifically favor the Global Hawk Block 30 drone program, the C-27J Spartan cargo aircraft, upgrades to the M1 Abrams tank, Air National Guard funding, and a proposed East Coast missile defense system that many Pentagon officials have called unaffordable.
The United States accounts for about half the world’s military spending. It’s time to actually cut Pentagon spending. We cannot tackle our debt problems if we have leaders who are unwilling to put all federal spending on the table.