FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BYDLAK: RYAN BUDGET SHOWS WHY REPUBLICANS LACK CREDIBILITY ON SPENDING
The House Budget weds itself to wasteful Pentagon spending while pretending to care about spending reform.
ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA (April 10, 2014) – Jonathan Bydlak, president of the Coalition to Reduce Spending, today released the following statement in response to House Budget Chair Paul Ryan’s Wednesday op-ed in Real Clear Defense.
“With his Wednesday statements, Rep. Paul Ryan offers a stunningly shortsighted view of the nation’s spending crisis and shows clearly why so many Republicans have no credibility on the spending issue.
“Ryan seems to be working from the clichéd and dubious assumption that President Obama is ‘gutting’ the military. President Obama and Defense Sec. Hagel have a different approach to military funds, to be sure. But Pentagon-budget slashers they are most certainly not.
“In fact, President Obama and Congress should be criticized for taking the same approach that so many before them have: continuing to increase Pentagon spending while neglecting vital reforms. For Ryan to present the patently false notion that the status quo is gutting the military while digging in on wasteful spending himself is the height of hypocrisy.”
Some quick facts about the issue.
- Analysts have noted that the President’s most recent budget request would have cut Pentagon spending by only $113 million, just 0.1% of the Pentagon budget from last year.
- This number ignores the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account. This spending has increased dramatically in recent years and has been immune from cuts or real oversight.
- The Pentagon’s budget (the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA) last year authorized more than $625 billion in spending— and is drafted and voted on almost entirely in secret in the Senate Armed Services Committee. Most Republicans and Democrats have remained resistant to changing this process.
- President Obama has requested 55% of discretionary funds go to the Pentagon, and the Pentagon remains the third-largest item of spending overall.
- Just yesterday, the GAO released a study showing nineteen separate areas of fragmentation, duplication, and overlap in the Pentagon budget. It is clear that the Pentagon, like any area of government, warrants reform and oversight.
The Coalition to Reduce Spending is a non-partisan advocacy organization dedicated to limiting federal spending. Its Reject the Debt spending pledge commits elected officials and candidates to (1) consider all spending open for reduction and vote only for budgets that present a path to balance and (2) vote against any appropriations bill that increases total spending and against the authorization or funding of new programs without offsetting cuts in other programs.
More information, including the full text of the pledge, can be found online at http://www.ReduceSpending.org/reject-the-debt.