House Armed Services Committee chairman Buck McKeon has just sent around a memo to fellow Republicans on his committee, warning that Harry Reid’s debt ceiling budget plan (which has been endorsed by President Obama) drastically and dangerously slashes defense spending.
“Based on our analysis the proposal would result in $868 Billion in defense cuts over 10 years when weighed against the FY11 budget request,” McKeon writes. “Let me be clear, this is a real cut. It would have a disastrous impact on our military and we wouldn’t be able to carry out our missions.”
McKeon breaks down the numbers in the Reid-Obama plan, essentially saying that it’s worse than it might seem. “Immediately the plan would cut defense in real terms below the FY11-enacted level of $553 billion and hold defense below the FY11-enacted level through FY13. It represents a $16 billion cut to our FY12 levels for next year and a $26 billion cut for the following year.”
There’s no question that we have to cut everywhere, Defense included. But cutting DoD doesn’t fix the fundamentals. It’s entitlement spending that’s eating our budget alive, and Reid doesn’t go there. Neither does Boehner, really.
Word now is that there won’t be a vote on Boehner’s plan today, he is re-working it to build in more cuts to get to a vote tomorrow.
It seems to me that a good baseline would be to roll back all spending to, say, 2004 levels and then work from there. But neither plan is that ambitious. And as we’ve noted before, the White House doesn’t have a plan at all.