0 votes

Cut the Defense Budget? Over My Cold, Dead Gavel

By Spencer Ackerman
November 15, 2010
5:59 pm

When is budget growth not actual growth? When it comes to money flowing into the Pentagon slower than legislators would like.

In his first post-election speech, Rep. Buck McKeon, the California Republican who’s about to become the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, warned that cutting defense spending was a “red line for me and should be a red line for all Americans.” Speaking to the conservative Foreign Policy Institute in Washington, McKeon argued that the Pentagon’s projected one percent real growth in the defense budget over the next five years “is a net cut for investment and procurement accounts.”

There wasn’t such a high expectation for trimming the defense budget after the Republicans won back the House earlier this month. But after the bipartisan leaders of the White House’s deficit commission identified $100 billion in wasteful military spending, it appeared there might be some political momentum for cutting over-budget weapons and programs like the Marines’ Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle and the Navy, Marines and Air Force’s F-35 fighter jet. McKeon did his best to stop any such momentum this afternoon.

“A defense budget in decline portends an America in decline,” McKeon said, arguing that cuts will have geopolitical consequences, “undermin[ing] our ability to project power, strengthen our adversaries and weaken our alliances.”

In his speech, McKeon embraced Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ “efficiencies initiative” to cut $100 billion in overhead costs and reinvest them in buying ships, guns, tanks and planes. But he didn’t identify any specific sources of waste that he would target in order to transfer “funds to higher national-security priorities and promising technologies of the future.” Instead, he warned that “whatever the intentions of Secretary Gates,” the White House would just pocket the savings from his initiative and either cut defense outright or spend the money on domestic priorities.

During a post-speech press conference, McKeon didn’t sound like he was out to cut any specific programs. He reminded reporters that he supports the funding of a second engine for the F-35, something both Obama and Gates consider unnecessary. With all the talk of cuts, he said, “pretty soon, my concern is that we end up back with a bow and arrow.”

Read the rest @: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/11/cut-the-defense-budg...

Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

I agree with...


“The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn't understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had." - Eric Schmidt

Cut 90% of the budget.

Provide each and every American with a pistol, rifle and ammo. Have them organize local militias. They protect their neighborhoods and the government needs not worry about foreign or domestic enemies.

Well, there's another neocon

who needs to get the boot in the next election.

It's easier to see them when they "out" themselves like that.

F-35 is wasted money

From those in the know, the F-35 is not worth the money. Instead of maintaining or streamlining our present defense capabilities, Washington seems adamant on wasting money overseas while our readiness in this country is increasingly marginalized.

I am not sure if you all remember, but a couple of years ago, the F-16s were grounded due to airframe stress issues. These are the aging airplanes, which the F-35 is to replace. Pilots of the F-16 are not impressed with the F-35, but would rather see that we consider upgrading our F-16s to the same thrust and avionics package that we sell to the UAE, the Saudis and Israel.

The price difference between the F-16 block 60 and the F-35 is staggering, while performance is comparable. Everyone but the lobbyists and paid for congress-shills for the F-35 realizes that the F-35 is a massive money hole which decreases actual defense capability in this country.

To get a feel for the pulse of the F-16/F-35 debate check out f-16.net

Don't get me wrong, there is plenty to cut in the defense budget like bases in 100 countries overseas that could also help increase our preparedness here and reduce the giant budget deficits we face.


Especially since the report

that all the classified info about the F35 has been stolen by spies, most likely Israel, and is being sold to all the countries that weren't supposed to see that info, and billions of taxpayer dollars are now down the drain.

Yes, we might end up back in the bow and arrow days

after the economy collapses because of too much defense spending!!

New Hampshire and Ecuador.