February 9, 2012

THE TARGET SHOULD BE THE % OF GDP WE SPENT BETWEEN WWI & WWII:

Pentagon Should Embrace Larger Budget Cuts (MATTHEW LEATHERMAN, February 9, 2012, US News)

Some perspective: The Congressional Budget Office calculated last August, immediately after Congress passed a sweeping federal debt-reduction deal, that continuing at that spending rate would cost the United States $5.7 trillion on national defense between 2013 and 2021. That is before adding in the costs of the wars-but also before crediting Congress for getting a head start on the savings plan by capping national defense spending this year.

At stake from sequester is a $492 billion cut to projected spending, and it would come on top of the reductions enacted when a special congressional panel failed last year to produce a debt-reduction deal. Together, national defense could fall $858 billion, or 15 percent, below CBO's August defense-spending projection. That is significant--and barring any new military operations--the potential savings from ending the wars could double the reduction.

Yet, even then, the total reduction would be entirely in line with each of the U.S.'s three previous military overhauls since the end of World War II. President Dwight Eisenhower cut national defense spending by 28 percent after the Korean War; Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford cut it by a full 40 percent after the Vietnam War; and Presidents George. H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton together reduced national defense spending by 28 percent.

Posted by at February 9, 2012 5:50 PM
  

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