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August 29, 2013
The Washington Post just outdid itself with this defense-spending graphic. Click to see.

The Washington Post just outdid itself with this defense-spending graphic. Click to see.

15:14 // 10 months ago
May 10, 2012

Crunching the numbers on Romney’s defense spending plan

  • $2 trillion added to Defense budget under Romney proposal source
  • currently Defense spending is roughly equivalent to 3.5 percent of the United States’ average GDP. Romney’s been critical of the Obama Administration’s plan to cut $487 billion in spending over the course of the next ten years.
  • new plan Romney’s proposal calls for tying the Pentagon spending to the nation’s GDP, and guaranteeing a budget equal to 4% of GDP. To meet that goal, defense spending would have to increase by $100 billion in 2013. source

» And that’s just the low-end estimates. Analysts estimate that a gradual increase in the Pentagon’s budget to 4% of GDP would cost the United States roughly $2.1 trillion over the next decade. Should Romney win the election, and immediately push spending up to 4%, the subsequent spending could cost an additional $200 billion or more. While Romney is hardly the first to suggest such a plan, with past notable proponents including former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, some have been quick to condemn any plan tying the budget to GDP in any way. “GDP rises and falls. Do you really want your defense budget falling in a recession?” said Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments’ Todd Harrison, adding, “spending should be determined by the security environment — not the size of your economy.”

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15:53 // 2 years ago
March 22, 2012

Boehner: Nevermind our agreement, I changed my mind

  • thenWhen Congress raised the debt limit last summer, part of the deal included cuts to defense spending that would automatically kick in if the deficit Super Committee failed. It did fail, and John Boehner confirmed last November that he felt bound to honor the cuts (which should have been assumed, but nevermind).
  • now"Just kidding!" Boehner is now saying that "we should have never had the sequester" (the formal term for the triggered cuts), and has announced his intent to reneg on the deal he signed. Sorry, John, but that’s not how this works; you may get the House to pass this, but something tells us Senate Democrats won’t be on board. source

» Question: If Boehner goes ahead with this, will anybody, Democrat or Republican, have any reason to believe he’s negotiating in good faith next time a deal needs to be reached? Obstructionism is one thing, but to make an agreement, pass that agreement in the form of legislation, and then attempt to get out of that agreement when things don’t go your way is another. Make no mistake; the debt ceiling will have to be raised again; we’re not sure how negotiations can even commence, let alone conclude, if this is how Boehner plans to go about things.

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20:13 // 2 years ago
February 13, 2012

Three things you should know about Obama’s forthcoming budget plan

  • cuts While still leaning on the “Buffett Rule” that he’s been pushing for months and planning to end the Bush tax cuts for the super-rich, Obama’s plan would also cut $2.50 for each dollar raised from tax proposals affecting high income-earners.
  • jobs With the GOP blocking much of Obama’s job plan last year, he’s taking another try at it, offering up $350 billion in job-growth spending, which includes $50 billion to improve infrastructure and $60 billion to modernize schools.
  • defense Echoing the words of Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, the budget proposal would cut non-war spending. However, automatic cuts set to kick in next year will likely get replaced by a “balanced deficit-reduction package.” source

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10:02 // 2 years ago
November 21, 2011
They’ve still got a year to figure it out. They can still come together around a balanced plan. I believe Democrats are prepared to do so. My expect is that there are some Republicans who are interested in preventing the automatic cuts from taking place.
President Barack Obama • Discussing the failure of the supercommittee to make a deal on cuts, as required by the debt ceiling deal he made in August. The president’s tone was tough — “I will veto any effort to get rid of those spending cuts,” he said — but did offer some wiggle room for Congress to get their act together. The cuts — half defense, half domestic — offer a lot of pain for both sides of the aisle, so who knows? Maybe we’ll see a deal — perhaps the elusive “balanced” one the president is pitching. source (viafollow)
20:10 // 2 years ago
July 23, 2011
thepoliticalnotebook:

After 102 years, Walter Reed is being closed for budgetary reasons. The hospital, which has treated 18,000 vets from Iraq and Afghanistan alone will be closed and operations consolidated with the Navy’s hospital in Bethesda and the hospital at Fort Belvoir in Virginia. It has been in operation for over a century and in that time has treated hundreds of thousands. Perhaps, if we’re really interested in cutting costs in the military sector, we should consider not pouring billions of dollars into unsuccessful attempts to deal with IEDs, allowing Boeing to overcharge us up to 177,000 percent on helicopter parts or spending over $7 million a year on NASCAR sponsorships. Story via the Associated Press (thanks to Sam Rubenfeld for alerting me).
Picture: 1930’s era postcard of Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Via.

This is huge news for the DC area. This building is very well-known, especially in the area.

thepoliticalnotebook:

After 102 years, Walter Reed is being closed for budgetary reasons. The hospital, which has treated 18,000 vets from Iraq and Afghanistan alone will be closed and operations consolidated with the Navy’s hospital in Bethesda and the hospital at Fort Belvoir in Virginia. It has been in operation for over a century and in that time has treated hundreds of thousands. Perhaps, if we’re really interested in cutting costs in the military sector, we should consider not pouring billions of dollars into unsuccessful attempts to deal with IEDs, allowing Boeing to overcharge us up to 177,000 percent on helicopter parts or spending over $7 million a year on NASCAR sponsorships. Story via the Associated Press (thanks to Sam Rubenfeld for alerting me).

Picture: 1930’s era postcard of Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Via.

This is huge news for the DC area. This building is very well-known, especially in the area.

9:30 // 3 years ago
January 3, 2011

Poll: Start cutting the deficit by raising rich people’s taxes

  • 61% of respondents would prefer that taxes increase for the rich to help cut the deficit
  • 20% of respondents say that defense spending would be a better first choice to hack away at
  • 4% of respondents would prefer instead that we took the scalpel to Medicare source
20:45 // 3 years ago
October 29, 2010

The U.S. spends LOTS of money on intelligence, defense

  • $80.1
    billion
    the amount the U.S. spent on intelligence in 2010
  • $664
    billion
    the amount the U.S. spends on its total defense budget source

» Why this is a big deal: Two reasons. First of all, the intelligence spending numbers were never reported during the most recent Bush Administration – this is the first time we’ve gotten new numbers here in nearly a decade. Secondly, the intelligence budget has effectively doubled in the ten years – which makes sense if, you know, you account for 9/11 happening in the meantime. If you’re a high-spending government looking for something to cut to correct years of fiscal irresponsibility, though, this might be a good spot to look.

17:11 // 3 years ago