» 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.”
» 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.
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 (via • follow)
» 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.