The GOP and Department of Defense have been whining for months over how Department of Defense spending will be hit by Congress’ self-imposed sequester process, which would subject the DoD to $500 billion in automatic cuts over ten years if a deal isn’t reached. It is, quite simply, not enough. Not nearly enough.
It works out to $50 billion in cuts annually; peanuts to the DoD, which is budgeted on average between $600 and $900 billion that we know of, plus $30 to $50 billion for the “black budget” for covert ops. Our nearest defense spending competitor is China at $100 billion. As I’ve argued in the past, there is no reason that the US should be budgeted close to $1 trillion in annual defense spending.
If we cut the defense spending to $500 billion annually, we’d save somewhere in the vicinity of $3 to 4 trillion dollars over a decade, and we’d still be outspending China 5-to-1.
But this is America and the military-industrial complex is a sacred cow. Any cuts to the military usually mean cuts to defense contractors, which causes the contractors to spend millions annually lobbying the federal government and otherwise buttering up military officials to rob taxpayers of their money.
“Military leaders have been clear that defense sequestration will deprive our troops of the resources they need and undermine our national security for generations,” said Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) in a statement. “I’m hopeful that this week’s focus on sequestration will spur an increased sense of urgency for members of both parties to work together now to find an alternative solution.”
This is the typical brand of Republican scare tactic when it comes to defense cuts. It’s also a lie and distortion. If Americans bothered to really look at the extent of US defense spending, perhaps they’d demand some drastic cuts themselves. There is no reason that the US should have hundreds of military bases around the world operating as black holes for taxpayer dollars.
It’s time that the DoD felt the pain of austerity itself.