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Sun Feb 3, 2013, 08:51 AM

Chuck Hagel: Obama's Hatchet Man?

http://smirkingchimp.com/thread/bob-burnett/47890/chuck-hagel-obamas-hatchet-man

Chuck Hagel: Obama's Hatchet Man?
by Bob Burnett | February 2, 2013 - 11:47am

Even though he's one of their own, many Republicans oppose President Obama's Secretary of Defense nominee, former Senator Chuck Hagel. GOP leaders fear Hagel will be Obama's hatchet man, leading the effort to shrink the defense budget.

~snip~

If Hagel is confirmed he will oversee a bitter fight on the trajectory of the DOD budget. The 2012 budget was $646 billion -- roughly 20 percent of the total U.S. budget. But in 2013 sequestration would cut $55 billion from the proposed budget. The current Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said such a cut would be "a disaster for national defense." Nonetheless, many Washington pundits doubt that there would be a dramatic impact, pointing to waste in defense spending and noting the U.S. is winding down two wars.

In the President's proposed 2013 budget, the defense allocation is $701 billion, the largest discretionary category after entitlements at $2.217 trillion (56 percent). Since America has left Iraq and plans to leave Afghanistan in 2014, it seems logical that the U.S. could reduce the size of its military forces. This is what happened after the end of the war in Vietnam and the end of the Cold War. But when it comes to the defense budget, deliberations are seldom rational.

There are several reasons for the contentious nature of defense budget deliberations. One is that US defense allocations are so enormous their size warps perspective. Writing in the New Yorker, journalist Jill Lepore observed, "Between 1998 and 2011, military spending doubled, reaching more than seven hundred billion dollars a year -- more, in adjusted dollars, than at any time since the Allies were fighting the Axis." The Council on Foreign Relations reported that in 2011 the United States had 4 percent of the world's population, accounted for 22 percent of the gross domestic product, yet was responsible for 42 percent of military spending. Lepore observed that what drives our defense budget is "the idea that the manifest destiny of the United States is to patrol the world... six decades after V-J day nearly three hundred thousand American troops are stationed overseas including fifty-five thousand in Germany, thirty-five thousand in Japan, and ten thousand in Italy." Former Republican Congressman Ron Paul claimed the U.S. military operates out of 900 bases deployed in 130 nations.

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Reply Chuck Hagel: Obama's Hatchet Man? (Original post)
unhappycamper Feb 2013 OP
leveymg Feb 2013 #1
think Feb 2013 #3
Bluenorthwest Feb 2013 #2

Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 09:03 AM

1. Pentagon spending is a giant PACMan eating everthing else in the federal budget. Start chopping.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 09:34 AM

3. +1

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 09:19 AM

2. Can you show me the votes Hagel cast in the Senate that would indicate such leanings?

He voted for every war authorization that came up and for all the funding as well, so the assumption that he is opposed to all the things he supported in the Senate confuses me. He has a voting record. Which votes indicate that he's interested in less spending? Thanks.

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