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sasha031 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-01-11 11:56 PM
Original message
Pentagon Not a Debt Ceiling Loser After All
I've been reading all day that the Pentagon is the big loser from today's debt ceiling deal, and I just sort of vaguely accepted that as true. They're getting socked with a pretty big chunk of the initial $1 trillion in cuts, after all. But McClatchy's Nancy Youssef sets the record straight:

Rather than cutting $400 billion in defense spending through 2023, as President Barack Obama had proposed in April, the current debt proposal trims $350 billion through 2024, effectively giving the Pentagon $50 billion more than it had been expecting over the next decade.

...."This is a good deal for defense when you probe under the numbers," said Lawrence Korb, a defense expert at the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning research center. "It's better than what the Defense Department was expecting."

Now, if the follow-on deal includes lots of additional defense cuts, then the Pentagon might actually come out of this with some serious scars. But for now, apparently they're doing Ok
http://motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2011/08/pentagon-not-...
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dkf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-01-11 11:59 PM
Response to Original message
1. Are these just more shenanigans? Argh.
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villager Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-01-11 11:59 PM
Response to Original message
2. unrec! unrec! Make the mean nasty true thing go away!
n/t
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-02-11 12:20 AM
Response to Reply #2
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-02-11 12:46 AM
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BzaDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-02-11 12:00 AM
Response to Original message
3. That argument doesn't make sense, because there was no reason the Republicans were going to go along
with the 400 billion increase until this deal. In other words, the 350 billion reduction in Pentagon spending is likely 350 billion more cuts than Obama would have gotten had there been no negotiations. This is on top of the 600 billion in cuts in the trigger.
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gateley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-02-11 12:09 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. You're so right! nt
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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-02-11 12:01 AM
Response to Original message
4. They're not crying. AT ALL. Nor should they.
Edited on Tue Aug-02-11 12:02 AM by chill_wind
Debt deal in line with DoD budget expectations

http://www.armytimes.com/news/2011/08/defense-spending-... /

The truth :-)

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TransitJohn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-02-11 12:05 AM
Response to Original message
5. Shocked, shocked I tell ya
shocked, shocked I tell you
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Supersedeas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-03-11 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #5
33. that Elephant in our Fiscal house will not go away
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woo me with science Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-02-11 12:07 AM
Response to Original message
6. Liars and thieves. nt
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SpartanDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-02-11 12:09 AM
Response to Original message
8. The trigger is $500 billion
that is where most of the pain is for them.
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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-02-11 12:25 AM
Response to Reply #8
13. Even WITH that trigger, which may or may not ever occur--
Edited on Tue Aug-02-11 12:32 AM by chill_wind
The final number for defense cuts will likely be $700 billion over 10 years, according to Jim McAleese, of McAleese & Associates, McLean, Va, a law firm specializing in defense matters. This is a combination of the first $350 billion, plus whatever recommendations emerge from the new bipartisan congressional committee, he said.

(snip)

We thus see no net change for defense, as we have believed that most defense stocks have discounted a DoD budget cut between $400 to $800 billion over the next 10 years, Callan wrote in an Aug. 1 email.

(snip)

Even if the deal leads to cutting the full $850 billion from the Pentagon, thats still less than recommended by two recent bipartisan debt panels.

If no trigger kicks in, it amounts to a nominal spending freeze:



An April analysis by the Stimson Center showed that if spread out over 10 years, a $400 billion cut to the defense base budget amounted to a nominal freeze in the Office of Management and Budget projections for the Pentagon, meaning the defense budget would be allowed to grow to keep up with inflation.







http://www.armytimes.com/news/2011/08/defense-spending-...
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SpartanDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-02-11 12:43 AM
Response to Reply #13
18. You could say the same for discretionary cuts
Congress can undo any of this, but this our only real leverage. Other than maybe farm subsides there is not part of government they wouldn't be ok cutting.
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-02-11 12:58 AM
Response to Reply #13
22. Do you guys understand the trigger is meant as a poison pill? The White House said so in their press
It is intended to punish Congress to prevent them from voting against the Commission recommendations,

effectively taking Congress out of the picture and giving the Commission Star Chamber-like authority.
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-02-11 01:01 AM
Response to Reply #22
24. In other words, it is NO WAY NO HOW intended to pass and it's intended to make Progs look like fools
When they go back to their district and praise the terms of the trigger provision only for Obama to campaign against it as an unacceptable alternative that Congress will force us to adopt if they do not vote for the Commission's report (which provides them more than enough cover to do so -- they'll spend the next 5 weeks preparing their districts for the inevitability of Social Security and Medicare reform).
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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-02-11 01:28 AM
Response to Reply #22
25. I do, yes. What we're observing here is there can be some debate
Edited on Tue Aug-02-11 01:34 AM by chill_wind
on it's real effectiveness. Considering that the Pentagon is saying they were prepared for anywhere up to $800 billion (see above Debt Deal in Line with DOD budget expectations (ArmyTimes)and were actually bracing for up to 1 tril, coupled with the fact that plenty of GOPhers and Teabaggers were already ONBOARD for defense spending cuts:




Sen. Johnny Isakson (GA) told a local news station that reducing the deficit begins with the Department of Defense.

Sen. Pat Toomey (PA) criticized Congress for voting for programs the Pentagon doesnt even want. We want to make sure men and women put in harms way have the resources they need. That doesnt mean the entire defense budget has to be taken off the table.

Sen. Rand Paul (KY) told PBS that cutting defense spending has to be on the table. He also tweaked Republicans for never saying theyll cut anything out of military. Theres still waste in the military budget. You have to make it smaller.

Sen. Tom Coburn (OK) wrote in the Washington Times: Republicans should resist pressure to take all defense spending off the table. Taking defense spending off the table is indefensible. We need to protect our nation, not the Pentagons sacred cows.

Sen. Mark Kirk (IL) said that we need across-the-board spending cuts, including defense.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) said on Fox News Sunday that he didnt think anything ought to be off-limits for the effort to reduce spending. I dont think we ought to start out with the notion that a whole lot of areas in the budget are exempt from reducing spending, which is what we really need to do and do it quickly.

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) said everything, including defense cuts, should be on the table.

Sen. Bob Corker (TN) said on CNBC that defense cuts have to be on the table because theres a lot of waste there.

Rep. John Campbell (CA) said the military keep ourselves safe, but know we dont have unlimited resources. The Defense Department should not be a jobs program.

Tea Party Rep. Chris Gibson (NY), a former Army Colonol: This deficit that we have threatens our very way of life, and everything needs to be on the table.

23 Conservative Leaders, including Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist, Americans For Prosperity president Tim Phillips, and FreedomWorks CEO Matt Kibbe, wrote in a letter to Congress that Department of Defense spending, in particular, has been provided protected status that has isolated it from serious scrutiny and allowed the Pentagon to waste billions in taxpayer money.

Former GOP House Leader Dick Armey: A lot of people say if you cut defense, youre demonstrating less than a full commitment to our nations security, and thats baloney.

Tea Party Patriots Mark Meckler: I have yet to hear anyone say, We cant touch defense spending, or any other issue. Any tea partier who says something else lacks integrity.



http://thinkprogress.org /

Sure, there's probably a matter of degree there, but I think the defense cut "poison" meme as major leverage on them is being vastly oversold, compared to what all else they hate as well. (ie entitlements)

The defense spending cut trigger was supposed to be OUR leverage over the GOP snakesters that will be trying to do double-dealing on that commission.
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-02-11 01:32 AM
Response to Reply #25
26. But the problem is that a) the commission cuts are likely to be horrible and b) this puts us against
Defense cuts as a party, with the Republicans being willing to accept them and the White House arguing against them and in favor of the Commission cuts to entitlements. The Republicans win either way.

It's exactly like the new strategy that the conservative Dems adopted with the Health Care Reform, creating the Public Option for conservatives to campaign against and privately assuring them that it would not be in the final bill, while simultaneously rehabilitating the discredited conservative notion of the government compelling individuals to purchase private financial instruments (Romney plan) and selling it as a Democratic idea that only right-wingers oppose.
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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-02-11 01:54 AM
Response to Reply #26
27. I actually think we are saying the same thing.
I'm saying we don't have the degree of leverage so many are assuming at face, even if you were willing to entertain further defense cuts would ever happen. To say nothing of the optics you've just described. The Republicans win either way. YES.
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woo me with science Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-03-11 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #26
32. You have argued all this with more clarity than I have seen it argued elsewhere.
I hope you will consider making an OP to drive home the point.
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Cant trust em Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-02-11 12:11 AM
Response to Original message
9. If you had to guess, would a future republican president stick to this 10 year plan of cuts?
Or would the DOD wind up getting an increase without the cuts implemented by this deal?
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gateley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-02-11 12:11 AM
Response to Original message
10. The only silver lining I see about this (besides the Pentagon
getting cut at all -- has that ever happened?) is I heard Ezra Klein say something about defense cuts affecting Veterans' benefits. Don't know if that's accurate or how much, or even if I understood it correctly, but if it's so, that would mean FEWER cuts for the Vets.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-02-11 12:41 AM
Response to Reply #10
17. Yes it has, just not since 1945
in fact, in between the two world wars, the US Military was reduced to the bone, one reason it took two years to spin up from a very small force to millions under arms.

I'd hazard to say that this is PRECISELY the reason it was not cut after WW II... and well, that thing called the Cold War.

But in the interwar period, that is but one example.
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gateley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-02-11 12:55 AM
Response to Reply #17
21. Thanks! Interesting. History always is.
:hi:
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krabigirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-02-11 12:17 AM
Response to Original message
11. of course
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Angry Dragon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-02-11 12:26 AM
Response to Original message
14. The war in Iraq costs $229million/day
stop the war and I can save $83,585,000,000 in one year

Afghanistan costs $69,350,000,000 per/year

That is $152,935,000,000 saved per year by not fighting 2 wars

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laconicsax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-02-11 12:35 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. But that's only $1.5 trillion over ten years.
Serious cuts only, please.
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PuffedMica Donating Member (584 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-02-11 05:30 AM
Response to Reply #15
28. Cutting the cost of human casualties from the two wars is immeasurable
Keeping the 1500000000000 dollars in the United States (as opposed to pissing it away in war) will multiply the value several times.

Ending the wars should be at the top of our list of things to do, regardless of the debt limit.
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laconicsax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-02-11 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #28
31. I forgot to add something to my comment:
This ---> :sarcasm:
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JoeyT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-02-11 05:38 AM
Response to Reply #14
29. Is that just the operational expenses?
Because I'd think the long term costs are going to be far higher than that.
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Cerridwen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-02-11 12:38 AM
Response to Original message
16. Ya think?!
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bhikkhu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-02-11 12:45 AM
Response to Original message
19. ...and I'm not sure, but much of that was planned reduction already
a bit of "peace dividend" they've been working on for over a year. Even so, its pretty nice to see them "on the table", for the first time since the nineties.

One thing that the deal does as well is link domestic and military spending in all future cuts. For instance, as the expiration of the Bush tax cuts is figured into expected revenue after 12/31/12, if the repugs were to finagle some way to extend them again, that would be counted as an new expense. Which would have to be offset by either new revenue of some sort, or by spending cuts - including another 50% share from the military. That is a part of the tangle that guarantees the tax cuts are history soon.
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JCMach1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-02-11 12:59 AM
Response to Original message
23. cuts that would have been made anyway with spinning-down the wars
:grr:
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blkmusclmachine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-02-11 05:41 AM
Response to Original message
30. The MIC will do fine. DC will see to that.
n/t
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woo me with science Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-04-11 05:27 PM
Response to Original message
34. Kicking again. nt
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