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Sirota -- The secret militarism of Obama's defense spending cuts

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Donnachaidh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 03:29 PM
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Sirota -- The secret militarism of Obama's defense spending cuts

One of the major headlines to emerge from President Obama's debt reduction plan is his proposed $40-billion-a-year cut to defense. For progressives in particular, this is one of the good initiatives in a mixed bag. But most of the Washington press corps has missed the underlying story: The administration's spending cuts would actually make defense an even larger part of the overall discretionary budget.

According to the White House plan, which Obama unveiled on Wednesday, while defense would be cut by $400 billion over the next decade, non-defense discretionary spending would be cut by $770 billion. That means stuff like labor law enforcement, low-income energy assistance and food aid to the poor would be cut almost twice as much as the bloated defense budget.

What's particularly galling about these numbers is that they're part of a budget in which defense already makes up 58 percent of discretionary spending. In other words, out of the $1.2 trillion of proposed cuts to the overall discretionary budget, nearly two-thirds will be imposed upon the non-defense priorities that comprise just 42 percent of the existing discretionary budget.

That means despite all the headlines about proposed defense cuts, Obama is proposing to tilt the overall share of discretionary spending even further toward the Pentagon -- a move that polls show is the opposite of what Americans want ... or is it?

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