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'Defense Spending, the Super Committee, and the Price of Greatness'

2:17 PM, Nov 17, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Defending Defense, a project of the American Enterprise Institute, the Foreign Policy Initiative, and the Heritage Foundation, notes that "The future of America’s national security hangs in the balance.  Facing a looming Thanksgiving deadline, a select bipartisan panel of 12 lawmakers is struggling to hammer out legislation that would reduce the federal deficit by more than $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years.  However, it remains unclear if they will succeed."

If this so-called “Super Committee” falls short—or if the required deficit reduction legislation is not enacted by January 15, 2012—fthen the Pentagon’s long-term budget will suffer the brunt of the consequences.  Specifically, it will face not only lowered “sequestration” ceilings on spending that will effectively cut more than $500 billion from what the Pentagon was projected (based on Obama’s fiscal year 2012 budget proposal) to spend over the next ten years, but also “sequestration” cuts that will further indiscriminately slash as much as $500 billion more.  In all, sequestration’s spending ceilings and cuts could effectively trim anywhere from $500 billion to over $1 trillion from projected long-term defense spending.

In addition, the group "debunks three common myths about U.S. spending on national defense."

MYTH #1:  Defense spending is the main driver of America’s growing debt and deficit.

FACT:  The main driver of America’s growing debt and deficit is domestic spending—especially entitlement spending—and not defense spending....

MYTH #2:  The Pentagon hasn’t had spending cuts.

FACT:  Defense spending has been subjected to several rounds of reductions under President Obama, with long-term savings amounting to roughly $850 billion.  Moreover, if Congress fails to pass into law a massive deficit-reduction bill by January 12, 2012, then long-term defense will be again cut—this time, by as much as $500 billion....


Myth #3:  Deep cuts in defense spending won’t impact U.S. global leadership.

FACT:  In order to maintain global leadership, the United States must make commensurate investments in defense of its national security and international interests.

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