2:40 PM, Mar 23, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
A fact sheet on the Defense budget from the Foreign Policy Initiative:
After heated committee debates, the House and Senate will each take up budget resolutions this week that would make minimal changes to the $1 trillion in defense cuts required by the Budget Control Act(BCA). A recent FPI fact sheet explained the key features of the defense budget proposal introduced in the House Budget Committee, as well as options proposed by President Obama, the chairmen of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, and the bipartisan National Defense Panel. This update describes the amended resolutions that will be considered by the House and Senate this week, as well as a proposal from the House Republican Study Committee (RSC).
The budget resolutions that Congress will debate feature a total of $613 billion for defense spending, a marginal increase above the figure requested by President Obama. However, the resolutions reach this target by leaving the BCA cuts to the Defense Department’s base budget in place while providing an extra $39 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), an account normally restricted to paying for war-related costs. This maneuver would require the support of both the appropriations committees and the Obama administration, which may not be forthcoming.
At a Thursday hearing, the Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey suggested that OCO dollars are not an acceptable substitute for increased base budget funding, since they only provide a one-year fix. Gen. Dempsey stated, “We submit a one-year budget but in the context of a five-year future defense plan, and we won't have the certainty we need over that period” if sequestration-level caps still apply in FY16 and beyond.
Moreover, an FY16 budget of either $612 or $613 billion would result in significant shortfalls for our military. Gen. Dempsey has said that the President’s budget request would leave the Pentagon at the “lower, ragged edge” of manageable risk, while Secretary Carter has warned that there would be “no margin left for error, nor for a response to a strategic surprise.” This is why the RSC, the chairmen of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, and the bipartisan, congressionally-appointed National Defense Panel have all recommended substantial increases in the defense budget.
The question before Congress is whether it will heed the advice of both military leaders and independent experts, or whether it will remain wedded to defense cuts signed into law before the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the dramatic spread of Iranian influence across the Middle East.
6:10 AM, Feb 3, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama's proposed defense budget is well below what former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates proposed.
9:09 PM, Feb 2, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama's budget is not likely to be passed by Congress. But if it did, the U.S. would be about $26.3 trillion in debt.
The numbers come from Obama's budget, and were sent around by the Republican National Committee to highlight the heavy spending in the president's proposed budget:
9:00 PM, Feb 2, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
Senator Jeff Sessions, the former ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, says President Obama's proposed budget "raises taxes by $2.1 trillion."
"The President has sent another tax-and-spend budget to Congress," Sessions says in a statement responding to Obama's proposed budget.
12:01 PM, Feb 2, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The White House has submitted its latest budget proposal to Congress, and the Republican chairs of the budget committees in both the Senate and the House are criticizing the plan for increasing spending and raising taxes. In a joint statement House budget chair Tom Price of Georgia and Senate budget chair Mike Enzi of Wyoming blasted President Obama's proposal:
9:02 AM, Oct 16, 2014 • By KEVIN R. KOSAR
Yesterday’s presentation by the U.S. Treasury was a comical spectacle—at least for those of us with sardonic senses of humor. The good news? The deficit for FY2014 (which ended September 30) was 29 percent lower than the deficit was in FY2013.
8:01 AM, Oct 14, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Analysis of Congressional Budget Office projections by the Senate Budget Committee finds that Obamacare will increase the deficit by more than $100 billion over the next decade.
Calls defense cuts 'draconian.'5:34 PM, Oct 8, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama addressed the mission to degrade and destroy the Islamic State in remarks today at the Pentagon. "Our strikes continue alongside our partners. It remains a difficult mission," said the commander in chief.
1:45 PM, Jul 16, 2014 • By ROGER ZAKHEIM
This week senior officials from the Pentagon will testify before Congress on their request for emergency appropriations, known as the Overseas Contingency Operations funding (OCO in military speak). A decision to maintain troop presence in Afghanistan, a resurgence of radical Sunni terrorism across the Middle east, and Russian expansionism in Europe all seem like good reasons for the administration to request the emergency funding. These events, however, haven’t prevented some proponents of defense cuts to question the validity of the request.
A budget rule that encourages dishonesty.Jun 16, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 38 • By IKE BRANNON
An arithmetic riddle: How much money would the U.S. government collect if it were to impose a 5 percent tax on the $2 trillion currently parked in offshore accounts to avoid the high U.S. corporate tax rate of 35 percent?
If you multiplied $2 trillion by .05 and arrived at $100 billion as an answer, you get full credit for your math acumen but zero points for political accuracy. The answer is a negative $600 billion, at least in the eyes of the Joint Committee on Taxation and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
4:03 PM, Jun 4, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Senator Mark Pryor is making entitlements an issue in the Arkansas Senate race. Both Pryor and his Democratic allies are hitting Republican nominee and House member Tom Cotton over his support for a budget proposal that would have, starting in 2022, gradually raised the retirement age for receiving Social Security and Medicare benefits.
9:39 AM, May 30, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Startling charts from the Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee about male participation in the labor force, particularly men between the ages of 25-54:
1:15 PM, Apr 10, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Three Republican House members from Georgia, who are also running for the Senate, voted against their conference's budget Thursday. Jack Kingston, Phil Gingrey, and Paul Broun joined nine other Republicans in voting against the budget, authored by chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.
12:03 PM, Mar 27, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
A new report from the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee finds that "Economic Growth In 2013 Just Half Of What The President Said His Policies Would Deliver." Here's a chart, showing the committee's findings:
1:28 PM, Mar 5, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
When you spend in the trillions and run deficits in the (many) billions, then you look for the millions where you can find them.