House Armed Services Committee chairman Buck McKeon has just sent around a memo to fellow Republicans on his committee, warning that Harry Reid's debt ceiling budget plan (which has been endorsed by President Obama) drastically and dangerously slashes defense spending.
"Based on our analysis the proposal would result in $868 Billion in defense cuts over 10 years when weighed against the FY11 budget request," McKeon writes. "Let me be clear, this is a real cut. It would have a disastrous impact on our military and we wouldn’t be able to carry out our missions."
McKeon breaks down the numbers in the Reid-Obama plan, essentially saying that it's worse than it might seem. "Immediately the plan would cut defense in real terms below the FY11-enacted level of $553 billion and hold defense below the FY11-enacted level through FY13. It represents a $16 billion cut to our FY12 levels for next year and a $26 billion cut for the following year."
And the chairman reminds his fellow Republican committee members that "defense has already shrunk $439 billion over 10 years."
McKeon also derides "phony" cuts the Reid plan finds through the end of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"In addition, the Obama/Reid plan contains $1 trillion in phony savings from winding down the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq," McKeon writes. "This gimmick first assumes an extension of the troop surges in Iraq and Afghanistan through the next ten years, and then assumes the surge level will wind down on time for budget savings. This is a gimmick and should be treated as such, everyone knows the wars are winding down. This does not to change the spending habits of Washington."