Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Why not everything by 5%?

Of course - I know the answer. The defense budget is easy to get to and is just a happy bucket of money.

Have them pay more than they need for each unit of energy while we cut their budget (result is even less energy which means less deployments, training, etc ... use it as a slush fund while you ignore the whole problem hoping the crisis and hard choices will happen on someone else's watch down the road ....

From the State of the Union speech tonight;
And I’m proud to announce that the Department of Defense, the world’s largest consumer of energy, will make one of the largest commitments to clean energy in history – with the Navy purchasing enough capacity to power a quarter of a million homes a year.
...
Take the money we’re no longer spending at war, use half of it to pay down our debt, and use the rest to do some nation-building right here at home.
... and now;
The U.S. defense budget to be proposed next month by President Barack Obama will cut military spending five percent to $525 million, Pentagon officials said Jan. 24.

The fiscal 2013 budget proposal will show the first decline since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, in the base Pentagon budget, which excludes operations in conflicts such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Those “overseas contingency operations” amounted to $118 billion in the current fiscal year in addition to the main Pentagon operations.
...
The budget is set to be unveiled as President Barack Obama moves to create a leaner U.S. military focused on countering China’s rising power while signaling a shift away from large ground wars against insurgents.

The administration is preparing for $487 billion in defense cuts over the next 10 years. But the reduction could be as high as $600 billion if automatic cuts are imposed under a budget deal between the White House and Congress, which calls for certain measures to trim the deficit if no agreement is reached on other cuts.
I've seen this movie before. The budget cuts - real budget cuts, not baseline cuts - will come only from the military. They will claim cutting XXX,XXX government jobs - almost all will be DoD, and so on.

Sigh. Thing is, I am sure most military would be happy to take even more than a 5% cut to ensure our nation's financial security ... if everyone else does as well. It all needs to be cut - but I don't see any real seriousness.

Yep, seen this movie before. Click.

50 comments:

The Usual Suspect said...

Yes, the green energy for the Navy at a multiple of the current cost while cutting the defense budget.  That made a lot of sense to me...that definitely falls under the WTF line in the budget process handbook.  Maybe they can put sails on the LCS to save on diesel when it's not running away at high speed from "something" it doesn't have a module for yet.

G-man said...

"Take the money we;re no longer spending at war, use half to pay down our debt.."???  WTF?  How do you "pay down the debt" with unspent, unobligated money?  He obviously has no clue as to the real budgetary process - prolly cuz we ain't had one in over 1000 days.  That is like telling your credit card company "well, take half the payment I would have made and use that to reduce my balance".

THIS is the Harvard elite that will lead us out of the financial wilderness?  Doomed we are.

LT B said...

From the last election, you HAD to know that the dems don't do math.  They do magical, fairy tale, rainbow crapping unicorn statements that buy votes. 

Guesticles said...

...and yet you oppose the only GOP candidate willing to make across-the-board cuts to the tune of $1T per year, while holding defense spending constant (adjusted for inflation).

Wharf Rat said...

Exactly - the problem is, as I've said for years here, is domestic spending.  About a year ago URR had a calculation in a similar thread that discussed what a non-starter was regarding DOD budget and the federal budget shortfall.

It's domestic spending, stupid.  It is and always will be.  Where are the other (cowards) cabinent members standing up to volunteer cuts to reduce the debt and deficit???

cdrsalamander said...

... and would have to be a dictator to make it happen. Politics is the art of the possible.

Anyway - how is Senator Angle and O'Donnell working out for 'ya?

Adversus Omnes Dissident said...

Thank God we have a hard charging Secretary of the Navy who will stand up against this sort of jack-assery.  Oh wait.....wait......no.......damnit.

LazyChop said...

I thought I knew some stuff about the budget and the process, but Sal's comments have me confused. The 2012 budget had mandatory spending cut by ~3% (with a large majority of those cuts coming from the cuts in welfare programs and Medicaid), while the discretionary spending was reduced by almost the same percentage (though less in real terms, since discretionary funding is less than mandatory spending by something like a trillion dollars). If I remember correctly, a lot of cabinet and Executive departments saw cuts - DOJ, DOA, NASA, DOL, EPA, etc. Some departments did get more funding (DOE, VA, etc). Or am I just remembering things incorrectly?

I wouldn't be surprised if the FY13 budget has a similar across-the-board cut structure when all is said and done.

Time to exercise my Google-Fu...

UltimaRatioRegis said...

No, LT B, they all can do math. 

None of this is unintentional.  None.  The erosion of American power is high on the agenda of this Administration.  Everything else is platitudes. 

"I am proud to announce that the Department of Defense, an organization that I truly despise and will go great lengths to destroy, will be forced to spend shrinking budget dollars on unworkable, unaffordable, ill-suited alternative energy technologies that, even if moderately successful after years and hundreds of billions of Defense money to develop, is being done solely to pander to my far-left environmental militant "green energy" voter base at the expense of this nation's security"

Ahh but to have it honestly stated....

Grandpa Bluewater said...

You'll have to wait and hope on that one.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

...something, in this case, includes just about everything.

DeltaBravo said...

It's the same crowd that firmly believes cutting the RATE of growth of future food stamp programs is taking FOOD out of the MOUTHS of little chilluns.

DeltaBravo said...

I know... we've seen this movie before.

Someday we'll need to fight another war with the military we have.....    SSDD...

Guest said...

Same crowd that still believes that we had a "surplus" in the 1990's under Clinton.

No we did not.

Look at the National Debt.....the last time it went down year to year was in 1958, so that was the last time we paid down our National Debt.

Pretty simple - if the National Debt is more this year than last year, we ran a deficit.  If the National Debt this year is less than last year, we ran a surplus that was used to pay down our debt.

Kristen said...

As always, Democrats don't think of national defense when they look at the military.  They think of social engineering.  November can't come soon enough.

Steve said...

<span>cut military spending five percent to $525 million</span>

That's a tad more than 5%.

Steve said...

At least we can still buy an LCS with that money. Barely.

Guesticles said...

Here's the rub:  You're implicitly (here by quoting the SOTU speech, and elsewhere) blaming Obama for the budget, but say that a fiscally conservative president couldn't do the opposite?  The executive spends the money and has veto power over the budget.  Maybe it just takes someone "crazy" enough to shut down the government until Congress realizes how little government we actually need.

cdrsalamander said...

Of course ... and such tactics have such a great track record of getting anything done.

Just grab your black flag and run down the streets with your pockets full of gold and your backpack full of freeze dried foods while the adults try to find a way to stop fracking things up. Now, go play; the adults are trying to get their act together.

Guesticles said...

Perhaps we can agree that we wouldn't be in this mess if the Republicans knew how to thoughtfully (lovingly?) prune the military budget instead of treating us as a political pet.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Guesticles,

Perhaps we can agree that we wouldn't be in this mess if we didn't explode spending on entitlements, which will be four times Defense spending this year, and the Democrats didn't use Defense as a ready-made slush fund to bribe their government-dependent welfare drones to vote for them. 

Defense will absorb an extraordinary amount of any budget cutting.  Because it is easy and because it appeals to the far-left anti-military peacenik crowd that is a substantial portion of Obama's voter base, while fitting nicely with the political philosophies of this Administration.  See: Clinton, Hillary, and Peace Dividend/Acquisition Holiday.

cdrsalamander said...

GT,
Please, enlighten us with some examples of what you speak, as your logic train lost me between "... prune & pet."

A few examples might better explain your concept - as right now there is no meaning there to work with.

pk said...

and here i thought that "fir share" meant that he was going to make "central city folk" pay their taxes.

C

Byron said...

"The executive spends the money and has veto power over the budget"

Yeah. Sorta like I work 60 hours a week and my wife gets to spend it...and in that same analogy, she's constrained in her spending by paying the mortgage, lights, various and other sundry bills, all agreed to by both of us (kind of like Congress and POTUS, right?) with enough left over for savings, food and a dab of entertainment.

Now, is this what you're trying to say? Oh..except that Congress with the coniving of POTUS has us painted into a nasty little budget corner and of course the party of entitlements thinks that the first thing to slash is the military piece of the pie chart. Now, is this what you're really trying to say, or are you trying to baffle us with a blizzard of bull $hit?

VGBear said...

Don't underestimate the desire of some in OPNAV to see more and more of this sort of project, and apply similar desires upon warfighting system requirements.

James said...

Ive seen Ron Pauls REAL budget plan. This time around he's turned to just plain lying. He believes that if we are nice and have no military everyone else will just stop buying...........thats a stupid plan, infact it borders on insane.

Ron Paul is a Far-...well there isnt a name for it. He's a person who believes in the inherent logic of his idea. Except that logic depends on the entire world thinking like ron paul.

His supporters are made up 90% by people who HAVE NO CLUE ABOUT WORLD AFFAIRS. I have talked to them. Hell 50% are atleast troofers. Not to mention way to many seem to think anything is OK as long as its against the man or act like trolls. Now im sure there are alot of good normal ron paul supporters im talking about the hardcore guys who were there the last what 4-5 elections?

Point is while Ron Paul may be a good senator for those who voted him in he cant run the country. In fact from what ive seen thats the plan. Do nothing stop everything until the system breaks then he believes that the country will just say "Oh ok obviously he was right this whole time, lets do it his way!". Not sure which will happen first seccession, civilwar, anarchy, corprate slavery (actucal corperate slavery, like in china but worse). Lots of terrorism.............

Sounds fun dont it.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Those in OPNAV are playing for political favor.  A symptom, but not the cause of the disease.

LT B said...

actually, I think they are around 700 million now.

LT B said...

We need graphs.  Lots of them to tell the story.  Being 24 or 26 of developed countries in mathematics, the Americans are too stupid to understand the cold numbers.  Show them graphs.  Then when the President talks about SEAL Team 6, show how much that "cheap" unit costs and show them how much that op costed. 

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Just for the hell of it, anyone know where we stood in STEM before Jimmy Carter created the Department of Education?

LT B said...

Here is a question.  How much is the military?  Isn't it something like 5% of GDP?  Maybe a bit more?  Ok, in that context, what happens if we get rid of ALL military spending?  That does not help us.  Especially when the dem-dolts want to spend more, so they would allocate those funds to MORE vote buying. 

LT B said...

Then I hope they catch a throat STD as they get down upon their knees for a weaker military and a weaker country, but furthering their own career.  Remember douche nozzles, the military is supposed to be about something bigger than yourselves. 

LazyChop said...

URR:

I don't mean to quibble, but when you say "<span> if we didn't explode spending on entitlements, which will be four times Defense spending this year," I believe you are incorrect. See this website for facts on entitlement spending since 1996. While growing over time, I would not label it explosive, nor say it's 4x Defense spending. It's more like 3x, when you factor in OCO funding.</span>

<span>Entitlement spending overall is a beast that we'll have to tackle sooner rather than later. From 2000 - 2010, entitlement spending nearly doubled. Not a sustainable course in the long term, I agree. We're all at fault for letting both Parties drag us into this.  </span>

LazyChop said...

Let's be honest here - neither party is fiscally responsible anymore.

LazyChop said...

Instead of an LCS, let's just buy everyone a smartphone, like the PDA-revolution circa early 2000s. Might as well start handing money over directly to China anyway with the way we're heading.

LazyChop said...

Whoops: Forgot the link to a decent site with some numbers:

http://www.usgovernmentdebt.us/spending_chart_1996_2016USb_09s1li111lcn_00f10f40f_Entitlement_Spending_Chart

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Well, there is a good reason OCO is not part of the Defense budget.  The Defense budget is for normal sustainment, pay, O&T. 

If Defense is going to be $525B in the coming year, and entitlements are going to be about $2.23T, we are looking at a 1:4 ratio.  Not only that, but the administration has hidden a number of other entitlement expenditures elsewhere.  Not huge, but nevertheless uncredited.

Surfcaster said...

Same Sheit, Different Decade?

UltimaRatioRegis said...

As I mentioned, missing in the chart provided by the Feds are about $400B in food stamps/WIC that they categorize under another pot.  I believe the category is "food and nutritional subsidies".  But entitlements they are.  Raising the total to about $2.2T for entitlements. 

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Defense budget has not exceeded 3.8% of GDP since the Reagan buildup thirty years ago.  Depending on the figures used, the Defense budget represents between 3.4 and 3.7% of GDP. 

The Usual Suspect said...

Putting it all in perspective for the working people...

LT B said...

This was back in 2009, but still illustrates it nicely.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWt8hTayupE

arkhangelsk said...

It is not only easy to get to. At the end of the Cold War, people finally confirmed that excessive defence budget spending can really wreck an economy.

Unfortunately, it is not matched by an awareness that any excessive redirection of funds to non-productive sectors of the economy might inflate the GNP's numerical value but ultimately do the economy little good:
For example http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=830

So for 20 years people (especially in Europe) take sledgehammers to the defence budget while not touching or even expanding welfare. Now we pay the piper.

John said...

The non-OCO budget is dropping 5%, from $553B to $525B. OCO accounts for the other half of the cuts, $117B to $88B. Funny how "ending" half our wars only saves 20% of the cost. In any event, $50B a year doesn't seem so dramatic in context, when most of it will come from inevitable reductions in OCO. And the budget will resume usual growth, it will just remain $50B a year below last year's projections for the next ten years. Last year's budget was inflated past the DoD's request anyway. Someone mentioned reductions from baseline...

ewok40k said...

Republicans get the tax cuts, Democrats get the social spending, everybody gets the deficit up...
All the while DoD buys LCS and CVNs (for the cost of 1 CVN you could have 100+ Absaloms...)

LT B said...

You are assuming that the tax cuts caused or increase the deficit.  If they stimulate the economy and bring in more revenue, that is a false assumption.  However, increased spending upon seeing new revenue is the culprit.  It all comes down to fiscal responsibility.  The problem is the tax more crowd wants 100% taxation on everybody else's money so they can spend it.

ewok40k said...

Thats all fine and dandy if tax cuts money goes into ivestments - not into luxury consumption or being transferred to investments overseas where labor is cheaper...

LT B said...

Once again, fiscal responsibility, and the tax environment discourages companies from coming back to the US.  Labor is cheaper overseas, and they don't get a big chunk of money stolen from them to come back and invest it.

ewok40k said...

Labor is cheaper in China not because of less taxes, and not because of less government (they are communist, after all) - and you have to pay bribes to get anything going - but  because workers there are happy to get from starving to having full rice bowl every day. If there is no tax on imports equating the difference in wages, no jobs creation in the US. Or unless US workers will accept rice bowl per day...

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Labor overhead for political prisoners in the gulag is substantially lower.  Their health plan is somewhat abbreviated.