After Defense Secretary Robert Gates met with defense contractors to reiterate the Obama administration's commitment to "steady growth in the Pentagon's budgets," I can't say I am surprised by this - but I can say I am nauseated by it:
War spending surges in President Obama's budget
President Barack Obama's new budget, to be released Monday, forecasts two consecutive years of near $160 billion in war funding, far more than he hoped when elected and only modestly less than the last years of the Bush Administration...
The president's 2010 defense budget a year ago requested $130 billion for operations in Afghanistan and Iraq and just $50 billion in 2011. The new budget ramps up 2010 spending to $163 billion and for 2011 requests $159 billion in overseas contingency funds for the military.
The story - not surprisingly - attempts to sugarcoat this by noting that "core defense spending is feeling the strain (of) the president's $549 billion request (because it) reflects less than 2% real growth over inflation" - as if 2 percent plus inflation on already one of the largest defense budgets in history is somehow "straining."
But I guess that's the terms of our political debate these days: We should cry for the "strained" fat-cat defense contractors while offering up "tough love" admonishments to anyone hit by cuts to non-defense programs.
And really - how dare anyone criticize defense spending! President Obama is only "on track to spend more on defense, in real dollars, than any other president has in one term of office since World War II," as National Journal reports.
We've already been hearing the cat-calls from the Washington Establishment that this astronomical amount somehow isn't nearly enough - and I'm sure those cat-calls will only get louder in the coming weeks and months.
UPDATE: Brave New Films has a great video about this subject. Watch it here: