Rahm Emanuel Signals Deep Defense Spending Cuts

by: Chris Bowers

Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 00:15


One of the stories we have been following on Open Left since the election is the question of defense spending under the Obama administration.  Public opinion is open to cuts, and Obama's positioning on the matter, while mixed, has still been generally positive. Now, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is signaling that not only will there be defense spending cuts, but that those cuts will be deep. Via commenter The Big Hurt, consider recent statements by Emanuel on Meet the Press (more in the extended entry):
Chris Bowers :: Rahm Emanuel Signals Deep Defense Spending Cuts
What you see here--and the president has always said that we must have an approach to spending money differently and respect for the taxpayers' dollars, and do it in a more efficient way and in a different way.  And most importantly, we must deal with the long-term challenges that face this country.  So while he has talked about the need--and everybody I think from economists on the left to economists on the right realize that we must make critical investments at this time.  And yes, they'll add to our obligation.  It has got to be coupled with a serious attack about putting our fiscal house in order.  And for too long that hasn't happened. Challenges that needed to be met, responsibilities that needed to be met have not.  So from the era--from the area of, let's just say, in the defense area.

MR. GREGORY:  Hm.

On an annual basis we have about $300 billion in cost overruns. That must be addressed, and we will be addressing it.  Area of subsidies to corporate America, that must be addressed.  And then also, dealing with the bigger obligations of health care costs and their--and what they have done to the federal budget.

What is particularly revealing, and exciting, about this passage is that Emanuel not only clearly implies cuts in defense spending are coming, but he places an actual number on it:  "about $300 billion." Further, this figure does not even seem to include money that will be saved by withdrawing troops from Iraq, as Emanuel's language is focused on "cost overruns." Withdrawing from Iraq, and cutting $300 billion in other defense spending, would wipe out the increases in military spending under the Bush administration. It would even reduce military spending to a smaller percentage of the federal budget than it was during the Clinton administration.

Making the public spending aspects of the stimulus plan permanent, cutting defense spending and ending the Bush tax cuts would collectively serve as a an even more progressive re-arrangement of federal spending than President Clinton's 1993 budget. Expand the public expenditure parts of the stimulus, and start running TARP better (more foreclosure mitigation, higher ownership stake in the companies receiving the money, higher rate of return on the preferred stock), and we might be getting close to what Paul Krugman has called a post-bubble re-organization of the economy.

Now, I don't expect that the Obama administration will cut $300 billion in defense spending right off the bat. For one thing, the political backing for the military-industrial complex is staggering, and it won't tolerate any cuts lightly. Second, Robert Gates is still running the Pentagon, so it might be difficult to reduce cost overruns if the management hasn't changed. Third, Emanuel could simply have been using a large number for the purpose of sounding serious about reducing spending, and the actual targeted cuts might be lower.

Still, Emanuel's comments provide ample reason to be optimistic about reductions in the military-industrial complex during the Obama administration. This is an area where we need to keep beating the drum, and help make cuts the Obama administration apparently desires into a more achievable political reality.

Update: I removed the ellipses. Still looks like he is talking about defense to me. Especially since he says the same thing in a recent interview with Charlie Rose (see about 20:30 into the interview).


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The Pentagon has Congress wired (4.00 / 9)
Their usual approach is to divide up a large weapons program so that it produces jobs in a couple of dozen states and more than a hundred congressional districts.  The result is that when the president tries to cut a clearly useless, losing waste of billions of dollars, Congress puts it right back. And many of these programs are totally obsolete, designed for things like fighting a tank war in Europe against the Red Army.


Yes and (4.00 / 2)
this is where Blue Dogs get their money. Extraction industries and the military industrial complex.

Montani semper liberi

[ Parent ]
The Congressional/Military/Industrial Complex (4.00 / 3)
is pervasive. I have often wondered if such could be morphed into a Congressional/Scientific/Industrial Complex?

You know, dividing up large scientific and engineering programs so that these produce jobs (and infrastructure, by the way) in a couple dozen states and more than 100 congressional districts. Thus, when the President pulls back on the clearly useless, military and weapons contracts, the Congress can pull pork from another pocket. The projects don't have to be designed for obsolete war-making goals, rather these could be designed for novel and useful "green" technologies, biomedical advances, and basic scientific research and education.

Of course, the weapons-dealers and the military brass may not be so pleased with the shift....

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."


[ Parent ]
military Keynesianism (0.00 / 0)
Check out The Pentagon System by Noam Chomsky:

By the late 1940s, it was taken for granted in government-corporate circles that the state would have to intervene massively to maintain the private economy. In 1948, with postwar pent-up consumer demand exhausted and the economy sinking back into recession, Truman's "cold-war spending" was regarded by the business press as a "magic formula for almost endless good times" (Steel), a way to "maintain a generally upward tone" (Business Week). The Magazine of Wall Street saw military spending as a way to "inject new strength into the entire economy," and a few years later, found it "obvious that foreign economies as well as our own are now mainly dependent on the scope of continued arms spending in this country," referring to the international military Keynesianism that finally succeeded in reconstructing state capitalist industrial societies abroad and laying the basis for the huge expansion of Transnational Corporations (TNCs), at that time mainly U.S.-based.

The Pentagon system was considered ideal for these purposes. It imposes on the public a large burden of the costs (research and development, R&D) and provides a guaranteed market for excess production, a useful cushion for management decisions. Furthermore, this form of industrial policy does not have the undesirable side-effects of social spending directed to human needs. Apart from unwelcome redistributive effects, the latter policies tend to interfere with managerial prerogatives; useful production may undercut private gain, while state-subsidized waste production (arms, Man-on-the-Moon extravaganzas, etc.) is a gift to the owner and manager, who will, furthermore, be granted control of any marketable spin-offs. Furthermore, social spending may well arouse public interest and participation, thus enhancing the threat of democracy; the public cares about hospitals, roads, neighborhoods, and so on, but has no opinion about the choice of missiles and high-tech fighter planes. The defects of social spending do not taint the military Keynesian alternative, which had the added advantage that it was well-adapted to the needs of advanced industry: computers and electronics generally, aviation, and a wide range of related technologies and enterprises.

The Pentagon system of course served other purposes. As global enforcer, the U.S. needs intervention forces and an intimidating posture to facilitate their use. But its economic role has always been central, a fact well-known to military planners. Army Plans Chief General James Gavin, in charge of Army R&D under Eisenhower, noted that "What appears to be intense interservice rivalry in most cases...is fundamentally industrial rivalry." It was also recognized from the outset that these goals require "sacrifice and discipline" on the part of the general public (NSC 68). It was therefore necessary, Dean Acheson urged "to bludgeon the mass mind" of Congress and recalcitrant officials with the Communist threat in a manner "clearer than truth," and to "scare hell out of the American people," as Senator Vandenberg interpreted the message. To carry out these tasks has been a prime responsibility of intellectuals throughout these years.

The bottom line is that military Keynesianism allows a managed economy without the unwanted (by ruling elites) side effect of benefitting and thereby empowering the broader population.  

miasmo.com


[ Parent ]
Seems to me that the key elements of this military spending (0.00 / 0)
could be met by non-military spending.

For example: "Apart from unwelcome redistributive effects, the latter policies tend to interfere with managerial prerogatives; useful production may undercut private gain, while state-subsidized waste production (arms, Man-on-the-Moon extravaganzas, etc.) is a gift to the owner and manager, who will, furthermore, be granted control of any marketable spin-offs."

The military does not have some kind of special talent for "state-subsidized waste production", any time that you have heard a derrogatory story about scientists "studying the sex habits of frogs", or some other such thing (say, trying to generate small bits of "Dark Matter" by smashing stuff together), you have a glimpse at how easily such gov-sponsored "waste" can be adapted by those outside of the military. Of course, like the military spending, the benefits of "waste" are to be found in the spin-offs, new materials, and technologies.

Empowering the broader population (or not, as the case may be) is another issue, although not unrelated.  

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."


[ Parent ]
Hoo boy.... (4.00 / 2)
...that's going to get the right all fired up, isn't it?  Even though McCain pretty much proposed the same thing time and time again... of course, IOIYAAR...

I guess getting out of Iraq would make it easy to justify reduced spending...  They better do it in a smart way, though...  cutting defense spending is always dynamite...

Plus, neoclassical economics teaches us that defense spending boosts the economy.... you're going to lose that boost.. of course, neoclassical economics isn't exactly doing th job at the moment, so maybe we should just ignore that!

REID: Voting against us was never part of our arrangement!
SPECTER: I am altering the deal! Pray I don't alter it any further!
REID: This deal keeps getting worse all the time!


Rahm sat near McCain (4.00 / 3)
at the Inaugural luncheon, maybe they discussed getting together to tackle the Pentagon budget. Now that's a way to make McCain useful.

And if they are really hoping for McCain's help, that would in turn explain why they decided to go nice on Joe Lieberman. McCain wouldn't really want to play ball with the folks who punished his BFF.

That said, I wouldn't trust any Republicans to go along with these huge cuts. I doubt McCain has ever voted against a Pentagon spending bill. It's just not in their DNA. Obama would have to be very clever about approaching this.


[ Parent ]
All Spending Boosts the Economy (4.00 / 1)
As Krugman has pointed out on his blog, a dollar of spending is a dollar of spending is a dollar of spending, whether it is for food stamps, bank bailouts, or defense programs.  While the stimulative affect for each is different, they all give some boost to the economy.  So while we do need to spend money for the economic stimulus, it is important to spend it on things that give the best rate of return, which is not likely to be defense spending.

[ Parent ]
In the short term and abstracting from geography (4.00 / 2)
That is true.  But defense spending on weapon systems that we don't need to actually defend us is a terrible investment.  You spend 30 million on a jet which after that money is spent just sits there doing nothing for the economy.  So some spending increases productivity over the long term and some doesn't.  And spending on weapon systems is a great example of spending that typically doesn't.

Also it matters where the components of these sytems are made and who the money goes to.  Give 5 billion to Boeing so that most of the money can go to overseas contractors that make the parts (my understanding is that most of the work done in the US is putting together components built elsewhere) or to executives and you don't get as much stimulus bang for your buck as you do from hiring a local firm to fix a road, construct a building, or make an existing energy system more green.


[ Parent ]
on that -- abc news: Defense Spending as 'Stimulus'? -- (0.00 / 0)
[ Parent ]
Wouldn't it be awesome (0.00 / 0)
if Rahm Emanuel helped push Robert Gates to make deep cuts in the Pentagon? It would sure be ironic.

I think Rahm was referring to a GAO report about Pentagon waste but it sure seems like Team Obama will get serious about that instead of dodging it beacuse it is risky, and that's great.  

John McCain: Beacuse lobbyists should have more power


I don't see how you come to (4.00 / 2)
the conclusions you do about what Emanuel was saying.

In the very paragraph in which he talks about the $300B "cost overruns", he mentions two things as representing such overruns:

1. corporate subsidies
2. health care costs

No mention here of military costs. How you infer that he has in mind cuts of this magnitude in military spending escapes me.

And, while the corporate subsidies sounds like a good thing to go after, how about health care costs? Doesn't this sound just awfully like making cuts in Medicare -- something that Obama seems otherwise as if he might be champing at the bit to institute? How and why would that be a good thing?  


Obama isn't "chomping at the bit"... (4.00 / 2)
...to cut Medicare... He's looking at comprehensive health care reform, which would save medicare a significant amount of money if implemented correctly.  For example... having the government directly negotiate drug costs could save a TON of money...

REID: Voting against us was never part of our arrangement!
SPECTER: I am altering the deal! Pray I don't alter it any further!
REID: This deal keeps getting worse all the time!


[ Parent ]
My interpretation (4.00 / 3)
The ellipsis in the quoted text represents where David Gregory said "Hmm" in the transcript.

They way I read it, it seems like Emmanuel is saying that cost overruns, corporate subsidies, and health care costs are three separate areas that must be addressed, not two areas as part of the third.  The $300 billion number refers solely to cost overruns, which I assume are defense-related.

Things You Don't Talk About in Polite Company: Religion, Politics, the Occasional Intersection of Both


[ Parent ]
You may be right (0.00 / 0)
I assumed that the paragraph was more of a thought unto itself, and interpreted the cost overruns as being explained within that paragraph.

On the other hand, it's worth bearing in mind that when one talks about "cost overruns", it is hard to use such a cut as a justification for cutting substantial programs. I wonder how much traction such an approach might get in implementing major cuts in defense. If it's meant as a ruse (and it's hard to see how one could possibly seriously describe $300B of expenditures as "cost overruns"), I doubt it's going to pass  the laugh test. Republicans will protest, rightly no doubt, that such enormous cuts will gut major programs. And one wonders how willing Obama will be to back cuts that will be characterized as weakening national defense.

Another point worth bearing in mind too is whether or not cutting these "cost overruns" will undermine the stimulus the economy needs. We should not be spending less money than before if we want a stimulus -- how these cuts will figure into that, and whether they will be compensated for by other spending at least as effective in stimulating the economy is certainly not clear from what Emanuel has said.

Bear in mind, as bad as war can be, it also can serve as a very effective stimulus (witness WWII and the Depression). We need spending at least as effective as defense spending if we are going to stimulate our economy as needed.  


[ Parent ]
Historically, yes... (0.00 / 0)
Bear in mind, as bad as war can be, it also can serve as a very effective stimulus (witness WWII and the Depression). We need spending at least as effective as defense spending if we are going to stimulate our economy as needed.  

Even Vietnam provided an economic boost... but our last two wars in Iraq have produced the opposite economic effect...  not sure why that is, but something has changed in that foreign wars no longer seem to stimulate the economy.  In fact, there is a negative effect...  Why this is happening would be an interesting study...

REID: Voting against us was never part of our arrangement!
SPECTER: I am altering the deal! Pray I don't alter it any further!
REID: This deal keeps getting worse all the time!


[ Parent ]
most of the money (4.00 / 4)
going to offshore contractors like Halliburton, or their wealthy owners. And huge amounts of war stimulus paired with a crumbling housing market and collapsed stock market means a net negative economy.

But yeah, Bush has somehow managed to screw up the economy despite trillions in deficit spending. Amazing.


[ Parent ]
it would be useful (0.00 / 0)
to see a real breakdown of how the money is spent, and how it affects our economy.

I would expect that most of Halliburton's money does get into the hands of American citizens, whether they are offshore contractors or not. All the armament that must be bought likewise is made in the USA.

I do though think it's probably right that the money in this war is more narrowly targeted than in previous wars -- less of it goes to military personnel who would spend it than in previous wars -- but it would be good to see the analysis.  


[ Parent ]
Just to continue the point, (0.00 / 0)
it's not clear -- at least to me -- how much better spending money on, say, research and development of green energy or health care digital conversion serves as a better stimulus to the economy than throwing money at defense. Green companies and health care technology companies don't seem a whole lot different to me in terms of their immediate impact on the economy, whatever their merits on other metrics.  

[ Parent ]
defense spending as effective stimulus (4.00 / 4)
Bear in mind that when you spend a big chunk of money to build a bomb so it can sit in a warehouse, yes you did provide some economic stimulus by employing the bomb-builders and buying the bomb materials, but the final product still just sits in the warehouse. (And I am assuming a scenario where we have way more bombs or whatever than we could ever reasonably use.)  Imagine if that money was spent instead on  people and materials to, for example, have an after school tutoring program that caused a few more kids to actually graduate from high school.  Or was used to pay for the people and materials to bring high-speed internet to a rural area enabling rural business development.  You are still employing people and buying stuff, but the end product is something that adds to our productivity and quality of life.

Clearly increased military spending can stimulate the economy, but there are many other types of spending that could have an equal short-term effect and much better long-term effect.


[ Parent ]
Precisely (4.00 / 3)
Defense spending is the least efficient pump-priming tool readily available, for many reasons.  Neither productivity enhancement nor economic stimulus provide coherent explanations for the historically extraordinarily high-levels of defense spending in the US vis-a-vis our industrial allies.  The Pentagon and the militarized space program have been the preferred tools of industrial policy in the US, but one with clear advantages over alternatives from the perspective of economic elites.

That rationale was explained by Business Week in 1949 as industrialists and big money folks were alarmed by the prospect of reduced federal intervention in the economy via military spending, particularly given efforts to reach rapprochement by Stalin, in favor of expanded social welfare investments.

As BW explained ("From Cold War to Cold Peace?", 12 Feb 1949):

There's a tremendous social and economic difference between welfare pump priming and military pump priming. It makes the government's role in the economy-its importance to business-greater than ever. Military spending doesn't really alter the structure of the economy. It goes through the regular channels. As far as a businessman is concerned, a munitions order from the government is much like an order from a private customer. But the kind of welfare and public works spending that Truman plans does alter the economy. It makes new channels of its own. It creates new institutions. It redistributes income. It shifts demand from one industry to another. It changes the whole economic pattern. That's its object.

This perspective held over the decades and explains, in my view, why the much discussed "Peace Dividend" never materialized in a significant way during the first Clinton administration, despite the collapse of the Soviet Union.

There will be strong opposition to any efforts to reduce defense spending by the Obama Administration for many of the same reasons.  Some of that opposition will come from within the administration itself, as reported in the defense industry trade journals and press.

Did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts? Hot ashes for trees? Hot air for a cool breeze? And cold comfort for change?


[ Parent ]
As I think about it, (4.00 / 2)
and assuming that you're right that Emmanuel had in mind that the "cost overruns" apply at least in part to defense spending, what is really going on in Emmanuel's explanation?

I think the right way to interpret it all is that Emmanuel is really trying to counteract the notion that Obama is going to be adding a great deal more expense to the budget with his new "critical investments". He's basically trying to argue that he will make up for these further investments by cutting costs elsewhere -- whence the term "cost overruns". This is classic political BS when it comes to budget talk. Somehow one is going to be able to make cuts by "reducing waste". The absurdity of saying that $300B (!) of cuts might be merely "cost overruns" is part of this ruse.

The real question is whether there is any real seriousness in this suggestion of Emmanuel's, or just a temporary canard designed to get him and Obama past this immediate objection.

It will hardly be true that they will be able to identify $300B of cost overruns. When they come at the defense department, and try to cut tens of billions of dollars, the Republicans will howl that Obama is cutting major programs and undermining national security -- as they have always done in the past.

The question will be whether Obama might stick to any such plan when he is being hit back on the point by the Republicans.  


[ Parent ]
the video is more clear (0.00 / 0)
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21...

go to the 1:58 point


[ Parent ]
I agree that there isn't enough in the supplied links to counter what Obama has (4.00 / 1)
been saying throughout the campaign, that he will increase military spending. But we can hope, and the reports that Gitmo is one of the first things he is addressing is a good sign. We should get rid of the expensive programs without a mission. When one is in financial trouble, the sports car that just sits in the garage should be sold.

But if this is the kind of Pres Obama will be, then why have Emanuel as COS? He is the only Illinois Rep to vote for the war, and has clear prejudices against Muslims. If Emanuel is the messenger for military cuts, he is probably an unwilling messenger.


Clear prejudices? (0.00 / 0)
I'm not aware of any clear prejudices against Muslims but I'd like to be clued in on them. It can't be because he's a Jew or because he voted for the war. What am I missing?

[ Parent ]
Fair enough. You are right. (0.00 / 0)
I guess I am speaking of his father, who was a member of Irgun and made racial slurs against Arabs. But it's not fair to hold this against Rahm. I still hold that his volunteering for the IDF is strange. Having dual loyalties is part of being American, I guess, since we are a land of immigrants. But to volunteer in a war in which your own country is also at war?  

[ Parent ]
I'd like to see the video of this (4.00 / 1)
in order to figure out if his body language and cadence indicates that the $300 billion is referring solely to the Defense budget, or if he means there is $300 billion of waste in defense, health care and corporate welfare put together. The latter interpretation wouldn't be nearly as impressive.

There is definitely $300 billion per year in wasted defense spending. I'd argue that there is a few hundred billion in wasted health care spending, although not all of it is in Medicare. Much of it is in the private health care industry, with layers of bureaucracy. Corporate welfare, if you include farm subsidies and oil subsidies, is also quite high.

My plan to get the budget in shape would be to fully fund IRS enforcement, close loopholes for offshore companies, raise taxes on the very rich and really boost the estate tax, make major cuts in wasted and outdated programs that only exist because of lobbyists (those listed above) and enact universal health care to streamline the health industries of America. Right now we have lax tax enforcement and ridiculous military spending, which combined are responsible for at least half the deficit.


Emanuel also (0.00 / 0)
said the same thing about cutting defense spending on Charlie Rose a few nights ago.  There he mentioned it explicitly along with medicare as the two parts of government which take up the most money and needed to be made more efficient.  

My feeling is about this is that we need to find examples of inadequate defense spending and keep a steady drumbeat of "inefficient defense spending" posts.



[ Parent ]
even making this a topic of conversation is a good sign (4.00 / 4)
They could make trivial, even symbolic cuts, and it would be an improvement on the overall Republican philosophy of "small government and fiscal responsibility ... except for the military". (And except for religious fundamentalism, and except for unsustainable tax breaks for the rich, and a whole lot of other exceptions -- but those are another topic.)

Shifting the conversation is the bare minimum. Let's hope we can see some real efficiency. We need to stop thinking in cold war terms, and start dealing with 21st century global conflicts in more effective ways.  


Yeah, (4.00 / 2)
Here's the link to the Charlie Rose interview.  Emanuel comes right out and lists $300B of cost overruns at defense as his first example of inefficient spending.  

http://www.charlierose.com/vie...

He starts talking about it at around the 20:30 mark.


cost overruns (4.00 / 1)
Perhaps the "cost overruns" he is talking about are the war profiteering by private contractors like Haliburton and KBR?  That would make some political sense as

a) it is probably easier to sell the public on cutting contractors instead of cutting the military directly
b) you can tie it all to Bush/Cheney who no one likes anyway
c) it might help make the case that no, privatizing things does not automatically mean it will be cheaper and more efficient.  This might help with later objectives.

Of course this is just speculation. It will be interesting to see what they really mean by this.


[ Parent ]
cut, cut, cut (0.00 / 0)
we are spending against ourselves when we should be spending in relation to the threat from our enemies, therefore cut and take the welfare money away from the military industrial complex and their sucklings that cling to it for their grab at wealth and power at the expense of everything and everyone else.

True Majority's "oreo" video (4.00 / 1)
If you have never seen it, I highly encourage you to take a look at this classic annimation from True Majority making the case for lowering defense spending using oreo cookies to represent the federal budget.

http://www.truemajority.org/or...

What is fascinating is that in this video they are advocating that we cut $50 billion per year from the Pentagon's annual budget of $400 billion and suggest that with that $50 billion we could rebuild our schools, eliminate our need for mideast oil, and "feed all of the six million starving kids around the world."  I don't know the basis of those numbers, but if that is at all true it makes me wonder what one could accomplish with the $300 billion that Rahm mentions.


Framing (4.00 / 5)
Perhaps it is a small point, but the language used to discuss issues has been shown to have a big effect on public perception. Even if you don't think George Lakoff has it quite right there is a key insight into his theory of framing.

So, I would suggest that from now on "defense" spending not be referred to in this way, but called what it really is - military spending.

What little real defense spending that goes on in this country is to be found in Homeland Security (a newspeak title for a different discussion), that is the Coast Guard, border patrol and similar efforts.

Similarly I hear liberals talking about "entitlements" when what is really meant are social services. Entitlements puts people in mind of uppity welfare queens demanding support so they can carouse around - exactly why the term was picked by the right. People have certain innate rights by virtue of being human and this is what needs to be brought out. This includes liberty, adequate food, health and education. So support gets framed as a moral issue this way.

The first step in turning things around is to change the framing and no one can do it for us, we have to adopt appropriate language ourselves.
 

Policies not Politics


Only $50 billion spent on defense (0.00 / 0)
Yes, the amount of money spent on defense of the US is probably less than $50 billion/year. The rest is used to maintain our "interests" around the world, that is, to maintain our empire. The good part of empire is our bringing liberalized social mores and democracy/rule of law to societies that are dominated by petty tyrants, warlords, and religious fundamentalists/extremists. But the bad part of empire is us stealing countries' natural resources, enabling US corporations to get cheap, sweatshop labor, repressing (and torturing) anyone who objects, and bombing countries into oblivion if they don't go along.

Instead of supporting an American empire, we should be supporting multi-lateral organizations (like the United Nations, International Criminal Court, etc.) to provide humanitarian aid and to uphold international law. This would preserve the good part of empire (liberalized social mores and democracy/rule of law) and end the bad part (push people around who won't give US corporations what they want). It would also make us safer since people who we get along with and give humanitarian support to are much less likely to hate us.


[ Parent ]
Unless you "elipsed" it (0.00 / 0)
I don't see anywhere in this passage that he is talking about defense spending. He could just as easily be talking about Social Security.

He did "elipse" it (0.00 / 0)
You had me going there.  I read the post through, without noticing that nowhere it is there anything about "defense".  However, it is there.  Go here.

David managed to leave out the one crucial sentence.

So from the era--from the area of, let's just say, in the defense area. ... On an annual basis we have about $300 billion in cost overruns. That must be addressed, and we will be addressing it.


sTiVo's rule: Just because YOU "wouldn't put it past 'em" doesn't prove that THEY did it.

[ Parent ]
how is this possible? Obama's plans are these -- (0.00 / 0)
from Change.gov --

http://change.gov/agenda/defen...

...Expand to Meet Military Needs on the Ground: Obama and Biden support plans to increase the size of the Army by 65,000 soldiers and the Marine Corps by 27,000 Marines. Increasing our end strength will help units retrain and re-equip properly between deployments and decrease the strain on military families.

...    * Fully Equip Our Troops for the Missions They Face: Barack Obama and Joe Biden believe we must get essential equipment to our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines before lives are lost.
   * Review Weapons Programs: We must rebalance our capabilities to ensure that our forces can succeed in both conventional wars and in stabilization and counter-insurgency operations. Obama and Biden have committed to a review of each major defense program in light of current needs, gaps in the field, and likely future threat scenarios in the post-9/11 world.
   * Preserve Global Reach in the Air: We must preserve our unparalleled airpower capabilities to deter and defeat any conventional competitors, swiftly respond to crises across the globe, and support our ground forces. We need greater investment in advanced technology ranging from the revolutionary, like Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and electronic warfare capabilities, to essential systems like the C-17 cargo and KC-X air refueling aircraft, which provide the backbone of our ability to extend global power.
   * Maintain Power Projection at Sea: We must recapitalize our naval forces, replacing aging ships and modernizing existing platforms, while adapting them to the 21st century. Obama and Biden will add to the Maritime Pre-Positioning Force Squadrons to support operations ashore and invest in smaller, more capable ships, providing the agility to operate close to shore and the reach to rapidly deploy Marines to global crises.
   * National Missile Defense: The Obama-Biden administration will support missile defense, but ensure that it is developed in a way that is pragmatic and cost-effective; and, most importantly, does not divert resources from other national security priorities until we are positive the technology will protect the American public.
...

Equip, Support, and Modernize the National Guard and Reserves:  ...

Integrate Military and Civilian Efforts: The Obama-Biden administration will build up the capacity of each non-Pentagon agency to deploy personnel and area experts where they are needed, to help move soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines out of civilian roles.  ...

All this costs big big big money. Talk is cheap, but their plans are not at all to cut spending in any way.


I'm mentioned on the front page of Open Left! (0.00 / 0)
I'm blushing! Thanks for the mention Chris!

About the ellipses: I took out David Gregory's cough. The exact test I omitted was this "MR. GREGORY:  Hm.."

I didn't intend to cover anything. Rahm was speaking, Gregory coughed, and Rahm continued his sentence. So, I replaced Gregory's cough with 3 dots ("...").

Anyway, here's the video. Look at the 2:02 point:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21...

And thanks again for the mention Chris!


also, Obama's new DOD #2 is a Raytheon lobbyist -- (0.00 / 0)
Obama names Raytheon lobbyist for defense post -- http://www.azstarnet.com/busin...

Rahm is not believable on this at all.


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