Defense Spending To Increase by 8% in 2010

by: Chris Bowers

Mon Feb 02, 2009 at 14:32


White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel recently raised hopes of potentially deep defense spending cuts. However, according to new budget estimates released today, those hopes appear to be dashed, at least for now.  For fiscal year 2010, the Obama administration is matching the 8% projected defense spending increase proposed by the Bush administration:

The Obama administration has given the Pentagon a $527 billion limit, excluding war costs, for its fiscal 2010 defense budget, an official with the White House's Office of Management and Budget said Monday.

If enacted, that would be an 8 percent increase from the $487.7 billion allocated for fiscal 2009, and it would match what the Bush administration estimated last year for the Pentagon in fiscal 2010.

You will hear reports, probably leaked by anonymous sources to Fox News, that the $527 billion Obama is allocating for the Department of Defense is actually a spending cut. This is, of course, untrue.

Last fall, with Barack Obama talking about withdrawing from Iraq and John McCain talking about cutting the defense budget, the DoD launched a pre-emptive campaign to try and maintain their death grip on the federal budget. They did this by proposing a $450 billion increase in defense spending over five years, an 20% increase in defense spending that would effectively make the supplemental spending on Iraq and Afghanistan permanent parts of the budget. Now, because they are not being given these massive 20% increases, they are portraying the 8% increase as a spending cut. Propaganda, as per usual.

While it is disappointing that the Obama administration is not looking to cut the defense budget during its first year in office, generally speaking this does not seem like a year when spending of any sort is being cut. Given that 2009 spending levels will not be maintained indefinitely, especially the bailout portions of current spending, that might change in the future. Further, as we begin withdrawal from Iraq in 2009-2010, money can be saved on the supplemental bills not included in the defense budget.

Still, for now, the defense budget remains as large as it ever was, even under President Obama.

Chris Bowers :: Defense Spending To Increase by 8% in 2010

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There was no (4.00 / 1)
"peace dividend."  We spend more than we did yearly in the Cold War.  


disappointing (4.00 / 2)
very disappointing

What solved Great Depression 1? (0.00 / 0)
Military Spending

What might be used to solve Great Depression 2?

An analyst forecast I read over the weekend suggested Obamarama might opt for massive replacement/upgrade of military equipment.

"Today we have no World War or a Hitler to justify a massive military build-up. But we do have an antiquated military and a navy that has shrunk since Bill Clinton's reign. I'm thinking that Washington will dream up reasons for a coming massive build-up of the Air Force and the Navy. Navy carriers require a huge expansion in supporting ships and the costs run into the multi-billions of dollars. Building state-of-the-art squadrons of military planes also runs into the billions. And that's what I see coming next. A giant military build-up is easy to justify in today's "dangerous world." Furthermore, there's nothing like a military build-up to create jobs. Finally, a military expansion sounds patriotic, few red-blooded Americans would oppose it. And the powerful military-industrial complex would love it."

The exchange-traded fund for the military focused stocks is PPA. Like just about everything else right now its trading sideways.  

~* the * Will * to go on *~


Problem with that, as always, is that (4.00 / 3)
once you have "built it up", until you destroy some of it, you don't need more of it. Hence the pressure to "shoot some shit".


[ Parent ]
oh dont I know it (0.00 / 0)
same story with any pull forward scheme.

at least with military the pull forward scheme can sort of work as you can blow up competing labor pools and competing industrial capacity. With the non-military stimulus I'm not sure what you do when you finish filling all the pot holes and building roads. Maybe you start pushing Chinese and Mexicans off the bridges?

(note this sarcasm is definitely NOT an endorsement of blowing our future on a military budget - i'd prefer to not see a land war in Asia. Nor see sinomexicanos pushed off bridges for that matter. I would like some rational discussion of what the US is going to do about global wage arbitrage.)

~* the * Will * to go on *~


[ Parent ]
Exactly! (0.00 / 0)
I don't want to see severe defense spending cuts if we are going to redeploy troops to Afghanistan...that's stupid. I don't want their safety compromised. My husband is out there!! Now if they want to bring my husband home, I'm all for them saving what they used to help protect him!

[ Parent ]
Disappointing (4.00 / 1)
While it is true that money going to the military industrial complex does work as short term stimulus, just as any other spending does, it doesn't have nearly the long term effect.  I hope Obama isn't approving much that is new, but only maintaining "shovel ready" military spending; in other words, stuff already started.

I don't know Obama's thinking, but one advantage of keeping this spending high (as well as not rolling back the Bush tax cuts just yet) is it gives us wiggle room for paygo, should that come back into play.


There is clearly a need to replenish (4.00 / 1)
what has been expended in Iraq & Afghanistan, not just weapons and infrastructure but training and recruiting costs. So if that's what accounts for the increase and it's temporary, I could understand. But if it's for long-term overall expansion, then that's idiotic. We don't need a bigger military. There is absolutely no need for it. We already have too many carriers, stealth bombers, high-tech weapons systems, etc., that serve no forseeable need.

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" -- Alexander Hamilton

[ Parent ]
temporary? (4.00 / 1)
there is nothing ever temporary when it comes to defense spending.  Just ask the congresscritters who fight to keep their obsolete bases from being closed.

We need to be rolling back defense spending now, or we will NEVER get healthcare or education spending where they need to be.


[ Parent ]
Resources have been severely depleted (0.00 / 0)
by these stupid wars. It's not reasonable to argue that they shouldn't be replenished just because one is against overall defense spending levels (which I am). You don't cut spending with a broad stroke. You cut it where it needs to be and can be cut, even if you temporarily have to raise it in certain places, with the goal of an overall cut in long-term spending. You're making a broad ideological statement that totally ignores the details, and not speaking to the specific point that I was making.

Btw, this is also why a lot of people tune out some segments of the left, because of such broad statements.

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" -- Alexander Hamilton


[ Parent ]
I'm not sure about that (0.00 / 0)
That assumes Blue Dogs are sincere about PAYGO. And they aren't when it involves military funding - they want as much of it as possible, preferably in their districts.

Cutting defence spending is a lot harder than expanding it.

Forgotten Countries - a foreign policy-focused blog


[ Parent ]
Confusing (0.00 / 0)
I'm not understanding why Obama is willing to waste political capital on getting tax-cheats into his increasingly mediocre cabinet, but he can't spend a little on actually implementing good policy.

Conduct your own interview of Sarah Palin!

shocked, just shocked (4.00 / 1)
to discover there's gambling going on in this establishment.

Seriously, did any of you believe it was going to be any different?  C'mon - he consistently talked about the need for a bigger military on the campaign trail, or were you not paying attention?

meet the new boss...


Is this spending increase due to (0.00 / 0)
increased funding for unnecessary programs and weapons systems and part of a long-term spending plan, or is it due to the unavoidable short-term costs of replenishing all that's been depleted by Iraq and Afghanistan, which will presumably go away once that's done?

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" -- Alexander Hamilton

Also, if this defense spending increase is for (0.00 / 0)
short-term replenishment of depleted resources due to all these wars, and is part of the stimulus plan, it would make it politically costly for Repubs to vote against it.

I can already see the '10 ads:

Senator/Congressman/woman Blah Blah voted AGAINST supporting our troops while they were risking their lives for freedom...[video of them swearing to vote against this bill]. Is THIS who we want in the senate/congress?


"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" -- Alexander Hamilton

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