Today Pres. Obama proposed a $17 billion budget cut today. According to CNN.com, some of the cuts are as follows:
- Recruiting and retention adjustments: $6.24 billion
- Future combat systems of manned ground vehicles: $2.98 billion
- F-22 raptor fighter aircraft: $2.9 billion
- Transformational satellite: $768 million
- Joint strike fighter alternate engine: $465 million
That is $13.35 billion cut from defense spending alone (other estimates put the defense department cuts at $9.4 billion; my guess is that the numbers in the CNN article are off, or at least counted differently). However, are these really cuts? No, the $17 billion is going to go towards previously unfunded health care, education, and energy initiatives! There is no budget cutting occurring, there is just budget shifting. That’s pretty disingenuous for an administration who talks so much of reducing spending and cutting the deficit. Of course, these proposals have to muster support in Congress in order to pass; Congress has the real power over the budget so all of these “cuts” are moot at the moment.
I applaud the Obama administration for taking serious looks at the budget and trying to find ways to reduce spending, no matter how small, but if they plan on cutting spending they should really cut spending rather than shift spending onto other priorities. I’m not even opposed to reduced defense spending if the reductions really are unnecessary programs (i.e., inefficient/outdated ones that are being replaced with more efficient and modern programs). After all, one of the major reasons for the federal government is to help defend the nation, so defense spending is important and Constitutionally mandated.