Streams

Super Committee Countdown: Rethinking the Defense Budget

Thursday, November 17, 2011

With the deficit super committee defense budget "trigger" on the line, Travis Sharp, Bacevich Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), looks at what the funding priorities are for the US military. 

Guests:

Travis Sharp

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Comments [12]

Anshul from Westchester

The current federal budget has roughly $2.5T in tax revenues, $0.9T in military spending, and $2.9T in civilian spending (CBO numbers). Three points: (1) Talk of balancing the budget or meaningful deficit reduction w/o raising taxes and/or w/o cutting military budget appears to be a mathematical fantasy at this point. (2) Given that about 1/4 of federal spending goes to the military and more than 1/3 of all federal govt. employees belong to the military, any talk of small govt. and big military is hypocrisy. (3) Let's say the Republican dream comes true and we balance the budget by cutting only the civilian spending to $1.6T. So now military is an even bigger fraction of the federal govt. How long can they hide the hypocrisy?

Sep. 14 2012 01:42 PM
john matthes


Its time to reduce the military-industrial complex.Eisenhower saw it coming and warned us.This was a general speaking.
Our taxes can and should be spent more wisely for the benefit of all.

Nov. 17 2011 12:29 PM
Jeff from Westchester

I really appreciate this coverage, and would like to suggest a couple of discussions, on blogs that cover the defense industry, of the untruths and fear mongering behind much of Sec'y. Panetta's recent statements:
http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/11/defense-cut-paranoia/?pid=951&pageid=63796
and
http://www.dodbuzz.com/2011/11/16/secdefs-fleet-warning-have-already-come-true/

Nov. 17 2011 11:37 AM
Marianne -UWS from UWS

How much would eliminating military bands save? Is that a possibility?

Nov. 17 2011 11:28 AM
Robert from NYC

All veteran benefits should be off the table. I'm the last to support war and the support of war but that people who believe they are doing something to "keep us safe" and put their lives in danger and threat of loss of life for any length of time should not have any of their benefits cut.

Nov. 17 2011 11:21 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

If the US cuts back on its commitments to treaties, what will happen is countries who depended on us for backup will go nuclear. Less US overseas capabilities, means more countries overseas, such as Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, perhaps Saudi Arabia, etc., going nuclear. More nuclear armed countries will be the result of huge reductions in American overseas capabilities.

Nov. 17 2011 11:18 AM
Robert from NYC

Ooops, I meant DOD in my previous post.

Nov. 17 2011 11:14 AM
Robert from NYC

And the mercenary armies we have, where does the funding for them come from? Is it even from the DOF or is that yet another budget which goes to defense in the end!

Nov. 17 2011 11:12 AM
Brian from Hoboken

"do less with less"?! In my job, I have seen more than half of the people in my department laid off since 5 years ago. I do more with less every day, just as everyone else in business does these days. I can't believe that the DOD can't handle a 10% budget cut. Nuclear submarines? We really still need those to launch missiles at all of the other countries looking to start a war with the worlds greatest military power? Right.

Nov. 17 2011 11:12 AM
carolita from nyc

I'm a little conflicted about the Australian thing. On the one hand, we want to spend less on the military. But on the other hand, the Australian thing would mean that troops that might otherwise have been laid off will have jobs. And they won't be at war. So they'll be working. And isn't jobs what we want? Many of our troops are minorities who are at a disadvantage for getting jobs in the civilian world, which is why they joined the military in the first place. So, on that basis, I'm not against Obama sending troops to a base in Australia.

Nov. 17 2011 11:11 AM
Pat from Maplewood, NJ

Aren't we spending more on defense than all other countries in the world, combined? It drives me crazy to hear politicians talking about cutting "non-defense" spending, as if we haven't figured out the huge amount of our tax dollars, fully 20%, that go toward this machine. If we were to cut this budget in half, we'd still be ahead of any other country, and we could easily re-build our infrastructure, creating many jobs, fund vital research, and fund education to help ensure that our kids are fully prepared for the future. The choice is ours. Isn't it?

Nov. 17 2011 10:56 AM

This failure of democracy can only be solved by the likes of darth sidious

Nov. 17 2011 10:07 AM

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