The Oregonian is calling for Defense Department budget cut. Singling out the F-22, the air refueling tankers, and the littoral combat ships for cuts, the Oregonian sees a possible fight between the White House and the Democratic Congress (here):
Here's how we will know whether the White House is serious about imposing fiscal discipline on government: If there's a fight between the president and the Democratic Congress over the next defense budget, which is due next month.
This is because the defense budget historically has been where discipline goes to die. An oft-cited report the Government Accountability Office issued last year found that 95 major defense programs had run up a combined $295 billion in overruns since 2000.
Not coincidentally, the defense budget is a playground for members of Congress. Boeing, Lockheed, Northrop, Raytheon, SAIC and all the others have strong advocates in Washington, D.C., who are eager to shove money to contractors in their districts, whether or not the programs are needed or perform as advertised.
"Obama strikes me as no fool," says Winslow Wheeler, a fellow at the Center for Defense Information. If the president holds the line on tankers and bombers, Wheeler says, "We're talking about a real fight between Obama and the Democratic Congress."
The White House shouldn't be afraid of that fight. By setting the right tone early in his administration, Obama can become the leader the Pentagon has needed for decades.
Along with the NY Times, I've called for cutting $20.5 billion from the Defense Department budget (here), including the F-22 program. Let me join the White House and Oregonian in calling for a five year delay in replacing the fleet of air refuelers and scaling back the littoral combat ships program.
Here again are the cut recommended by the NY Times:
End production of the Air Force’s F-22 $3.0 billion
Cancel the DDG-1000 Zumwalt class destroyer $3.0 billion
Halt production of the Virginia class sub $2.5 billion
Pull the plug on the Marine Corps’s V-22 Osprey $2.0 billion
Halt premature deployment of missile defense $5.0 billion
Trim the active-duty Navy and Air Force $5.0 billion
$20.5 billion As I wrote in a previous post (here), the F-22 program is not an appropriate
economic stimulus programs. For Oregon’s share of the F-22 budget, “Oregon
could start (one time costs) 370 foreign language (many Mandarin, I’d hope)
immersion programs. Or just maintain school funding levels.”
Total cuts $20.5 billion
As I wrote in a previous post (here), the F-22 program is not an appropriate economic stimulus programs. For Oregon’s share of the F-22 budget, “Oregon could start (one time costs) 370 foreign language (many Mandarin, I’d hope) immersion programs. Or just maintain school funding levels.”