Senators of both parties outdid even their House counterparts, and even the president, in their zeal to add money to the Pentagon budget. And they’ve won.
This year their budget deal will break the existing caps on military spending imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act by a whopping $80 billion. Next year it will be $88 billion.
Democrats are touting the deal as achieving "parity" between military and non-military spending, because the new bill will also add $63 billion in new spending this year for non-military priorities. (Last I checked, though, $80 billion and $63 billion were not at "parity.")
And the Pentagon increases don’t even count the uncapped Overseas Contingency Operations fund, which will add another $66 billion in extra military spending this year and $69 billion next year.
The grand total? $700 billion. Close to the post-World War II record.
Military leaders have been stepping up their complaints about shifting budget deals and short-term funding fixes that keep them in the dark about how much money they’re going to have to work with. Indeed, the Washington Post editorial board applauded Senate lawmakers Wednesday for "finally respond(ing) to warnings from defense officials that funding uncertainty harms readiness."
Let’s take that thought apart, though.
It makes sense, as these officials say, that deferring maintenance on military hardware because you’re not sure when or whether you can pay for it (to name one example), is no way to run a military, and will cost more in the long run. (end of excerpt)
Click here for the full story, on the WSJ website.