Curbing Runaway Spending In Washington

Investor’s Business Daily posted an article today about spending in Washington. The article included the following chart:

The chart shows the impact that the spending caps have had on the federal budget. The decline in spending is due to the Budget Control Act of 2011. The caps limit both domestic non-entitlement spending and national defense spending. However, it is becoming obvious that the President wants to be free of those restraints.

The article reports:

The White House plan would increase discretionary spending to $1.091 trillion from $1.017 trillion. This $74 billion increase would be split evenly between defense and domestic spending. The 7% hike in 2016 would dish out plums to unions, foreign aid groups, the education blob, government contractors, federal employees, the climate change lobby and other tax guzzlers.

Our Senate sources tell us that Minority Leader Harry Reid is threatening in private that if Republicans don’t give Democrats the raise they want, there will be fiscal paralysis in the Senate and another government shutdown Oct. 1 — which, of course, they will blame on the GOP.

Many Republicans are inclined to go along with the great fiscal escape plan. Some have legitimate concerns about more money needed for our military in times of growing national security threats. Already 60% of the cuts are in defense, even though military spending is less than 20% of the budget. But many GOP appropriators just want more domestic pork for their own districts.

I would like to remind every Republican Congressman now serving in Congress. You were elected to bring the spending under control. If you are not able to do that, we need to elect someone who can. End of story.

More Cuts To Military Benefits

Yesterday Stripes posted an article explaining how the cuts to the military budget will impact commissaries.

The article explains:

The long-feared cuts to military commissaries appear to be real: The Defense Department subsidy would drop from $1.4 billion annually to $400 million under a defense budget proposal the Obama administration plans to deliver to Congress next week, Pentagon officials announced Monday.

The commissary cut will be accomplished not by eliminating any commissary locations, but by reducing the amount of savings over civilian markets that servicemembers enjoy. The cut will be phased in over several years.

A recent study by Defense Commissary Agency, or DeCA, found that using the commissary saves shoppers an average of 30.5 percent annually when compared to other stores off base.

The savings would drop to about 10 percent, defense officials said in a briefing that covered all aspects of the 2015 defense budget, including hardware and military pay.

At that rate, our military would do just as well to shop at the local discount stores. This is a disgrace.

What impact are all the proposed cuts in benefits going to have on the morale of our military and the re-enlistment rate? I really think our government is going in the wrong direction on this. If the current Congress will not put a stop to this, we need to elect a Congress that will.

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What Spending Cuts?

John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line about the omnibus spending bill recently passed.

The article states:

…Which illustrates, for the umpteenth time, a point I have made over and over: budget/spending deals that purport to dictate spending many years into the future are a joke. No Congress can bind a future Congress. When a Congressman tells you that a purported ten-year deal cuts spending in the “out years,” grab your wallet and run. The out years never come.

***Because the defense cap was lower in 2014 under the original Budget Control Act, defense spending does not meaningfully increase from 2013 enacted levels. Nondefense spending, however, receives an increase that is 10 times larger than defense. The 5 percent rate of growth of nondefense spending is almost three times the projected 1.7 percent rate of inflation (see table below).

Spending Chart 02

As you can see, the budget does not decrease–it increases! Then why is the only actual cut the decrease in the cost of living adjustment (COLA) to military retirement?

The article concludes:

The other point that emerges from these spending numbers is that discretionary spending is relentlessly being squeezed out by entitlements. The real constraint on the growth of both defense and non-defense discretionary spending is the explosion in entitlements–Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and now Obamacare. With the Democrats vowing to fight to the last ditch to resist any sort of entitlement reform, and with federal debt having risen to more than $17 trillion–another budget-crusher as soon as interest rates rise again–there is simply no money for the social spending boondoggles that the Democrats would dearly love to finance. I suppose we should count our blessings.

***This paragraph is taken from a Senate Budget Committee report.




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The Truth About The Impact Of Sequestration on Defense

The Center for Security Policy posted a video of a program entitled “‘Like Shooting Ourselves in the Head’: The Implications of Sequestration on Defense.”  The program was put on by the Reserve Officers Association (ROA) and co-sponsored by the Defense Education Forum and the Center for Security Policy. This is a long video, so I suggest you watch it in a few sittings–there is an awful lot of great information included. (The video does not actually start until about 30 seconds into the count).


I really can’t adequately summarize the discussion of sequestration, but there are a few things I learned that I can share. The defense budget is a very small part of the overall spending in America–drastically cutting it will not only not help with overall spending, but the civilian job losses as a result of the cuts will further slow down the economy. Sequestration is not about defense–it’s a cover for a tax increase on Americans. The Obama Administration and the Senate Democrats understand the dangers of sequestration–they are counting on the Republicans not to let it happen. The Democrats are playing a game of chicken with the defense of America. If the Republicans want to stop sequestration, the Democrats will gladly do it–if a tax increase is included in the proposal.

Please watch the video and decide for yourself what is happening. Again, I can only say that part of the road to fiscal sanity in America has to be a Republican Senate. Otherwise, all we will hear is a constant cry to raise taxes and not lower spending.

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