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Introduction - Unified Security Budget

Introduction - Unified Security Budget

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Published by Michael Best

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Published by: Michael Best on Oct 31, 2012
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Rebalancing Our National Security
The Benets o Implementing a Unied Security Budget
The Task Force on a Uniied Security Budget October 2012
 O O /   U  . S  . C  O S  G  U  D  , . J   . G  . J  I   M  O O
    A    P    P    H    O    T    O    /    M    O    H    A    M    M    A    D    H    A    N    N    O    N
4Center for American Progress | Institute for Policy Studies | Rebalancing Our National Security
Introduction and summary
Te debae in Washingon over securiy spending his year is being driven mosly by he Budge Conrol Ac o 2011, he deb reducion deal ha avered a governmenshudown las summer. Te law mandaes abou $1 rillion in cus o ederal govern-men discreionary spending over 10 years beginning in scal year 2012, including$487 billion in Penagon cus. Te law also mandaes anoher $1.2 rillion in decireducion, by means o spending cus, new revenues, or boh over he nex 10 years, wih hal aken rom he Penagon and hal aken rom discreionary spending onnondeense programs such as Medicare, oreign aid, and educaion.Tis addiional $1.2 rillion in deci reducion, known as he sequeser,” camein o play aer Congress ailed o reach an agreemen on how o legislae hedeci reducion a he end o las year, and i will ake place on January 2, 2013i Congress ails o ac again. Much eor is being expended rom many quarerso see ha sequesraion does no happen. Te House o Represenaives seemsinclined o exemp he Penagon rom cus while deepening hem or he reso he budge. For his par, Secreary o Deense Paneta has said ha hese cus would be a “poenial disaser, like shooing ourselves in he head.
Bu he headso many oher ederal governmen agencies involved wih sequesraion, amonghem Jerey Ziens o he Oce o Managemen and Budge, have been relucano consider he consequences o he sequeser.
 Te members o our ask Force agree wih he near-universal consensus hasequesraion is more abou poliical maneuvering han sound budgeing pracice.Bu we argue ha he amoun o cus o he Penagon budge mandaed by bohpars o he deb deal is readily achievable wih no sacrice o our securiy—i he cus are done in a houghul manner over he nex decade. We also agree hasome o hose savings in he U.S. deense budge should be redeployed o oherpars o he ederal governmen, specically o hose non-miliary programs hahelp our naion deend he homeland and preven global crises rom escalaingino miliary conronaions.
 The members o our Task Forceagree with thenear-universalconsensus thatsequestrationis more aboutpoliticalmaneuvering thansound budgetingpractice.
5Center for American Progress | Institute for Policy Studies | Rebalancing Our National Security
Tis repor delves deeply ino hese spending choices, bu, rs, les briefy runhe numbers, beginning wih he deense budge.
$1 trillion over 10 years
Several biparisan commissions have produced rameworks or deci reducionover a 10-year horizon; hese commissions recommend Penagon spending cusapproximaing hose mandaed by he Budge Conrol Ac, including sequesra-ion. Among hem is Presiden Obama’s own Naional Commission on FiscalResponsibiliy and Reorm, known as he “Bowles-Simpson Commission;”
hecommission headed by Alice Rivlin, Presiden Clinon’s ormer direcor o he Oceo Managemen and Budge and ormer Republican Sen. Pee Domenici; and heSusainable Deense ask Force,
o which several on our ask Force are members. All hree o he above proposals include specic Penagon cus ha add up oapproximaely $1 rillion over he 10-year period menioned above. Tese cusmake sense. As he larges iem by ar in boh he discreionary ederal budge andhe securiy budge, Penagon spending has he larges impac on he rebalancingequaion. Since 2001 he Unied Saes has increased is miliary budge dramai-cally, paying or i wih borrowed unds ha have swelled he deci, a he sameime bringing us, in real erms (aer accouning or infaion) o he highes levelso Penagon spending since World War II.
Our curren miliary expendiures accoun or nearly hal o he world’s oal.
Wespend as much as he nex 17 counries—mos o hem our allies—pu ogeher,
 and we spend more in real erms now han we did on average during he Cold War, when we did have an adversary—he Sovie Union—who was spending abou asmuch as we were and was an exisenial hrea.
Guaraneeing perec securiy isimpossible. Bu our dominance in every dimension o miliary power is clear. Inrecen years we have been building more “sraegic deph” ino his dominance wih-ou regard o is coss—boh o our reasury and o our oher prioriies. A responsi- ble rollback o our miliary budge is achievable wih no impac on our securiy. Tisreduced spending rajecory is saely achievable or he ollowing reasons:
I would bring he miliary budge back o is infaion-adjused level o FY 2006—close o he highes level since World War II and he second-o-las year o he George W. Bush adminisraion
Was anyone worried ha we weredisarming ourselves hen?

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