Is Obama Going To Increase Defense Budget By 8%?

A few days ago, I mentioned a story originating from Fox News that Obama requested the Pentagon decrease their budget by a bit over 10%. Well, it gets interesting from there, according to Congressional Quarterly (h/t Hot Air)

The Obama administration has given the Pentagon a $527 billion limit, excluding war costs, for its fiscal 2010 defense budget, an Office of Management and Budget official said Monday.

If enacted, that would be about a $14 billion increase above the $513 billion allocated for fiscal 2009 (PL 110-329), including military construction funds, and it would match what the Bush administration estimated last year for the Pentagon in fiscal 2010. But it sets up a potential conflict between the new administration and the Defense Department’s entrenched bureaucracy, which has remained largely intact through the presidential transition.

Some Pentagon officials and congressional conservatives are already trying to portray the OMB number as a cut by comparing it to a $584 billion draft fiscal 2010 budget request compiled last fall by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The $527 billion figure is “what the Bush people thought was the right number last February and that’s the number we’re going with,” said the OMB official, who declined to be identified. “The Joint Chiefs did that to lay down a marker for the incoming administration that was unrealistic. It’s more of a wish list than anything else.”

So, what it looks like is typical budgetary complaints. The Pentagon wants way more then what even the Bush administration thought was needed, which is typical of governmental agencies, so they were saying that what the 2010 budget allocated was a cut, when, in fact, it was an increase over 2009.

Defense budget experts have said the draft by the Joint Chiefs, which was never publicly released, was designed to pressure the Obama administration to drastically increase defense spending or be forced to defend a reluctance to do so. Defense officials in past outgoing administrations have left inflated budget estimates for incoming officials in the hope of raising the spending baseline. In fact, the draft budget was never scrubbed by Bush’s OMB, which had told federal agencies to submit draft budgets based on “current services.”

We can blame this on the Bush holdovers, but, typical. 

I don’t agree with Captain Ed that Fox News should apologize, it look like they got suckered in by, again, typical (sorry for using the word yet again, but, it fits) governmental agency budget politics. I do agree that it is good that Obama is increasing the military budget.

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2 Responses to “Is Obama Going To Increase Defense Budget By 8%?”

  1. […] Is Obama Going To Increase Defense Budget By 8%? » Pirate’s Cove … […]

  2. John Ryan says:

    we are by far the most powerful country on earth, yet strangely the most afraid.

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