Obama’s Machete Hacks Up Pentagon Budget

Jed Babbin
The American Spectator

Aside from Charlie Sheen or Chuck Hagel, who would want to be the next secretary of defense? The next occupant of the big office in the Pentagon’s E-ring will have the worst job in town because President Obama is doing to the Pentagon what he refuses to do to any other part of the executive branch: he’s taken a machete to its budget.

In February, Obama said that he wanted to take a scalpel, not a machete, to discretionary spending. And in his hyperpartisan budget speech on April 13, he made it clear that was true for every part of the federal government with one exception: the Pentagon. He demanded a new round of budget cuts worthy of the Queen of Hearts: “sentence first, verdict after.”

In the April 13 speech, President Obama claimed that Defense Secretary Bob Gates had already cut $400 billion from the Pentagon’s budget in ten years and said that another $400 billion in cuts should be added in that same period. It was the only real cut in federal spending Obama proposed.

He said, “Over the last two years, Secretary Gates has courageously taken on wasteful spending, saving $400 billion in current and future spending. I believe we can do that again. We need to not only eliminate waste and improve efficiency and effectiveness, but conduct a fundamental review of America’s missions, capabilities, and our role in a changing world. I intend to work with Secretary Gates and the Joint Chiefs on this review, and I will make specific decisions about spending after it’s complete.”…

…Instead of allowing Obama and Gates’ successor to go about another round of random cuts, Republicans should do their own, aimed at producing a defense version of Paul Ryan’s “Roadmap” of last year. That study should begin with an analysis of the threats that must be met, derive from them the capabilities we need to meet the threats, and from those capabilities define the budget to ensure the Defense Department has the people and the assets to do the job…

The entire article is at The American Spectator.

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