Winning the Future, Old School


Ezra Klein:

The military made out quite nicely in the 2012 budget proposal. The administration is cutting $78 billion from the Defense Department’s budget — known as “security discretionary spending” — over the next 10 years. That’s a bit of a blow, but compare it to the $400 billion they’re cutting from domestic discretionary spending — that’s education, income security, food safety, environmental protection, etc. — over the next 10 years. And keep in mind that the domestic discretionary budget is only half as large as the military’s budget. So if there were equal cuts, the military would be losing $800 billion.

Put another way, Obama has proposed cuts of about 1% from a defense budget that’s already the largest in the world, versus cuts of about 10% from a domestic budget that’s already one of the stingiest in the world. And that’s moderate compared to what Republicans want to do. As Ezra says, this puts a little different spin on “winning” the future, doesn’t it?

This is hardly our only option, though. Adam Weinstein has more on the defense budget here.

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