Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Commission Finds $100 Billion in Savings from Proposed Defense Spending Cuts

Andrew Gonyea
Communications Assistant

The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform calls for a “cut in ALL excess spending – defense spending, domestic discretionary spending, entitlement spending, & spending in the tax code” in its Co-Chairs’ Proposal Draft released Nov. 10.

The bi-partisan Commission, created by President Obama to address our nation’s fiscal challenges, proposes budget cuts beginning in FY 2012 so as not to disrupt the fragile economic recovery. It targets shrinking the debt to 60% of GDP in 2024 and to less than 40% by 2037, along with nearly $4 trillion in deficit reduction by 2020. (See current debt and deficit projections p. 10-11 of the proposal.)

For the near-term, the Commission has laid out a plan to save $200 billion in 2015 from equal cuts in defense and domestic spending.

The $100 billion in defense savings would come from the following proposed actions:
- Apply the overhead savings Secretary Gates has promised to deficit reduction instead of force structure and modernization ($28B)
- Freeze federal salaries, bonuses, and other compensation at DoD for 3 years ($5.3B)
- Freeze noncombat military pay at 2011 for 3 years ($9.2B)
- Double Secretary Gates’ cuts to defense contracting ($5.4B)
- Reduce procurement by 15 percent ($20B)
   End procurement of the V-22 Osprey ($1.1B)
   Cancel the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle ($0.65B)
   Substitute F-16 & F/A-18Es for half the USAF and USN's planned buys of F-35 aircraft ($2.3B)
   Cancel the Marine Corps version of the F-35 ($3.9B)
   Cancel the Navy’s Future Maritime Prepositioning Force ($1B)
   Cancel the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, Ground Combat Vehicle, and Joint Tactical Radio ($2.3B)
   Reduce planned levels for “Other Procurement” ($8.5B)
- Reduce overseas bases by one-third ($8.5B)
- Modernize Tricare, Defense health ($6B)
- Replace military personnel performing commercial activities with civilians ($5.4B)
- Reduce spending on Research, Development, Test & Evaluation by 10 percent ($7B)
- Reduce spending on base support ($2B)
- Reduce spending on facilities maintenance ($1.4B)
- Consolidate the Department of Defense’s retail activities ($0.8B)
- Integrate children of military personnel into local schools in the United States ($1.1B)

NOTE: For explanations for each action refer to the primary source.

At first glance, the very concept that half the proposed cuts in 2015 should come from defense is a position to object to, but the Commission’s proposals are just that – proposals. It is important for ROA to be familiar with what ideas are suggested, and be prepared to take a position should they be seriously introduced.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Commission's cuts seem to me to be somewhat penny wise and pound foolish.From the list of proposed cuts, it sounds like we are headed back into an era of outdated equipment and facilities, poor pay and low morale.