Saturday, March 4, 2017

Trump’s Choice: Mattis or Mulvaney--Column: Why Defense Hawks must take priority over budget hawks

At Free Beacon by Matthew Continetti -- 

10 percent. Sounds at first like a significant increase. Whether it truly is, however, depends on context. To what shall we compare this number? And does it address our needs?
The answer is no. For we are speaking of America's defense spending, which has been gutted from budget sequestration and is inadequate to the scale of the threats our country faces.
"I am sending Congress a budget that rebuilds the military, eliminates the defense sequester, and calls for one of the largest increases in national defense spending in American history," President Trump said this week. It's a worthy goal—and an absolutely necessary one.

But the $54 billion in additional spending that's being floated in news reports? Not nearly enough. That amount may be 10 percent higher than the mandated budget cap. But it is only 3 percent more than the number projected in President Obama's final budget. And it comes nowhere close to the recommendations of the National Defense Panel and Senate Armed Services Committee chairman John McCain. As House Armed Services Committee chairman Mac Thornberry said in a statement this week: "We can and should do more than this level of funding will allow." The chairmen agree that an additional $37 billion, for a total of $640 billion, is necessary.

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