But Justin Gardiner of Donklephant has some real facts at his fingertips in an astute comment over at center-right blog Poligazette. I'm going to lift his comment in its entirety:
A few things…
1) The Pentagon’s budget (not including expenditures for Iraq and Afghanistan) has grown from $316B in 2001 to $536B in 2009. This represents a 70% increase. So a 10% decrease is funding will take us from $536B to $483B, which is still more than the $463B the Pentagon had for 2007. All Obama is doing is preventing the budget from growing an average of 10% year after year when there’s no discernible advantage to doing so.
2) Obama has said consistently that ALL government agencies will see cuts, but the military budget is the biggest so that has to be one of the first to be addressed.
3) The United States spends more than the next 40+ countries combined in defense spending. How that’s tolerated by our taxpayers is beyond me, but I’d imagine they’d like a little of that money back at a time like this, wouldn’t you?
But to the broader point of this post, I think it would be refreshing to see these cuts being characterized as something other than an ideological win for the Dems. Cutting back right now makes sense because our current budgets aren’t sustainable.
In other words, if McCain had won the election and was proposing these cuts, what would this post say? Would you call Republican voters gullible? Would you tell people to contact their congressional reps or senators?
Well yes, exactly. Plus, remember that the declared budget doesn't include supplementary amounts for Iraq and Afghanistan or the defense spending spread around other departments like Energy (nukes), veteran care and Homeland Security. Add it all up and its closer to $1 trillion, or well over half of all government spending.
And no, defense spending is not good stimulus spending unless you work for a neocon think-tank. If it were, increased spending since 9/11 - almost a trillion a year - would have had a far more noticeable effect on GDP. Lets face it, we've had tax cuts for the rich and defense spending out the wazoo. If they were effective as stimuli to rescue the nation from depression, the economy wouldn't be in this state to begin with.
Crossposted from Newshoggers