StanCollender'sCapitalGainsandGames Washington, Wall Street and Everything in Between

The Real Story About The Obama Pentagon Changes

01 Feb 2012
Posted by Stan Collender

Here are two easy-and-quick-to-read pieces on the magnitude of the military spending changes Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta actually announced last week. The simple answer according to two people who know is that the reductions are less than the headlines indicated.

First, over at the Will and the Wallet, CG&G alum Gordon Adams did this very nice post about how what Panetta announced is "promising" in the sense that it shows there is finally the start of a meaningful shift in DOD strategy that could lead to significant savings. But Gordon says the proposal is also "dangerous" because the plans leaves "the long term budget trajectory...unrealistically high" and will leave Pentagon planners with the notion that they'll have more to spend in the future than will be the case.

Over at his own blog GoozNews, Merrill Goozner did this excellent post that talks about the numbers and the politics of the military budget changes Panetta announced. His conclusion: there's much less in what was announced than the White House wants you to believe.

But Obama is "gutting' the military with these cuts!!!

At least that's what Rep Dana Rohrabacher said on "Real Time" this week. I think he expected that quote to be just eaten whole like it would be at a Gingrich rally, but of course that wasn't his crowd. The reason the Gingrich's and Paul's get so much attention is not because their ideas are all correct - although I give Paul more credit than Gingrich he actually believes what he says and has stuck to a set of principals over time - but because American's do get the sense that the whole system is fundamentally broken. We have a military that doesn't face any extitential threat spending like it's year four of WWII yet any thought of careful cuts is treated like surrendering to the Kaiser. We have a Navy that essentially has the only supercarriers in the world - and we have 13 of them - yet because the actual number of ships is smaller than 30 years ago Romney says Obama is killing the Navy, a Navy that relies on planes for much of what used to be done by smaller ships, plus a Navy that faces exactly what opposition? As you write Stan in your next post - we can't even get rid of the dollar and the penny because there's one company paying off one or two Congressmen that will lose the currency paper consession. I personally hate Gingrich, and Paul's economic ideas don't work in the real world, but hell if the idea of blowing the whole thing up and starting over doesn't have an appeal.

+1 for the above

Can't say it much better than Money Matt

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