The fact that the Obama administration’s proposed Pentagon spending reductions are not likely to be enacted in 2012 should bring little comfort to the contracting community.
Even if they’re not put in place this year, reducing the military budget from current baseline levels will be hotly debated this year and be a campaign issue.
This is likely to change the budget debate that has occurred since at least 2001 from how much should 2 military spending rise to which reductions are most acceptable. That’s a significant change.
Without an external shock that alters this outlook such as a terrorist attack or new overseas contingency, this changed debate will last at least until a significant deficit reduction plan is adopted, and, regardless of who gets elected and which political party controls each house of Congress, it will make the Pentagon as much a part of that discussion as Medicare and Medicaid.
One of the ways we used to judge the success of the congressional budget process was by the number of appropriations that were enacted when the fiscal year began.
Now we determine success by whether Congress has avoided a government shutdown.
Does anyone else find this as totally ludicrous as I do?
Get Prepared for Hand-to-Hand Budget Warfare
By Stan Collender
Roll Call Contributing Writer
Aug. 2, 2011, Midnight
By the time you read this, one of two things will have happened: Either the shouting about the debt ceiling will have turned into complete silence because the deal was enacted, or it will have grown into the decibel equivalent of a multiengine military jet going full-throttle during a rock concert because the deal was voted down (or postponed).
Regardless of whether the agreement announced Sunday is a done deal or just the latest failed political courtship that ultimately is replaced by something else, it’s absolutely certain Congress and the president, the House and Senate, and Democrats and Republicans will all be fighting constantly over the budget during the next 18 months
Think the federal budget can be cut without actually affecting what the government does? As my column from this morning's Roll Call explains, tell that to all those who have been working on the space shuttle.
News Flash: Budget Cuts Have Consequences
We interrupt the steady barrage of news and analysis on the latest developments in the federal debt ceiling debate to bring you a what-shouldn’t-be-but-clearly-is-breaking-news story: Cuts in spending do, in fact, mean the government does less.
Depending on your age, you’re probably now saying something like “shocking,” “duh” or “get out.” The truth, however, is that most people don’t seem to think that this is the case.
Take, for example, last week’s launch of the final space shuttle mission.
In case you haven't heard, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor this morning withdrew from the budget negotiations being led by Vice President Joe Biden.
If you were surprised by this, you haven't been reading CG&G. As I posted yesterday, all of the happy talk that has been coming from the budget talks should have been taken with a healthy dose of skepticism instead of the optimism that has been reported.
But it's also not surprising because Cantor doesn't represent a wing of the House Republicans that was ever going to vote for a deal on the debt ceiling. That's why, while done in an overly dramatic way, his departure from the talks isn't that meaningful. The question is whether Boehner has now been further forced into a corner and, as he did immediately after the Cantor story broke, has to appear to be holier than thou with the tea party.