Updating my entry last Friday, we have recalculated the route to get to President Obama's proposed security spending reductions of $400 billion over twelve, yes, count them, twelve years. Not a great step forward, and well below what Simpson-Bowles, Rivlin-Domenici, or Frank-Paul proposed last year, in fact, roughly a third of what they called for.
If you go to the Stimson Center's Budgeting for Foreign Affairs and Defense website, you will see our new calculation, based on the final FY 2011 budget agreement number for defense, which shows that maintaining DOD's buying power (increasing the budget every year by inflation) provides more than $428 billion in savings from the current DOD plan. If one left that $28 billion on the table, one could even claim DOD funding would grow after inflation (a teeny, tiny amount), and still achieve Obama's goal.
Just before noon today, President Barack Obama proposed five new middle class benefits that will be detailed in his budget next Monday: