The Washington Post reports:
The Democratic-controlled House is poised to give the Pentagon dozens of new ships, planes, helicopters and armored vehicles that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates says the military does not need … The unwanted equipment in a military spending bill expected to come to a vote on the House floor Thursday or Friday has a price tag of at least $6.9 billion.
$6.9 billion!?!?! How can the Obama administration not threaten to veto this bill? They just went to the mattresses to kill $1.75 billion in funding for the F-22s that we need to maintain air superiority. Or that money could be used to pay for the $1.4 billion that Obama wants cut from our missile defense program. On those missile defense cuts, Heritage fellow Baker Spring writes:
Russia is upgrading its missile bases and positioning short-range missiles on its border with Poland to target U.S. defensive interceptors. China now has 1,500 missiles positioned on the shore opposite Taiwan. North Korea is testing missiles and conducting underground nuclear tests. Iran is testing newly modified long-range missiles and enriching uranium. Diplomacy is not lessening these threats. In fact, it may actually play into others’ hands as they try to drive wedges between the U.S. and its allies, lessen its influence in their regions, and dictate U.S. policy.
The President’s cuts make even less sense given that $1.4 billion is a mere 0.04 percent of his total proposed federal budget, and the roughly $10 billion we spend on missile defense each year amounts to only 13 percent of what local, state, and federal government agencies pay for first responders. It is quite small if we compare it to the cost of an attack: A study for the Department of Energy in 2006 estimated that if just one 13-kiloton bomb hit New York City, cleanup and recovery costs could “approach the level of the entire U.S. gross domestic product in 2005…the entire output of the U.S. economy, every factory, store and business, for a full year.”