Heritage budget analyst Steve Keen, rightly points out that the Republican Study Committee (RSC) has unveiled a budget proposal that “is a welcome fiscal blueprint that would restore fiscal discipline to the nation and avert a Grecian formula meltdown.”
Unfortunately, the RSC budget also gets a critical component of the budget wrong. It misses the mark on Washington’s #1 job; its Constitutional responsibility to provide for the common defense. At the heart of the RSC budget is a commitment to bring federal discretionary spending, of which defense is a component, back to FY 2008 levels. It implies that the defense portion of that broader category of spending will essentially be at the levels recommended by the Obama Administration by end of the decade. Thus, the RSC budget carries essentially the same risks for national security as the Obama budget. Our military desperately needs to recapitalize after years of fighting the Long War.
The Defense Department also needs to reign in runaway spending on manpower programs and improve the efficiency of its business and buying operations. But even with those savings, however, the Pentagon is going to need a higher top line to help keep us safe, free, and prosperous in the future.
Otherwise, we will be sending our men and women into harm’s way without the tools they need to protect us.