All Hail the Failure of the Supercommittee

The supercommittee of Republicans and Democrats has failed to come up with ways to reduce the federal budget deficit by $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years. Even though $1.2 trillion dollars seems like a lot, it pales in comparison to the whopping accumulated national debt of $15 trillion, which is dragging the economy into … Continue reading “All Hail the Failure of the Supercommittee”

Doomsday Defense Cuts?

The debt deal struck by Congress and the president to raise the debt ceiling calls for immediately enacting “10-year discretionary spending caps generating nearly $1 trillion in deficit reduction; balanced between defense and non-defense spending.” Furthermore, a bipartisan “super committee” is created and “tasked with identifying an additional $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction, including from … Continue reading “Doomsday Defense Cuts?”

Lowering America’s War Ceiling?

By now, it seems as if everybody and his brother has joined the debt-ceiling imbroglio in Washington, perhaps the strangest homespun drama of our time. It’s as if Washington’s leading political players, aided and abetted by the media’s love of the horse race, had eaten LSD-laced brownies, then gone on stage before an audience of … Continue reading “Lowering America’s War Ceiling?”

Enormous Cuts in Military Spending? Read the Fine Print

In this age of austerity, all the politicians are talking about the need for spending cuts. But when it comes to shared burdens and slashed budgets, don’t expect the Pentagon to start holding bake sales, despite what you may have heard about reductions to its obscenely bloated funding. Citing the U.S. government’s $14.3 trillion debt, … Continue reading “Enormous Cuts in Military Spending? Read the Fine Print”

Across-the-Board Spending Cut Proposals Go Mainstream

With yawning federal deficits and the need to once again raise the U.S. government’s staggering debt north of the current $14.3 trillion ceiling, both feuding parties, as usual, lack the political courage to cut welfare to their own supporters. For example, Republicans protect the defense budget, the vast majority of which has nothing to do … Continue reading “Across-the-Board Spending Cut Proposals Go Mainstream”

Across-the-Board Cuts Are the Only Road to Budget Reduction

Defense analysts and military personnel are trained to analyze the U.S. defense posture in a certain way. But even analysts who are trying to be restrained in their assessment of threats and force and equipment requirements are politically naïve about the way the real world of defense budgeting works. A different approach is needed to … Continue reading “Across-the-Board Cuts Are the Only Road to Budget Reduction”

Across-the-Board Cuts Needed to Avoid Fiscal Armageddon

Although the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the federal budget deficit will soar to a peacetime record $1.5 trillion in 2011, President Barack Obama has offered a puny proposal to freeze domestic discretionary spending (excludes huge entitlement programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security) for five years. This proposal sounds much bolder than … Continue reading “Across-the-Board Cuts Needed to Avoid Fiscal Armageddon”

Liquidating the Empire

A decade ago, Oldsmobile went. Last year, Pontiac. Saturn, Saab, and Hummer were discontinued. A thousand GM dealerships shut down. To those who grew up in a “GM family,” where buying a Chrysler was like converting to Islam, what happened to GM was deeply saddening. Yet the amputations had to be done – or GM … Continue reading “Liquidating the Empire”

The US Can No Longer Afford Its Empire

President Obama has presented Congress with a spending request of $3.8 trillion for the next fiscal year in 2011, but with a third of it not paid for with taxes, thus resulting in a $1.3 trillion deficit (a whopping 8.3 percent of GDP). The small piece of good news is that this deficit is smaller … Continue reading “The US Can No Longer Afford Its Empire”