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  • Chart of the Week: Cutting All Defense Spending Would Not Solve Debt Crisis

    House Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon (R-CA) is a man on a mission. He’s making the rounds on Capitol Hill to convince his colleagues, particularly those on the 12-member Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, that they should avoid cutting defense spending.

    McKeon has a point — and it’s one that is backed up by Heritage calculations from Congressional Budget Office data. This chart reveals that even if defense spending was eliminated entirely, entitlements would continue to fuel the debt crisis.

    Making reforms to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid is no easy task, but it’s the most logical step the Joint Committee could take to control spending while sparing cuts to vital national security programs. Heritage’s debt-reduction plan, Saving the American Dream, outlines how it can be done.

    McKeon, meanwhile, isn’t taking chances. He’s recently met with Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and member of the Joint Committee. Defense was already on the chopping block this summer and now faces the prospect of even deeper cuts. According to POLITICO:

    The defense industry is in nearly unprecedented peril. Congress agreed to cut $350 billion from the defense budget over 10 years as part of the debt ceiling deal, and if the supercommittee fails to agree to a play for $1.2 trillion in overall savings, an additional $600 billion in defense cuts would be automatically triggered. Short of the trigger, the Joint Deficit Reduction Committee could choose to cut military spending, too.

    For more charts on defense spending and entitlements, check out Heritage’s 2011 Budget Chart Book. It includes 42 charts on federal spending, revenue, deficit and debt.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities, Scribe [slideshow_deploy]

    6 Responses to Chart of the Week: Cutting All Defense Spending Would Not Solve Debt Crisis

    1. AD-RtR/OS! says:

      That we would cut Defense, when the Constitution directs the Government to "provide for the common defence", in favor of entitlements which are only encouraged under the rubric of "promote the general Welfare", is insanity; but is perfectly indicative of the modern, Progressive, state!

    2. Lloyd Scallan says:

      You still don't understand what is Obama and the Dems final objective. It's not about "dept reduction". It about the pure hatred Obama has for our militry. The Dems that were hand picked by Reid and Pelosi to sit on this absurd "deficite committee" were chosen deliberately because they would NOT agree to anything the Repbs would suggest. The result will be the more than a half trillion dollar cut in the defense budget, which is exactly what Obama and the Dems intended in the first place, and the gutless Repbs agreed too.

    3. West Texan says:

      Rob said "Making reforms to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid is no easy task …"

      Other than having to fight a political battle instigated by social progressive demagogues, there's an easy answer to the problem. Respect federalism's dual sovereign design. Return all domestic social concerns back to the individual states where these functions rightfully and constitutionally belong. This can be done through attrition by allowing current entitlement beneficiaries a choice of staying with SS, rolling over to comparable state programs, or receiving a social tax rebate to be put toward private health insurance and retirement.

    4. Bobbie says:

      how about clearing out the corruption, penalize the corrupting, reduce government and eliminating all special interests before we cut what government's actual duty to the country is?

    5. poppa blues says:

      Does the defense spending in the chart also include the war spending that comes from the discretionary funds?

    6. Michelle says:

      The Constitution clearly states that main objective of the federal government is to "provide for the common defense." Why is military spending even a question? Entitlements need to be cut. All they are is an excuse for people to be, for lack of a better description, lazy. More and more you see people who just decide to stay on unemployment because they "make more money than with a a job." There needs to be some incentive to get off these programs. They are socialism hard at work!

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