As indicated by the recent roll out of the House Republican budget strategy, the gloves are off in the battle to define the country’s spending priorities in the run-up to the November elections. But neither party adequately addresses the largest item in the discretionary budget: the Pentagon.
The Obama Administration’s approach to curbing runaway defense spending has been far too timid, while Republicans – from Paul Ryan to Mitt Romney – actually want to increase spending substantially beyond current levels.
A key player in this debate is the defense industry, which is pulling out all the stops to get the Pentagon a free pass from future budget cutting. The industry’s main trade group, the Aerospace Industries Association, has financed two studies raising the specter of a million jobs lost from planned Pentagon cuts.