Is the White House planning on spending more or less on defense? Heritage Foundation analyst Mackenzie Eaglen unpacks all the numbers in "The $64,000 Question: Is President Obama Actually Increasing the Defense Budget?" Here is what she concludes, "President Obama has submitted a budget blueprint for 2010 that appears to allow marginal real growth in the Department of Defense budget; however, that growth may never occur once inflation numbers are known. In short, Obama's defense budget increase is so small that it may more than likely turn out to be a flat or declining amount in 2010."
Here is the reason why. The projected federal defense consumption deflator for FY 2010 is 1.28 percent. When the effects of inflation are calculated against the FY 2010 core defense budget there is about $8 billion in real growth. This growth happens because the FY 2010 budget is about $549 billion in 2009 dollars. However, when comparing the core defense budgets and war funds from 2009 to 2010, the FY 2010 budget represents a $5.5 billion real reduction. This reduction occurs because when the effects of inflation are calculated, the $685.7 billion total defense budget in FY 2010 is $677 billion in 2009 dollars.
Furthermore, she estimates that real defense spending will drop significantly in the out years. In addition, Eaglen concludes that the administration plans for FY2009 supplemental defense spending will only worsen the Pentagon's budget crunch.
The administration's cuts are unwise, imprudent, and unnecessary. The Heritage Foundation special report, "People and Platforms: An Agenda for Balanced Defense Forces" offers an alternative strategy for a responsible defense program.