President Barack Obama, as part of his plan to reduce the nation’s long-term debt, will propose cutting $400 billion from the Pentagon’s budget through the 2023 fiscal year, extending cuts beyond those sought by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, a person familiar with the plan said.
Gates met with Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in the Oval Office yesterday afternoon to discuss the president’s plan. Gates proposed in January cutting $78 billion from defense spending over five years, amid pressure to curb trillion-dollar federal deficits.
Over the next five years, the administration forecasts the government will pile up a cumulative deficit of $3.8 trillion; over the decade, the cumulative deficits would rise to $7.2 trillion.
In addition to defense cuts, Obama will propose three other main components to reduce the debt, according to a White House statement: holding down domestic spending, curbing health- care costs and closing tax loopholes. The administration has released no details.
Notice how the only part that is explicitly getting cut is defense, everything else is an accounting sleight of hand.