The Tricky Politics of the Defense Budget
The Washington Post editorial board looks at the political obstacles facing bipartisan efforts to boost defense spending and avoid the drastic cuts left over by sequestration.
“Mr. Obama proposed matching the defense increase with an equal amount of added domestic spending, but the Republican budget plans exclude that. That may make it difficult to win the floor votes, if Democratic support is needed, and Mr. Obama might eventually resist a defense increase if there is no domestic counterpart.”
“While the administration added its additional defense spending to the base budget, Republicans tried to balance fiscal and military hawkishness by leaving the sequester-mandated base budget unchanged and pouring additional funds into a contingency account meant to cover temporary war expenses. That tactic has been used before, but it is a poor way to do business that may end up constricting spending on long-term defense needs. At a minimum, it means a necessary fight over the base budget will have been kicked down the road.”