Another Half Trillion Dollar Check for the Global Warfare State

Today, the professional partisans in the Democrats and Republicans are patting themselves on the backs for averting the budget crisis they themselves created.  Some are even lauding the "historic" character of the $38 billion in spending cuts that resulted from the back-room deals struck by party bosses in the White House and Congress over the last week.  An unnamed Democrat writes to Greg Sargent at the Washington Post to underscore the fact that the Pentagon's budget was not spared from the chopping block:
$3B IN PENTAGON SAVINGS -- WE PROVED DoD WASTE SHOULD NOT BE SPARED. We won the argument that waste at the Pentagon should not be immune from spending cuts. The final agreement eliminates nearly $3 billion in unnecessary Pentagon spending that was contained in H.R. 1. These reductions are supported by Secretary Gates. 
As most media reports mention offhandedly, the budget deal ensured Pentagon funding through September.  The price? Over $500 billion dollars.  From the Air Force Times:
The amount of 2011 defense funding included in the compromise was not clear Friday night, but negotiators had been discussing a $533 billion defense budget, which would be about $16 billion less than the Obama administration had requested. Still, this would be a slight increase over the level allowed under the temporary funding bills that capped spending at $526 billion, the 2010 spending level. 
So the $3 billion in "savings" from spending "cuts" for the Pentagon does not in fact represent a decrease in spending for the global warfare state beloved by Republicans and Democrats alike.  As the Frum Forum notes, the defense budget is the "cut the GOP forgot."  Excerpt:
while Republicans have devoted lots of attention to entitlements, not nearly enough has been paid to the size of the defense budget. If Republicans want to prove their seriousness about fiscal discipline, this needs to change. While the simple act of withdrawing from Iraq is going to rein it in a bit, there needs to be deeper cuts still.

Right now, the United States spends 4.3 percent of GDP on the military. This gives the United States a larger military budget than the entire rest of the world combined and an overall dominance so vast that no nation state could possibly win any sort of traditional battle against American troops. The four other permanent security council members spend, on average, 2.5 percent of their GDPs on defense.

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