Using a time-honored trick, a bipartisan congressional panel argues we should boost the president’s record defense bill even more.
By Matt Taibbi and cross-posted from Rolling Stone
A bipartisan commission has determined that President Trump’s recent record defense bill is insufficiently massive to keep America safe, and we should spend more, while cutting “entitlements.”
The National Defense Strategy Commission concluded the Department of Defense was too focused on “efficiency” and needed to accept “greater cost and risk” to search for “leap-ahead technologies” to help the U.S. maintain superiority.
The panel added that Defense is “not where most of the money is.” It said Congress should be focused on “domestic entitlement programs” and “interest payments on the national debt” as sources of savings.
The report even contains a graph that shows defense spending crawling sadly along the floor of the spending X-axis as mighty mandatory “entitlements” soar to great heights.
This is the same Department of Defense with a serious existing accounting problem. In 2016, before Trump was elected, its Inspector General said he could not properly track $6.5 trillion in defense spending. A later academic study claimed the number was $21 trillion, looking at the years 1998-2015.
Trump originally asked for over $730 billion in defense spending for Fiscal Year 2019, and last spring a budget setting spending at $716 billion passed 85-10 in the Senate. This would have meant an $82 billion spending hike, an increase that by itself was larger than the entire defense budget of every country on earth, save China…