Right Turn has obtained a memo from House Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) to Republican committee members analyzing the defense cuts in the Reid plan:
Based on our analysis the [Reid] proposal would result in $868 Billion in defense cuts over 10 years when weighed against the FY11 budget request. Immediately the plan would cut defense in real terms below the FY11-enacted level of $553 billion and hold defense below the FY11-enacted level through FY13. It represents a $16 billion cut to our FY12 levels for next year and a $26 billion cut for the following year. Let me be clear, this is a real cut. It would have a disastrous impact on our military and we wouldn’t be able to carry out our missions. As I stated in the Gang of Six analysis, since the President originally submitted his budget proposal for FY2011, defense has already shrunk $439 billion over 10 years.
This number may sound familiar. It is the Gang of Six defense cut number, isn’t it? My, no wonder the president offered support for Reid (before he beat up, in primetime, plans that contained no tax hikes).
McKeon also points out the issue identified yesterday, namely the “$1 trillion in phony savings from winding down the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.” He explains: “This gimmick first assumes an extension of the troop surges in Iraq and Afghanistan through the next ten years, and then assumes the surge level will wind down on time for budget savings. This is a gimmick and should be treated as such, everyone knows the wars are winding down. This does nothing to change the spending habits of Washington.”
Whatever the bobble in the Boehner plan due to different baseline numbers, the House speaker’s proposal does not savage defense in this fashion. If pro-defense Senate Democrats didn’t have reason to vote against the Reid plan already, they certainly do now.