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Defense Internals – $ing = Cuts



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Defense Internals – $ing = Cuts


Defense is at the top of the chopping block – public, budget
Yang 6/28 (Clement, epoch times staff writer, http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/united-states/congressional-republicans-open-to-defense-cuts-58382.html) JPG

Waning public support for the U. S.’s foreign wars, combined with the current congressional impasse over the budget debate, have many Republican legislators in Congress considering putting defense cuts on the table when it comes to debt ceiling negotiations. With the Aug. 2 Treasury deadline hanging over their heads, the current deadlock over the raising of the debt limit has centered primarily on the issue of tax increases. However, the congressional GOP leadership has more recently recognized a new willingness on the part of rank-and-file legislators to consider cuts to defense, which is in contrast to traditional Republican hawkishness on defense spending. Senior Republicans say that a deal with congressional Democrats and the White House involving Pentagon cuts would be more palatable than one that includes tax increases. Republican legislators are opposed to across-the-board cuts to the military budget; they are open to the idea of targeted cuts to specific programs. House GOP Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in January, outlined the possibility that defense cuts could be an area in which legislators from both parties could find common ground. Roskam voiced his belief that the defense budget would be an area in which some legislators from both sides would seek across-the-board cuts. “So I think, on balance, there's going to be a thoughtful group that's trying to say, ‘Let's prioritize.’ And my hunch is, when push comes to shove, there's going to be plenty of Democrats that will join on,” he said. This new willingness to cut defense spending is also an indicator of the Tea Party influence in the House of Representatives, exemplified by Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), currently a reservist captain with prior active duty service in the U.S. Air Force. Elected to the House of Representatives on a Tea Party platform of smaller government and spending cuts, Kinzinger represents a new brand of Republican legislator no longer willing to treat the defense budget as a sacred cow. Testifying before the House Armed Services Committee in April, Kinzinger recommended as a cost-cutting measure shelving the development of a new Air Force flight suit known as the Integrated Aircrew Ensemble, a program that has thus far cost $99.4 million over six years. “I am a strong supporter of the military and ensuring that our military is the best equipped in the world,” Kinzinger said in his testimony. “However, we must make tough decisions with regard to military needs and military wants. Given the difficult budget environment we are in, we must make difficult decisions on how to best prioritize spending the taxpayer’s money.”
The Pentagon would be the first to face cuts
Dreazen 11 (Yochi, senior correspondent of military affairs and national security, National Journal, 4/22, http://www.nationaljournal.com/nationalsecurity/the-mission-for-the-new-defense-chief-20110422, accessed 6-29-11, CH)

When Defense Secretary Robert Gates took his post nearly five years ago, his top priority was salvaging the faltering U.S.-led war effort in Iraq. As he prepares to step down this summer, the Defense chief has a new mission: shaping the terms of the coming debate over how much the Pentagon’s budget should be cut to help close the nation’s yawning deficit. Gates has regularly warned that the Pentagon was in for a prolonged period of belt-tightening, but the cutbacks now appear to be coming sooner—and to potentially be much larger—than he had envisioned. In January, Gates announced plans to cut $78 billion from the Pentagon’s budget over the next five years. Last week, by contrast, President Obama said he wanted Gates to help find $400 billion in additional defense-related cuts over the next 12 years, a much larger reduction than senior Pentagon officials had been expecting. Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Gates said he hoped to “frame” the coming budget debate in terms of the concrete trade-offs the administration would have to make in terms of troop levels and military capabilities if it chose to make significant funding cuts. Gates said the department would be undertaking a broad review of its basic strategic thinking, including the decades-old assumption that the United States should maintain enough forces and armaments to be able to fight two large-scale wars at the same time. His biggest fear, Gates said, was that the White House or Congress would bypass that review by simply ordering an across-the-board reduction in the Pentagon’s budget allocation





Defense Internals – $ing = Cuts


New Republican stance would make defense budget the first concession
Epoch Times 6/28 (http://beforeitsnews.com/story/761/244/Congressional_Republicans_Open_to_Defense_Cuts.html, accessed 6-30-11, CH)

Waning public support for the U. S.’s foreign wars, combined with the current congressional impasse over the budget debate, have many Republican legislators in Congress considering putting defense cuts on the table when it comes to debt ceiling negotiations. With the Aug. 2 Treasury deadline hanging over their heads, the current deadlock over the raising of the debt limit has centered primarily on the issue of tax increases. However, the congressional GOP leadership has more recently recognized a new willingness on the part of rank-and-file legislators to consider cuts to defense, which is in contrast to traditional Republican hawkishness on defense spending. Senior Republicans say that a deal with congressional Democrats and the White House involving Pentagon cuts would be more palatable than one that includes tax increases. Republican legislators are opposed to across-the-board cuts to the military budget; they are open to the idea of targeted cuts to specific programs. House GOP Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in January, outlined the possibility that defense cuts could be an area in which legislators from both parties could find common ground. Roskam voiced his belief that the defense budget would be an area in which some legislators from both sides would seek across-the-board cuts. “So I think, on balance, there's going to be a thoughtful group that's trying to say, ‘Let's prioritize.’ And my hunch is, when push comes to shove, there's going to be plenty of Democrats that will join on,” he said. This new willingness to cut defense spending is also an indicator of the Tea Party influence in the House of Representatives, exemplified by Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), currently a reservist captain with prior active duty service in the U.S. Air Force. Elected to the House of Representatives on a Tea Party platform of smaller government and spending cuts, Kinzinger represents a new brand of Republican legislator no longer willing to treat the defense budget as a sacred cow. Testifying before the House Armed Services Committee in April, Kinzinger recommended as a cost-cutting measure shelving the development of a new Air Force flight suit known as the Integrated Aircrew Ensemble, a program that has thus far cost $99.4 million over six years. “I am a strong supporter of the military and ensuring that our military is the best equipped in the world,” Kinzinger said in his testimony. “However, we must make tough decisions with regard to military needs and military wants. Given the difficult budget environment we are in, we must make difficult decisions on how to best prioritize spending the taxpayer’s money.” Diminishing public support for the U.S.’s military operations abroad also plays a role in the willingness to deal with the defense budget.
Defense cuts are the only thing the public supports
Kaiser Family Foundation 11 (Harvard School of Public Health, Jan, http://www.kff.org/kaiserpolls/upload/8134-F.pdf, accessed 6-30-11, CH)

A So what areas of spending are Americans willing to cut? Not too many. Of the twelve areas tested in the poll, the majority were only willing to accept “major reductions” in one: foreign aid. In addition, about four in ten would support major reductions in funding for the conflict in Afghanistan and in salaries and benefits for federal government workers. In most areas, majorities favor at least minor reductions but few want to see major cuts; these areas include expanding coverage under the health reform law, food stamps, national defense, unemployment insurance, and aid to farmers.


Deficits means public mood shifting in favor of cuts—empirically, military cuts first
Marx 11(Gregory, staff, Remapping Debate, 2/9, http://www.remappingdebate.org/article/deficit-hawks-or-just-fairy-tale, accessed 6-30-11, CH)

It’s plausible, as the USA Today story suggests, that “at a time of soaring deficits,” public sentiment could shift in favor of cutting spending. But it’s the sort of thing one might like to know, rather than just asserting. So YouGov recently undertook to find out. The outfit conducted one poll asking about public support for federal spending cuts; as usual, it was scarce, and the bigger and costlier the program, the less enthusiasm there was for cutting it. (Military spending was a partial outlier, a result that is also consistent with other polls.)




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