No trade-off—Democrats against spending reductions and Republicans support defense spending Kaiser Family Foundation 11(Harvard School of Public Health, Jan, http://www.kff.org/kaiserpolls/upload/8134-F.pdf, accessed 6-30-11, CH)
Not surprisingly, Republicans are more likely than Democrats to support spending reductions in most areas, with independents somewhere in between. Still, majorities of Republicans say they would not support any reductions in Social Security (59 percent) and public education (53 percent), and nearly half (48 percent) say the same about Medicare. More than half of Republicans want no reductions in national defense, compared with about a third of Democrats and independents.
Republicans won’t cut defense King and Greenberg 11(Neil & Greenberg, WSJ, 3/3, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704728004576176741120691736.html, accessed 6-30-11, CH)
The poll comes as Republican lawmakers, many elected on promises to slash federal spending, have focused mostly so far on cuts to non-defense, discretionary programs. But many political leaders say meaningful deficit reduction cannot be accomplished without making changes to entitlement programs.
Incoming US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is determined to avoid gutting the American military despitethe prospect of difficult budget decisions looming, a Pentagon spokesman said Thursday. "He (Panetta) believes that it is a false choice between fiscal responsibility and national security," spokesman Douglas Wilson told reporters. Amid mounting fiscal pressure, the defense budget "will be an important item on his agenda," Wilson said. "He will take that very seriously. He knows there are difficult decisions to be made," he said. Panetta "has said publicly, and he will say again, that he intends that there will be no hollow force on his watch."
Heuvel 6/28 (Katrina, writer @ Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/those-reckless-republicans/2011/06/27/AG1AFHpH_story.html) JPG
So the entire $2 trillion must come from spending cuts. But Republicans also won’t agree to mandated cuts in defense spending, despite the fact that the defense budget has soared since Sept. 11, two unfunded wars contributed trillions to the debt, and the Pentagon is one of the nation’s leading sources of waste, fraud and abuse. Some Tea Party members suggest that defense spending is on the table, but the negotiators oppose any separate cap for defense spending, leaving the issue in the hands of the very appropriators who have regularly insisted on spending more than the Pentagon asks for.
Defense spending is INCREASING despite promised cuts – both sides want pork spending
Wheeler 6/30 (Winslow, writer @ Washington Times, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jun/30/defense-appropriations-pork-and-gimmicks-as-usual/) JPG
The House of Representatives will soon be debating the new Department of Defense (DoD) appropriations bill. It’s expensive - $649 billion, close to another post-World War II high. The bill covers almost all of DoD’s expenses for fiscal year 2012 - both routine expenses, such as basic payroll, training and weapons acquisition (known as the “base” budget), and war spending - for Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere. Pretending reform and frugality, members of the House Appropriations Committee - Democrats and Republicans alike - packed the bill with pork and gimmicks. The bill would spend $17 billion more than last year. But House appropriators are calling this increase a cut because it’s less than the original defense budget request President Obama sent to Congress in February. That request was made irrelevant by the president’s subsequent decision to reduce long-term security spending by $400 billion. In addition to pretending frugality, the committee apes reform. It explicitly denies the existence of earmarks in the bill, saying in its own committee report, “Neither the bill nor the report contains any congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in clause 9 of rule XXI.” I found many earmarks.
Modest defense cuts don’t prove a trend toward vulnerability Altman 11 (George, staff, Washington Bureau, 3/6, http://blog.al.com/huntsville-times-business/2011/03/post_35.html, accessed 7-1-11, CH)
While some may question the importance of NASA, Brooks noted that the Constitution itself establishes the military as a top priority. Even as funding for other federal programs has been slashed in recent years, defense spending continued to grow. The consensus is that those easy-spending days are drawing to a close. "In light of our fiscal difficulties, all departments and programs are subject to reductions in funding," Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa, said in a written statement. Benjamin Friedman, a research fellow at the conservative Cato Institute, said that for all the Republican rhetoric about cutting budgets, he doesn't foresee large cuts in defense. "It seems likely that we're entering a period where the defense budget will at least go down a little," he said. "It doesn't seem at the moment that there will be big cuts.”
Defense is off the chopping block Diatribe Media 11 (1/25/11, http://www.diatribemedia.com/2011/01/25/republican-budget-cuts-show-real-deficit/) JPG
The Republican Study Committee released a breakdown of spending reductions and cuts, which they argue can save $2.5 trillion over the next ten years. Nearly all of the cuts come from the “discretionary spending” portion of the budget, which makes up just 16% of the total federal budget. The Republican plan is to simply push back spending levels to what they were in 2006 and hope for the best. Predictably, the pentagon’s budget is off the chopping block. John Boener spokesman Michael Steele said “our immediate goal is to cut spendingto pre-bailout, pre-stimulus levels.” Pre-bailout and stimulus levels for everyone but the defense department.