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Secretary Hagel's Cuts Don't Translate into Less Spending
On Monday, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel gave a speech at the Pentagon that announced cutbacks in a number of military programs:
- Reductions in military personnel in the active-duty Army, Army National Guard, Army Reserve, and Marine Corps
- A pay freeze for flag officers and generals
- A reduction in benefits for active-duty personnel and their families
- Elimination of some weapons systems, including the Air Force A-10 Attack Jet and U-2 spy plane fleet, and reduction in the number of Navy littoral combat ships
However, despite all of these changes, the new Pentagon budget does not project a commensurate decline in spending.
The president is expected to propose an additional $26 billion for the Pentagon in 2015, on top of the spending limits agreed to in the Bipartisan Budget Agreement. In addition, the Pentagon receives many tens of billions in additional funding to operate wars overseas, officially known as "Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO)," and that money isn't subject to caps.
"Five-year spending projections at the Pentagon show that it plans to exceed the spending caps of sequestration by $115 billion over the next five years," said Jo Comerford, NPP Executive Director. "We must hold Secretary Hagel to his promise to make tough choices in Pentagon spending, including examining the OCO 'slush fund.' As a nation, we must redefine what we mean by security and listen to the people's priorities for how to spend our tax dollars."
National Priorities Project has the cost per hour of Pentagon spending by city, county, state, and Congressional districts.
National Priorities Project (NPP) is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that makes our complex federal budget transparent and accessible so people can exercise their right and responsibility to shape our nation's budget. We are the people's guide to the federal budget. In 2014, NPP was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of our pioneering work to track federal spending on the military and promote a U.S. federal budget that represents Americans' priorities, including funding for people's issues such as inequality, unemployment, education, health and the need to build a green economy. Learn more at nationalpriorities.org.