March 1, 2008  

Budget disconnect

TO THE WHITE HOUSE — finding no reason to laurel the 2009 defense spending plan, AFJ aims a third dart at the source of this lame-duck budget. It’s an election year, and Congress is out of control. Yet, here is a lack of fiscal responsibility and leadership bordering on the reckless. The president handed the Pentagon everything it asked for without demanding a clear demonstration that America will be safer as a result. Defense spending is now so disconnected from strategic missions that Gates’ call to spend at least 4 percent of gross domestic product on defense has gained momentum in Congress. But where’s the rationale in linking the economy to defense spending? If the economy doubles, must the Pentagon budget also double? If the economy slumps, do our security needs also shrink?