Countdown to Sequestration: One Month to Go

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Hardly seems like it was eight months ago today that Battleland began its monthly countdown to the pain of sequestration:

“That’s nine months from today,” we noted back on April 2. “Seems like a long time, but it’ll be here before you know it.”

If Congress and President Obama can’t agree on $1.2 trillion in spending cuts and/or tax revenues for the coming decade, the Pentagon faces up to $600 billion in spending cuts over the coming decade (atop a already-implemented $487 billion reduction in its spending plans). It would be painful because the cuts would be largely across the board, at least in the first year.

The deadline is only 31 days away, per last year’s Budget Control Act:

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told the Center for a New American Security last month that the topic surfaced while he was meeting with his southeast Asian counterparts in Perth, Australia.

“One of the defense ministers said, `You know, it’s great that you’re rebalancing to the Pacific, but can you sustain that when you have a Congress that is prepared to do sequester or walk off a fiscal cliff?'” Panetta recalled. “I said, `That issue whether our democracy can truly function, and have leaders that are prepared to make the decisions that have to be made in order for this country to govern itself, is, I think, you know, the issue that will determine ultimately whether we have national security.”

Well, sequestration – if it happens — is going to be painful, messy and disruptive. But paring U.S. military spending back to 2007’s level, which is what the sequester would do, won’t eliminate national security.

Recent inactivity and posturing, by both Obama and congressional Republicans, suggest that if the perils of Panetta are to be avoided, it’s going to happen at the last minute.

Probably best, then, to write your plans for New Year’s Eve in pencil.

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Sequestration and the unintended byproduct of forced cuts and change.  

Current thinking is to go after Charitable Deduction as a way to raise revenue.  Over its nearly 100-year history, the charitable deduction has become one of the most time-tested provisions in the Internal Revenue Code. But it has also been a perennial target by people onboth ends of the political spectrum.  At  time when demand for veteran related programs and services is rising and some forms of giving are in decline the idea of making it less attractive to give to 501C3's is mind boggling. Especially since most Non-Profits are filling gaps and voids left by failed or ineffective government policies and programs. Putting this kind of change into law has unintendedconsequences that could functionally change the face of giving in a negative and irreparable way.


Thank goodness we have Frank Kendall present for duty. "There's a lot of money still to be made."

Chicago Tribune, Nov 28, 2012 -- Pentagon says "lot of money" still to be made in arms business

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Pentagon's chief weapons buyer on Wednesday reassured industry executives and investors that there was still "a lot of money" to be made in the defense business, despite mounting budget pressures that will limit spending on new arms programs.

Frank Kendall, defense undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics, said the budget outlook had clearly changed after a decade of continuous increases in U.S. military spending. But he said the Pentagon's annual budget remained quite large -- and even a worst case scenario that would cut defense spending by an additional $50 billion or around 10 percent in fiscal year 2013 -- was "not the end of the world."

"We're going to work our way through this," Kendall told an investor conference hosted by Credit Suisse. "There's a lot of money still to be made."He said the U.S. military's new strategy which sees a pivot to the Asia-Pacific region, and calls for increased investment in cybersecurity and space, would result in new growth opportunities for defense companies.

 The department was also mindful of the need to maintain critical design skills in aerospace, he said."We're in this together. The health of the industrial base is very important," he said.


@smedleybutlersociety "There's a lot of money still to be made...."  That says it all.  This is the part where you cut to Eisenhower warning about The Military Industrial Complex (different from The Military mind you).  Having a military spending at same level as the next 17 countries combined is welfare pure and simple.  If we're going to provide world security let the world begin paying for it and lets stop doing it on the back of American tax payers.  Sequestration is a blessing in disguise.


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