The “Defense Reduction (Dys)Function”

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Well, here it is. The guts of the Pentagon’s share of sequestration, as detailed in a letter late Friday to congressional leaders from Jeffrey Zients, the deputy director for management of the White House’s Office of Management and Budget.

“A year-and-a-half has passed, and the Congress still has failed to enact balanced deficit reduction legislation that avoids sequestration,” Zients writes, a tad disingenously. “As a result of the Congress’s failure to act, the law requires the President to issue a sequestration order today canceling $85 billion in budgetary resources across the Federal Government for FY 2013.”

Now that the White House has apportioned blame, the OMB deputy detailed the impact of the impasse. “This report provides calculations of the amounts and percentages by which various budgetary resources are required to be reduced, and a listing of the reductions required for each non-exempt budget account,” he wrote. “…the sequestration requires a 7.8 percent reduction in non-exempt defense discretionary funding and a 5.0 percent reduction in non-exempt nondefense discretionary funding…Because these cuts must be achieved over only seven months instead of 12, the effective percentage reductions will be approximately 13 percent for non-exempt defense programs and 9 percent for non-exempt nondefense programs.”

Check out the fine print for yourself.

The “Defense Reduction Function” dysfunction is here.

The full malfunction letter is here.

Read it, and weep.