Romney-Obama defense differences fall to budget

Romney-Obama defense differences fall to budget

The difference between President Obama and the Republican presidential nominee Mitt Rominee and their defense platforms fall to their budgets. Otherewise, there’s not much to debate, said Michael O’Hanlon, senior fellow at Brookings specializing in defense and foreign policy issues.

O’Hanlon went further. He said Romney’s defense plan mimics the one put forth by Obama in 2009.

The Obama administration plans to cut back the Army and Marine Corps by about 80,000 and 20,000, respectively, to begin reducing personnel costs. Obama also plans to drop ship building for the Navy down to nine ships a year.

Romney has balked on manpower cuts and would increase ship building to 15 ships per year. He even said Saturday that his administration would buy more F-22s for the Air Force.

“The difference [between them] is important but not necessarily earth-shattering, not necessarily tectonic,” he said. “You can almost imagine this as Obama 2009 versus Obama 2012 in terms of the range of debate over the proper future of our budget.”

This is one of the reasons that defense spending and the war in Afghanistan are not the go-to topics when the candidates are on the stump, said O’Hanlon at a panel discussion hosted by Brookings on the upcoming election.

Romney said he likes Obama’s 2009 Defense budget better than the 2012 budget, O’Hanlon said.

In 2009, the new president planned on modest defense growth to meet procurement needs. But as the deficit became more widely viewed as a national security threat, the Pentagon was expected to make cuts along with the rest of government.

The Pentagon came up first with about $400 billion in cuts over a decade. Obama and former Defense Secretary Robert Gates then added roughly another $100 billion to the total.

O’Hanlon said he has not been able to determine exactly what Romney would do if he’s elected.

“[I]it’s not entirely clear to me if Governor Romney would reverse those initial modest cuts that Gates made, or only reverse the cuts that Obama made … and then put them in his budget plan and present that to Congress in February” if he is elected,” O’Hanlon said.

On closer inspection, the amount that would be cut under Obama’s plan is not even the roughly $500 billion projected because he had already planned on adding more than $100 billion to the Pentagon budget, O’Hanlon said.

As a result, the 10-year reduction in DoD spending would actually come out closer to about $350 billion.

And even with those kinds of cuts, he said, Pentagon spending by 2015 would in be on par with what it spent during the height of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars under the Bush administrations.
During a second panel on foreign policy, panelists also noted few differences between Obama and Romney. Both see an end to an American combat role in Afghanistan by 2012, with Romney taking issue only with Obama’s having signaled when troops would start coming out and in what numbers.

Both also agree to the so-called pivot in the Pacific, where the U.S. anticipates growing its naval presence to reassure allies and stem the rise of China in the region.

But Obama’s emergence as a commander-in-chief willing to escalate the use of drones against enemies in Afghanistan and even Pakistan have all but stripped the Republican party of its long-held image as the hawk when it comes to war.

Obama’s decision to go ahead with military commission prosecution of detainees still being held at Guantanamo Bay, meanwhile, has also taken away what would have been a GOP argument against the President.

That may be one reason Romney has made it a point to claim he would be more forceful in his defense of Israel when it comes to dealing with Iran over its alleged nuclear program, according to Benjamin Wittes, senior fellow in governance studies at Brookings.

“I think it’s very important for Romney to create differences around that issue,” Wittes said. “It gives him a way of talking to certain domestic constituencies.”

Though most Jewish Americans vote Democrat, Romney’s hope is to reduce the margin of Obama’s vote among Jews, according to Wittes.

“But also,” he said, “Israel has an independent appeal to a lot of very conservative voters irrespective of whether they’re Jewish.”

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Hard to make the “Pacific Pivot” credibly building 9 ships a year. Obama’s approach is a paper tiger. Romney’s call to return to 15 per year is much more credible.

We don’t have the money to keep all the troops and marines, build 15 ships a year and re-start F-22 production. Just not enough money. We might be able to pay for 12 ships a year and a limited F-22 buy (especially if we split the cost with Australia) but we would still need to cut 70-100k troops from the Army and 15-25k Marines.

how is that credible when u dont know which ships are being built ?

With what money? Where are you going to get the money?

A New report released about Obama’s ” U.S. Missile Defense Strategy Is Flawed “, Expert Panel from the “National Research Council” Another Obama Failure

“Senior fellow at Brookings Institute says Romney’s defense budget proposals mimic Obama’s in 2009.”

Let’s remind ourselves here that Obama also proposed in 2009 to cut the federal budget deficit in half by the end of his first term.

Relying on revenue from the strong economic recovery and jobs boom which Obama was sure his plan was going to produce.

Didn’t quite work out that way.

Obama and his economic planning team back in early ’09 had produced a chart of how unemployment would look either with or without the Obama economic “stimulus” package. That chart, updated with actual data versus the two forecasts, speaks volumes as to the colossal failure that is Obamanomics.


Note especially the dot at the upper right. That shows you what unemployment last month would have looked like if it had not been for the huge flight of would-be workers from the labor force during the Obama years.

If labor force participation last month had been at the very same level it was when Obama came in, last month’s unemployment would have clocked in at a staggering 11.2%.

It’s only because tens of millions have abandoned the active search for work that the figure looks to be in the 8% range. One-time jobseekers who are discouraged and who have given up aren’t counted. Convenient, that.

They pivot to the Pacific, yet they cut the amount of ships.

The blogger here is too gulable and is believing too much into campaign jargen and sweet talk than knowing hard facts and the fact is there will be no major return to the spend spend spend days of Bush Romney is saying it to make votes and he need congress to follow suit there not its not going to happen, Time to let the election happen and see how the real game changer: congress shapes up. It can go anyway.

too all here saying there isnt enough money your wrong, there is money its just tied into welfare benefits and entitlements. things that need to be fixed and regulated better.

The Navy sends Congress a shipbuilding plan that looks many years out and updates it every year. Ships aren’t built over night. They have to be planned and budgeted years in advance.

Also remember the number of people working and paying taxes has dropped under Obama, if we can get back to the level of people working paying taxes and off unemployment and entitilements before Obama there will be enough money to pay for it but until we get Americans working we will have a buget shortfall

I still get ticked how they all claim the federal budget needs to get cut but never mention cutting anything else. Per the treasury dept the govt takes in 5.8 trillion a year in taxes and fees — 2.3 of that was spent on the entire federal budget (DoD, SS, Medicare, and all other federal agencies combined). So to me the federal budget which is constitutional while it could use some trimming is not the issue as much as the other 3.5 tril being spent at a whim.

We can not trust Obama with command of our military. He has proven that.

Start by gutting Obamacare. Our budget problem is due to runaway domestic spending, and under Obama, Defense has been the bill-payer.

The F 22 has not been used in a combat despite the initial introduction of this jet in 2005. The last of the 188 planes rolled off the assembly line in April of 2012. It has cost The United States more than $64 billion, more than double the initial expected cost.

Now they have given another contract to Lockheed Martin to fix the mistakes of the 188 planes that have issues.

The US spends more on its military than the next 19 biggest spending nations combined.

This is where our nation needs to cut its spending.

the cost is staggering, agreed, and the mismanagement is inexcusable. however if the jets deter conflict from breaking out, then they are worth it. if / when conflict does break out, if the jets help us dominate and win, they are worth it. the cost of losing wars would be much greater than the cost of the jets.

Romney likes Obama’s budget in 2009 better than 2012? Is this supposed to convince anyone he has a grasp on reality? We were still involved in two wars (both of which has almost been lost to insurgencies at some point during their executions) after all.

But realistically — even the republicans know we can’t spend they way they did during the Bush years — and the Congressional Budget Office was VERY clear on how the economic disaster occurred on their watch (seemingly sans any concern for the long term economic/financial health of the nation — regardless who who would win the White House after then-POTUS George W Bush left office).

Romney needs to actually demonstrate where the funding is coming from to pay for everything he wants to buy — something he has been highly reluctant to do. One would think he’s running without any platform whatsoever — but if the republican primaries are any indication — and he’s elected — this nation is going to have some serious problems that will cause the US to become a paper tiger like the USSR/Russia after the cold war. At least — thats what the math seemingly indicates — unless he tosses Norquist to the wolves and restores the tax base (but that would take courage — something he has lacked — since he won’t even stand up for his best accomplishment — Health Care in Massachusetts).

I am very pro defense and forward engagement but that claim is non sense. The ‘cuts’ proposed to this point still result in an increase in the defense budget that is about what inflation would be or little better under the 10 year plan. Prior to the last round of cuts it was slated to rise 8 to 9 % annually per year. That is not fiscally remotely realistic. Our budget problem is run away spending period, on everything.

Since some here say the bush administration is responsible for everything then the obama administration is responsible for EVERYTHING that has happenned in the last 4 years. Following the logic previously stated here, you can not blame the last two years on the republican controlled house of representaives. After all, if you trt to blame anything on the republican house, then you have to blame 3/4 of the bush years on the democrats having control of at lease one chamber in congress.
In the first two years of his administration, with democrats controlling everything, obama gave away trillions to the banks, insurance companies, wallstreet and the auto makers. None ot whom are the poor working class americans but all are the wealthy that obama has blamed for our lack of money in the U.S.
If Romney wants to give the corporations and the wealth a tax break, I have no problem so long as he ties it to increased emploee count at the corporation. Had Obama given the 2 percent FICA reductions to only those corporations with 75 or more employees and then only so long as they hired one more employee for every 75 on the payroll, we would have had more people working now, and would not have given up as much in tax income.

Too sad that only Policy Wonk makes more sense on this conversation thread.

Don’t worry about the money…when the rich get the new tax cut the middle class will be happy to make up the difference. Remember…war creates jobs building military hardware and the rich get richer…

I think if folks would check the facts…it goes like this…President Bush did give the rich a tax break and it has continued on since then.…They, the rich, were s’pose to use that extra money to create jobs…they did not, when asked why not…they said because things are so “unsure”..whatever that means. Congress did (surprise, they worked a day) pass the Jobs Bill that would put 2 million people to work, both parties agreed and even funded the program.…but the house will not bring it up on the floor so it can be sent to the President so he can sign it…you know they just don’t want the president to get credit for it…if Mr. Romney is elected, I’m sure thats one of the first bills he signs and takes credit for…

You have to read the entire article and not just the headline. Not once in the article or the 260 page report did the council call anyone or anything a failure. In fact, it was quite the opposite. GEEEZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Please do some research about who pays what in tax. The top 20% basically pay around 70% of all federal income taxes the so-called middle class pay next to nothing.

Again please do some research the economy took off after the Bush tax cuts and lower income taxpayers got a larger ‘percentage’ cut then the rich.

Yes is you cut a guy’s taxes by 2% on his million in taxes he saves 20,000 and you can cut the guys who pays only 20,000 in tax by 50% and he only saves 10,000. Who got the bigger tax cut?

If the Bush tax cuts were bad and cause of the recession why did the Democrats with total control of government renew all the cuts? They said to prevent a double dip recession. By your logic they should have raised everyone’s taxes.

Get the facts correct. The federal government gave nothing away. The obama administration LOANED trillions to the banks, insurance companies, wallstreet and the auto makers in which most have been paid back bigtime with interest. And the federal government is still making money from those loans. GEEEZ!!!!

Unreasonably, there seems to be some fan boys bringing your post down in rating. But realistically, he needs to explain what he’s going to do to allow for more F-22s. The budget cuts we’re proposing now still aren’t enough to help the deficit.

Any President in power at the time would of done the same thing or else the country would of crashed. You can call him out for the decision he had to make all you want, but Romney or any other political figure running for office has never provided an accurate plan for a better way to mitigate the on coming disaster.

“Paper Tiger” there’s another one of those coin terms.

Any President in power at the time would of done the same thing or else the country would of crashed. You can call him out for the decision he had to make all you want, but Romney or any other political figure running for office has never provided an accurate plan for a better way to mitigate the on coming disaster.

“The F 22 has not been used in a combat despite the initial introduction of this jet in 2005.”

Well, by that light, the Minuteman ballistic missile has been a huge waste of money and a giant failure, because it’s far older than the F-22 and it hasn’t ever been used in combat either.

I have a pistol in the nightstand drawer that hasn’t ever been fired in anger. Hence, by the stipulated line of reasoning, I have no rationale to retain it there.

I’m by no means a fan of the F-22, but this argument is amazingly obtuse.

Obama leading our military is akin to the
Sheep leading the wolves.

The way I see it, Obama would like us to use slingshots with cotton balls while being invaded by Fiji but would leak our plans ahead of time if it made him look pretty.

It would seem that many of our fine miliary are intelligently opposed to the way the president is running the country and in particular our national defense and budget. Cutting back on troops, ships and the like may initially seem to be saving money but there is a much larger issue regarding maintaining our military superiority and the ongoing pervasive threats which will not be met. It is very short sighted. I hope that you express these views with your vote on election day. Thank you for your service.

Defense budget is at a mere 3.5% of GDP…the lowest since WWII…you are looking at a very narrow slice of the pie. The problem is runaway domestic spending.

Granted, the biggest structural problem is that overall revenues are decreasing due to the massive contraction of the labor force since 2008. If we rescind Obamacare , stop diverting Federal funds for domestic spending boondoggles (‘Shovel-ready jobs,” public employee union bailouts, UAW bailout), and reduce the taxation and regulation burdens on the economy, we’ll dig ourselves out of this mess.

He’s just reporting on O’Hanlon’s analysis. Seems to be pretty fair.

Defense spending is at 3.5% of GDP…the lowest since WWII.

If you think having a stong national defense is expensive, you should consider more carefully the price of weakness!

Strength is building capabilities and never using them. Weakness is multiple and frequent crash building programs to fight wars you’re not prepared for.

Sorry, Bill. Maybe you should stick to science. Both the 2009 Stimulus boondoggle and Obamacare passed without a single Republican vote. No Republican president or Congress would have engaged in those Keynesian spending orgies. And no Republican President would have bailed out GM–and then force them to extend their currentunsustainable labor costs by strong-arming them into accepting the UAW’s extortionate contract.

What on Earth makes you think that tax reductions “for the rich” did not result in additional job growth?

Try again. The UAW…err, GM…bailout has been a disaster for the taxpayers. Not only did the Democrats bail out a failing and mismanaged (if over-regulated) company that should have resolved its debts in bankruptcy, they also forced GM to continue their unsustainable labor costs by strongarming them into keeping the UAW’s extortionate contract.

Started in the house as amendment http://​clerk​.house​.gov/​e​v​s​/​2​0​0​8​/​r​o​l​l​6​7​4​.​xml

Goes to the senate as an Amendment http://​clerk​.house​.gov/​e​v​s​/​2​0​0​8​/​r​o​l​l​6​8​1​.​xml

Returns to house in disguise: http://​thomas​.loc​.gov/​c​g​i​-​b​i​n​/​b​d​q​u​e​r​y​/​z​?​d​1​1​0​:​H​R14

As long as we don’t scrape together stuff at Suisun and James River to artificially inflate the size of the fleet…

We definitely need to shore up our military and NEVER cut out our troops. Our security is most important and I believe Mitt Romney will keep our safety foremost when he becomes our next President.

You’re right that the problem is (mostly) runaway domestic spending. I don’t know why you think rescinding Obamacare would change that, though — it was mostly spending-neutral. Medicare/Medicaid are already out of control, especially since the passage of the insane prescription drug benefit.

Go look at the budget at http://​www​.hivegroup​.com/​g​a​l​l​e​r​y​/​2​0​1​2​b​u​d​g​et/. Group by “Budget (BEA) Category”.

Immediately you see that very little of the spending every year is even part of the budget — discretionary spending is only $1.2T out of the total $3.7T. $240B is interest on the debt. That leaves $2T of mostly Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security mandatory payments.

An even better way to see the problem is to group by Function. Now we have roughly equal sized blocks for
Social Security
National Defense
Interest on the Debt
Income Security + Health
Everything else

Face it — any changes that don’t make deep cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and/or Defense are just going to be lipstick on the pig. You can’t recover $1T per year by being more efficient in a part of the budget that only has $500B per year in it to begin with.

While we’re reminding ourselves, let’s remind ourselves that between the beginning of Obama’s campaign and his election, his predecessor managed to plunge the nation into its deepest financial and labor crisis since the Great Depression. I will readily admit that Obama hasn’t been effective at getting us out of that hole, but he didn’t dig it — and I see no reason to think any other president would have done significantly better under the circumstances, especially given the pathetic excuse for a Congress we have at the moment.

The people paying the vast bulk of the taxes are still working, Old391. That hasn’t changed. There is no jobs crisis among the top 25% of salaries.

Why did the Democrats go along? Because you don’t get votes by raising taxes. Duh.

A politician is a politician. Get elected first, worry about the country later, if there’s still time.

Still stuck on “Bushs Fault” after four years.


@monster: good idea, kill off americans so the big boys get big toys. We are broke we do not have any money for more military toys. Enough is enough. USSR won the cold war because they realized that they could not outspend the US so they took their toys and went home. Their economy is now growing, they have oil (to sell) and they have a military that is large enough to scare people. The war is over, we lost.

White House Issues Veto Threat of Sequestration Bill

The Obama White House on Sept. 12 issued a sharp veto threat of a bill tailored to avoid Pentagon budget cuts slated to take effect in January. Sequestration The Democratic Dream come True.

its not political there is plenty of money if they take it from those areas. besides there are calls to audit the pentagon, why not medicare/aid, SS, SNAP and so on. what do you fear of audit and regulation to those programs, i dont fear a pentagon audit

Social Security and most of Medicare funding come from a completely separate revenue stream that has nothing whatsoever to do with the defense budget. Those monies collected for those programs by law can only be used for those programs. In addition you may think its great to cut all the other stuff, but the elderly in this country, who happen to be the single largest growing portion of the demographics probably won’t agree, so in a place called a democracy your approach is DOA.

I think both sides bare plenty of blame. That, or you don’t think the threat of lawsuits brought by the Clinton administration against the lending industry that led to the huge numbers of people that received subprime loans and never had any business being in mortgages in the first place contributed to the eventual housing bubble burst at all. Get over the partisan BS, I agree the blame Bush thing is tired and pathetic. Every President except Washington inherited the problems from before, if this is a big hang up for Obama he didn’t have to run now or then.

They are taking losses. Last article I read we the tax payers will lose money on the auto bailouts and never make back what was paid. Some bank bailouts are still outstanding, and the nearly 50 banks closed are pure loss.

ICBMs are nukes, I think you’re being far too simplistic. The 2 biggest reasons the F22 hasn’t been used yet was the damn thing was suffocating pilots and they knew it, and it’s systems essentially don’t communicate with anything else we use.

I am not talking about what % of the GDP, the rate of increase in defense spending for the 10 out years before the $480 billion in cuts that were announced was 8–9% annually over the next ten years. That was not fiscally realistic. That is part of out of control spending.

You need to get your head out of your butt and actually do some homework on the aging F-15 fleet the actual capabilities of the F-22 and you would see that we actually need MORE F-22s because there is nothing else in the entire U.S. besides the F-22 that can deal with the T-50 (soon to be SU-50 ) not to mention the SU-30s or and the SU-35 that will use the F-15s for target practice. As good as the F-18 E/Fs are they will have a very hard time with the Su-30s and the Su-35 will dominate the super hornet, Which puts are carriers at risk. The Chinese are starting to buy SU-35s from Russia which is bad news for the Navy, and thanks to the RAPTOR which the Pentagon has kept out of the fight, the Airforce has something that can go up against them and win in an air to air conflict.

Exactly, taking from medicare, SS, or other entitlement benefits are political suicide. It’s just seen too negatively by huge portions of the voting public.

Defense cuts aren’t taken with big smiles by voters, but cuts to Defense are viewed more favorably than entitlements.

They have less in absolute terms to pay. Even mere subsistence requires sales taxes to go to the government, even if you pay “next to nothing” in income taxes.

Gosh a blog read by the folks who are sucking at the taxpayers tit building useless war toys thinks we should, wait for it, spend more money keeping them employed. The pentagon should be cut by 50% and the money used to build things to educate our citizens and help our economy. I played Army when I was a kid, but grew out of it.


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