Will the President’s order for a reduction to the military budget affect your military pay? According to Leon Panetta, the real problem for your military paycheck lies in the possibility of "automatic cuts" to the defense budget.
In a message to all Defense Department personnel, Panetta acknowledged the tough choices ahead for the U.S., balancing fiscal solvency wit national security. Panetta is a veteran of politically contentious budget cuts, from his position as Clinton administration Budget Director and House Budget Committee chairman - making him no stranger to tough decisions.
Thus, Panetta urged lawmakers to find revenue sources by raising taxes and cutting entitlement programs, and warned Congress to fulfill their deficit reduction legislation, declaring the additional 'automatic' defense budget cuts to be completely unmanageable.
DANGEROUS 'AUTOMATIC' CUTS
What are "automatic cuts" to the budget and what do they mean for you and your military family?
Congress is charged with creating additional deficit reduction legislation by the end of 2011, otherwise, Obama's debt reduction bill forces Pentagon officials to "automatically cut" an additional $500 billion to $600 billion from the defense budget by 2021.
When added to the current $400 billion budget cut, the total is $1 trillion in defense spending cuts over 10 years.
According to Pancetta, these ‘automatic cuts’ would be disastrous: threatening national security, and attacking the welfare of military personnel and their families
THE DEBT CEILING AND YOUR MILITARY BUDGET
In his proposed debt ceiling deal, President Obama ordered the Pentagon to identify $400 billion dollars of baseline defense budget cuts between 2011 and 2021from the Pentagon’s 2010 $680 billion annual budget for baseline and war-fighting expenses.
These defense spending cuts are to be spread across many of the Pentagon's budget accounts, requiring furloughs, layoffs and reductions in training and procurement budgets.
The Defense Department responded to the budget reduction plan signaling a new era of austerity for the Pentagon and the start of a long political battle: where exactly to cut military spending.
While everyone agreed we to US spending reduction, no one wants these cuts in their own "backyard." Some worry that cutting military budgets will have long term adverse affects on the security of our nation, and will deny the well deserved payback to our loyal military servicemembers today and for the future.
FINANCIAL SOLVENCY V. NATIONAL SECURITY
According to Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, a $400 billion defense spending cut is manageable, while still maintaining high standards of military efficiency. Responsibly transitioning U.S. military out of Iraq and Afghanistan is already expected to reduce defense spending in the coming years.
However, the threat of an additional half trillion dollars in across-the-board 'automatic' cuts has Defense officials concerned.