By: Jeffrey Klein
Political Buzz Examiner
Character, honor and integrity are in short supply in the Obama Administration, but thankfully not in the case of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who has refused to have the Pentagon plan for the Democrat-demanded sequester budget cuts, because they would demonstrably threaten the integrity of the United States military throughout the world.
And yesterday, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives joined him in the fight by passing a bill, by a pretty much party line vote of 218-199, which would prevent the $55 billion in cuts to the 2013 Pentagon budget, according to a FOXNews article today.
The Pentagon faces more than $500 billion in budget cuts over the next decade, due to the failure of the so-called “supercommittee” agree on a deficit-reducing plan last fall, to offset a second stage $1.1 trillion increase in the U.S. borrowing limit to avoid a government shutdown–after U.S. debt had been downgraded.
According to the deal, an equal amount of “across-the-board” budget cuts must come from entitlement programs, particularly Medicare and Medicaid, which have been identified by every credible source around the world as being unsustainable.
However, as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said the bill will not pass his chamber unless tax [rate] increases are also part of the mix, the vote Thursday is largely symbolic, while Democrats dominate the Senate.
As usual, The White House had also issued a veto threat.
Why would Republicans not want to maintain the original “fair and balanced” deal?
Because President Obama had already tasked Defense Secretary Leon Panetta with cutting the defense budget by 10 percent over 10 years, as a gesture toward reducing the $1 trillion per year budget deficit his Administration has run since coming into office.
So, after performing a top-down reevaluation of the entire Department of Defense according to President Obama’s overall plan to “re-shape” and downsize the U.S. military, back on January 26, 2012, Panetta, along with the Joint Chiefs Chairman-Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, briefed the press on the substantial budget reductions included in their 2013 budget submission, according to Jim Garamone’s same day article in the Armed Forces Press Service.
Panetta’s new budget already has the DOD on the path to save $259 billion over the next five years and $487 billion over the next 10 years.
Sequester calls for $500 billion over 10 years–Panetta already cut $487 billion.
And this is exactly why that on February 14, 2012, in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, that Panetta stated that The Pentagon is making no plans to prepare for half-a-trillion dollars in mandatory budget cuts scheduled to take effect in less than a year, according to Anna Mulrine’s February 14, 2012 Christian Science Monitor article.
Panetta said that the [additional] cuts mandated by sequester represent a “doomsday scenario” for the American military that would “virtually devastate” national defense.
Mr. Panetta emphasized the point, warning lawmakers that the cuts amount to a “meat ax” that “we are convinced would hollow out the force and inflict severe damage on our national defense.”
For that reason, top Pentagon brass say they refuse to even humor the possibility. “As the president has pointed out and I’ve emphasized, we are not paying attention to sequester.”
This is exactly what Barack Obama wants to happen.
First, he can claim [to his anti-military base] that he reduced military spending by 10 percent over 10 years–presumably to free up more money in the budget for the Liberal-loved “social welfare” programs.
Second, not matter this it is a current, contemporary fact, Democrats will not recognize Panetta’s budget cuts as meeting the requirement of the sequester…because they were ‘already made,’ and sequester requires ‘new cuts.’
So, this stalemate will likely save the devastation of the U.S. military, but give Democrats an out from having to implement the sequester on Medicare and Medicaid before the election, giving them an another “apparent victory”–exactly according to Barack Obama’s plan.
However, much the same way as the “apparent victory” of Obamacare gave Democrats a historic “shellacking” in November 2010, the way things are going so far, it appears that November 2012 is going to be much worse–because the silent majority sees right through it all.