DoD Shifts Spending Focus, Prepares for Technologies of the Future
April 22, 2014 12:02 PM
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Major budget cuts could have ramifications for all US military branches in the years to come.
Due to increased scrutiny and frustration, the U.S. federal government is
shifting monetary budgets
with procurement and research and development projects likely receiving a $66 billion cut if spending caps aren’t adjusted.
The current five-year spending plan is more than $115 billion above mandated defense-spending caps, which could have major ramifications. The budget cuts would hit everything from the
Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II
Airbus Light Utility Helicopter
Boeing KC-46 tanker
. In addition, the U.S. Army wouldn’t be able to acquire new Black Hawk helicopters and Stryker double-hull vehicles might also face cancellation.
Boeing KC46A Tanker [Image Source: Wikipedia]
Moving forward, the DoD will focus on research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E), with an estimated $63 billion spent in 2014 alone. One of the business sectors of the RDT&E program, the Future Years Defense Plan, will see its budget continually drop – from $20 billion in 2009 down to $10 billion by 2018.
“There’s a difference between spending money and spending money smartly,” said James Hasik, Atlantic Council senior fellow. “There are folks out in the world who make the argument that you have to spread money around the world wildly, because money spent on research is just good because it just leads to development. This is not a compelling argument because there are dead ends against which you can continue to apply money and not get very far.”
DoD officials want to make sure basic research funding and early-stage development both receive funding through the red tape, though this will force other future military technology research onto the shelf.
Congress is evaluating another wave of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) papers in 2017, giving the DoD the ability to close bases on an individual basis.
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RE: US was folowing the USSR
4/22/2014 10:34:44 PM
Just what do you hope to achieve in the economy with entitlement cuts?
A balanced budget, for a change. A steady draw-down of the national debt, back toward a safe and sustainable fraction of the GDP.
Unless we do the above -- and soon -- we will all go broke as a nation. Our currency will be on a guaranteed trajectory to worthlessness, because we
eventually be forced to default.
The only times debt financing makes sense, is in the context of:
1) investment into major long-term projects that are reasonably assured to eventually more than pay off the initial investment
2) dealing with an unplanned-for catastrophe that must be tackled in the here and now despite the fact that saved cash isn't available or is insufficient to do so
Day-to-day spending on wage or health care subsidies does not fit that bill. As you obliquely note, it's nothing but pulled-forward demand. It's the economic analogue of the 'stimulus' a meth junkie gets from a hit; over time the 'stimulus' ceases to stimulate and becomes a mere daily necessity of survival. Then, when the next big crisis unfolds, there's no more ammunition left in the 'stimulus' magazine -- it's all been frittered away on non-emergency everyday necessities -- while the health of the financial body is so severely compromised that it's unable to tackle the additional insult. What follows, is financial death.
So, what would one hope to achieve with a balanced budget? The answer is nothing short of long-term fiscal survival. The near-term withdrawal agony is inevitable, of course. But it sure as hell beats death.
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