Tony Capaccio reports that Defense Secretary Robert Gates is trying to get at least some control of defense spending over the long-term:
Gates, who plans to brief congressional leaders tomorrow, has received guidance from the White House that about $554 billion for defense, not including war spending, will be part of the budget that the administration will submit to Congress for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. That figure is $12 billion less than what the Pentagon planned, yet still allows for real growth over the fiscal 2011 budget, an analyst said. If implemented, the five-year cut would represent about a 2.67 percent reduction to what is a $2.99 trillion defense plan, not including war spending
This reporting ends with some appropriate cynicism:
Congress may add some of that money back in. An increase to $554 billion would represent growth of about 4.5 percent in nominal terms, or about 2.5 percent after adjusting for inflation, Daggett said.
Bet the bank that Republicans such as John McCain will lead the charge to adding back what little this Administration has decided to carve out of the original $3 trillion defense plan. We are not going to see significant reductions in overall Federal spending even if the new Speaker does push through his plans to have large cuts in small programs.