Budget Baloney

Many are rightly criticizing the Romney-Ryan budget plan, which would slash funds for needed social programs while providing additional tax cuts for the super-rich. Less attention has focused on the candidates’ proposals for military spending, which are equally distorted. The Ryan budget plan would reduce spending on veteran’s benefits, while providing additional funds for weapons and military programs that even military leaders believe are unnecessary.

According to a recent message from Veterans for Common Sense, Rep. Ryan’s 2013 budget plan would cut $11 billion from benefit programs for veterans. It would replace current veteran’s health programs with a voucher system, as Ryan has proposed for Social Security. Costs for veterans would increase.

A recent analysis from the National Priorities Project shows that over the next decade the Ryan plan would cut $1.28 trillion from discretionary non-defense programs such as education, the environment and the social safety net, while adding almost $600 billion in additional military spending. This is more than Pentagon leaders advocate.  When the Joint Chiefs of Staff testified before Congress that they support the Obama administration’s modest reductions in projected military budget increases, Ryan publicly questioned their veracity, drawing a rebuke from Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey.

Romney and Ryan claim to be concerned about reducing budget deficits, but their proposals would significantly increase the budget deficit. They vow to support veterans but propose slashing their health programs. They say they want to shrink the size of government, but they propose increasing the budget of the largest and most wasteful government bureaucracy, the Pentagon, disregarding even military assessments of appropriate spending levels.

Thanks to Veterans for Common Sense and National Priorities Project for helping to expose this hypocrisy.

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