The Bush administration’s Fiscal Year 2009 budget for the Department of Defense came in at $513 billion. That does not include the ongoing costs of the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. It’s by far the largest number in the world. And it represents a huge increase in the baseline budget from where it was in FY2001. And, to repeat, that’s not because the budget has gone up because of the wars. Well, the Office of Management and Budget was preparing to tell the Pentagon to spend $527 billion—a $14 billion increase—in FY2010. But the Pentagon wanted to spend $584 billion. So they had this effort underway to protray Obama’s $14 billion hike as a $57 billion cut. And now Spencer Ackerman tells me that the administration is starting to cave and promising a $537 total budget.
I expect conservatives concerned about overspending and especially deficit-averse Blue Dogs to be leading the charge against these kind of wasteful outlays.*
* I do not, in fact, expect any such thing—those guys are huge hypocrites.