In his Feb. 1 Point of View “ McHenry’s mission,” Matthew Leatherman showed his familiarity with the politicians who will negotiate the federal budget deal. Big questions remain, however.
What is the president’s $74 billion increase for? Leatherman says $35 billion is for the Pentagon. The newest war against ISIL was projected to need $5 billion, and as of October the Pentagon said it had sufficient funds to cover it.
Are we in for another budget-busting, protracted Middle East war or is the additional $30 billion to cover the scandalous cost overruns for the F-35, which even the Pentagon brass has questioned?
Leatherman said, “Cutting domestic priorities in order to release the Pentagon from fiscal discipline won’t do it.” I totally agree. It is past time for the spending spree at the Pentagon to end.
As former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said in 2010 when he was announcing cuts to the Pentagon budget, “The culture of endless money that has taken hold must be replaced by a culture of restraint.”