In comments that started with “I’m not saying we should be exempt,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta united to insist that neither of their departments could bear any serious budget cuts, as either would “undermine national security.”
Indeed, not only were the two opposed to further budget cuts, they were railing against the trivial moves already approved to slow the growth of their enormous budgets. Panetta declared that going through with the cuts would “break faith with troops and their family.”
The Defense Department is committed to make “$350 billion” in cuts over the next decade, but those cuts are largely backloaded into the final two years and even then are largely cuts in the rate of growth of the budget, which is currently the largest in the history of mankind and is only assumed to grow larger every year.
Faced with massive deficits, however, a number of politicians in both parties are growing more and more willing to consider the military as a place to cut. Though Panetta was originally brought in with hopes he would be open to cost-cutting, it is clear this is not the case.
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