It’s time once again for a new annual military spending bill. Not only has President Obama decided that he is going to once again ignore spending caps and seek $35 billion more in the baseline defense budget than the caps allow, he is also gunning for a record.
The $534 billion base defense budget will be largest in American history. surpassing the $530 billion he got in 2012. At least on paper, overall spending is supposed to be less than back then, as the emergency war funding tacked on top of that baseline budget was greater in 2012.
Yet the emergency funding for wars in 2016 is just a placeholder at this point, and almost always ends up far larger than anyone planned. The ISIS war is continuing to escalate, and where it will be by 2016 is anyone’s guess, but the smart money is on it being expensive.
$534 billion should be seen as a bare minimum the baseline budget will be as well, since Congress often decides to throw extra money into pet programs neither the administration or the Pentagon ever sought, and ends up delivering more money than requested.