Defense Authorization Offends Spending Limits

The National Defense Authorization Act blows spending caps away.

pentagon cash shredder

While we are waiting to find out what kind of budgetary betrayal the RINOs in Congress have cooked up, we already know that the NDAA is a disaster. The House has passed their version and Rebekah Johansen writes at that the Senate will take it up this week: “The NDAA agreement the House just passed is an unbelievably bad deal for taxpayers.”

Some of the most controversial provisions — and one that had snagged negotiations — has to do with military benefits. Under the final deal, troops would receive a 1-percent pay raise, along with slowed growth in their housing allowance and a $3 increase in most prescription co-pays.

Beyond the controversies, key parts of this legislation should concern everyone who cares about the budget. This measure authorizes $521 billion in base military spending and nearly $64 billion more in overseas contingency funds, including about $5 billion for the current fight in Iraq and Syria.

The NDAA is

Preventing the Defense Department from retiring the A-10, despite the fact that the Air Force itself wants to retire the aging weapon, the only concession being decreased flight hours and maintenance after the completion of a readiness study.

And, of course, no defense authorization can be complete unless we arm terrorists in the Middle East, because that has worked so well in the past and has never, ever, provided for trained terrorists to attack Americans. Thus, it includes

Authorizing President Obama’s plan to arm Syrian rebels in the fight against ISIS militants.

And that’s not all!

To add insult to injury, Congress is funding a boatload of bloated pork in this bill—things that cannot possibly be considered real defense spending in anyone’s honest appraisal.

In addition, according to a press release from Senator Ted Cruz, the measure includes quite a few provisions that are tenuously related to national security — if at all.

  • 250,000 acres of new wilderness designations 400,000 acres withdrawn from productive use (for energy, mining, timber, etc.)
  • Fifteen new national park units or park expansions
  • Eight new studies for national parks
  • Three new wild and scenic river designations, 3 new studies for additional designations
  • Study to begin the National Women’s History Museum

Not every item on these lists can solve our budget crisis alone. But unwillingness even to consider reform is yet another troubling sign that Congress has no intention of continuing with even very modest spending cuts of past years.

That’s exactly right. Nothing is a more real national security threat than our impending national bankruptcy. Yet Congress refuses to see it.