The Pentagon’s Fuzzy Math: What Defense “Cuts” Really Mean

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If you’ve been paying attention, you may have heard that President Obama has pledged to cut $400 billion out of security spending between now and 2023. But what you may not know is that the $400 billion won’t be a cut as far as Joe and Jane Taxpayer are concerned. Todd Harrison, Washington’s defense-budget wizard, says letting Pentagon spending grow along with inflation, between now and 2023, actually will yield more than the $400 billion in savings Obama is seeking. Keep your eye on the ball here: the $400 billion in cuts aren’t cuts as you and I understand them — they are reductions in the projected future rate of growth. And because defense spending has close to doubled over the past decade — with future spending increases folded into future budget plans as naturally as dew forms on the morning grass — the U.S. military finds trimming its future spending to the rate of inflation a near-death experience.

Read on (plus charts!) at Battleland.