For three straight budget cycles, the Obama White House has strained to escape the strictures of the Budget Control Act aimed at limiting federal spending. Its big gambit for fiscal 2015 is something called the Opportunity, Growth and Security Initiative that would provide $56 billion in budget authority above spending caps, split evenly between defense and domestic agencies. About $10 billion of the money would go to buying weapons, an amount that could make the difference between the defense industry’s domestic military sales going up or down in the next fiscal year. But because of the way the initiative is structured, industry cannot support the additional military spending without also supporting increases for the White House’s domestic agenda. Congress could do the industry a big favor by insisting that the defense and domestic parts of the initiative be dealt with separately, so companies don’t have to support climate research or aid to distressed neighborhoods in order to secure more funding for military modernization. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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