By Robert Levinson and Kevin Brancato
White House and Pentagon officials may be able to protect some favored weapons programs from $55 billion in budget reductions slated to take effect Jan. 2, 2013.
Depending on how the White House interprets the law requiring the cuts, Department of Defense budget planners may be able to choose which programs to shrink or eliminate to meet budget reduction targets.
Since the Budget Control Act was enacted in August, Defense leaders have warned that the additional budget cuts, known as sequestration, will have dire, even catastrophic consequences. Shortly after the law was passed Defense Secretary Leon Panetta described the sequestration cuts as a “doomsday mechanism.”
The $55 billion reduction would cut the fiscal 2013 defense budget by 13 percent if President Barack Obama exempts military pay as expected, Dr. Jamie Morin, comptroller of the Air Force, said during a March 1 speech at the Stimson Center in Washington, DC.
A Bloomberg Government Insight (subscription required), explains how the 13 percent budget reduction could vary and what it means for defense planners when they choose which program elements within each budget activity will be cut.
OMB’s interpretation of the Budget Control Act and its sequestration instructions to agencies will be critical in setting the parameters within which the Pentagon determines which programs bear the brunt of its $55 billion in cuts.
Kevin Brancato is a defense analyst at Bloomberg Government. Before joining Bloomberg, he was a management scientist at the RAND Corporation, where he analyzed weapon system costs and defense manpower policies. He received a B.A. in math from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University.
Analyst Archives: Studies & Analysis»
Robert Levinson is a defense analyst at Bloomberg Government. He is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force with more than 20 years of service. Levinson worked for Booz Allen Hamilton as a strategic communications consultant. He has a bachelor’s degree from the United States Air Force Academy and a masters from the University of California, San Diego.
Analyst Archives: Studies & Analysis »