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Is the Pentagon no longer a sacred cow?

Aug 29, 2012

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President Obama spoke at the Pentagon, on January 5, 2012 in Washington, DC. Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have decried defense cuts, put in place by the Obama administration, that are scheduled to start going into effect in January unless overturned by Congress.

The cuts, known as “sequestration,” are designed to cut $500 billion from the Department of Defense over the next ten years. The first casualties are likely to be jobs in the federal workforce, rather than defense contractors, research and development or weapons procurement, as those budget outlays have already been made. Romney and Ryan have suggested that, if elected, they’ll fast-track Republican legislation that shifts the burden of cuts to other programs.

But the candidates have been silent on the fact that Ryan – along with 173 other Republicans – voted for the Budget Control Act that included the defense trigger cuts. Rather, the campaign has focused on the inherent peril the nation faces in reducing defense programs, and the massive blow it will deal to the economy.

How will the GOP address defense spending in their platform? If elected, will Romney be able to reverse the trajectory of sequestration that Congress voted into effect? What will he put on the chopping block instead?

Guest:

Mattie Duppler, Director of Budget & Regulatory Policy, Americans for Tax Reform

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