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When is a cut not a cut? February 4, 2009

Posted by Molly in Analysis.

In yesterday’s Washington Post, Robert Kagan writes about the downside of cutting the Defense budget.  But he conveniently overlooks several important points which undercut his argument.  The “budget cut” that has been widely reported is, in fact, in line with past spending patterns and the most sensible route.

Kagan writes in a Washington Post editorial:

It doesn’t make fiscal sense to cut the defense budget when everyone is scrambling for measures to stimulate the economy. Already, under the current Pentagon budget, defense contractors will begin shutting down production lines in the next couple of years — putting people out of work. Rather than cutting, the Obama administration ought to be increasing defense spending. As Harvard economist Martin Feldstein recently noted on this page, defense spending is exactly the kind of expenditure that can have an immediate impact on the economy.

But what Kagan hasn’t considered are the following three points:

  1. Point
  2. Point
  3. Point


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