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Obama’s Budget, Non-State of the Union and the F-22 February 26, 2009

Posted by Stephen Abott in Analysis, News.
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President Obama has released his official FY 2010 top line budget request. The DOD will receive $533.7 billion, this is somewhat lower than the reported Obama post-pass back level of $537 billion. The new number constitutes a 4% increase over FY 2009. Obama also requested $75.5 billion for the second tranche of FY 2009 war supplemental funding and expected the FY 2010 supplemental to be $130 billion. Thus, total defense spending for FY 2009 will be $654.7 billion and FY 2010 will add $10 billion to0 that level.

This level of spending is at a historically high level, with defense increases between 2000 and 2008 already eclipsing the Reagan era buildup and the Vietnam expansion. However, the Obama number is closer to the original OMB pass back than the DOD’s “wish list” budget of $584 billion. While some consider this higher number necessary, it was never scrubbed by OMB and only served as an internal and unusually large DOD budget planning document.

In Tuesday night’s pseudo-State of the Union, Obama called for bringing the defense acquisition system under control – as Defense News reports, funding is likely to shift towards “long-term warfare challenges”. In the coming weeks, these details will be released and a more clear picture will emerge about funding priorities.

Finally, Secretary Gates is set to decide on March 1st whether he will pave the way for additional F-22 acquisitions. This decision may give additional insight into future DOD programming decisions.

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