Prelude to a Trigger

Both CBO and OMB in the last week released sequestration reports, technical reports that detail whether the government is adhering to discretionary spending caps. Normally, these are unnoteworthy reports, but there is a small detail in the most recent ones that is worth noting.

‘Line’ Items: Playoff Edition

Playoffs in Full Swing – The Packers packed it in; the Broncos got busted; the Saints went marching out; and Houston had a problem as the NFL Playoffs eliminated more contenders in the annual march towards crowning a champion. Challengers were eliminated in the presidential contest as well as former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman backed out and more may fall away after Saturday’s South Carolina primary.

Defense Cuts in the Flesh, Pt. 2

As we mentioned on Tuesday, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was scheduled to roll out the strategic outline for the Pentagon's future. Earlier today, the Obama Administration released its strategic guidance report and held a press conference with both President Obama and Secretary Panetta speaking.

Defense Cuts in the Flesh

According to today's New York Times, a report from Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will be revealed this week on how the Pentagon will meet its required spending reductions. The discretionary cuts agreed to by Congress and the White House this summer called for about $450 billion in defense reductions over ten years.

We Need a War Spending Cap

One of the most popular budget gimmicks in Washington right now is the war savings gimmick.

13th and 14th Plans Added to Super Committee Tracker

Two more recent recommendations have been added to our Super Committee submissions tracker, dealing with defense and health care.

Two Letters to the Super Committee on Defense and Medicare

Two more submissions have recently been made to the Super Committee, adding to what is becoming an interesting list of ideas for them to draw inspiration from.

What Congress Needs to Do in the Next Two Weeks

Congress has a long checklist of things it has to do by the end of September. On Tuesday, it informally crossed one thing off when the House passed a "clean" extension of transportation programs through at least the end of the year. The Senate should pass it soon as well.

Wartime Contracting Commission Finds Significant Waste in War Spending

The Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, created by Congress in 2008, has issued its final report, showing that there has been anywhere from $30 billion to $60 billion lost due to contract waste or fraud associated with the wars. Luckily, the report not only details the problems that have arisen with contracting over the past decade, but also gives fifteen recommendations on how to remedy the poor performance.

Defense Business Board Recommends Military Retirement Changes

Defense spending is an area within the federal budget where significant savings can be found, and specifically within the military retirement system. Just take a look at the roughly 30 fiscal plans that have been proposed and you will see that several of them recommend savings from not just civilian but military retirement programs too.

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