Media Advisory: Defense Budget Tutorials

  • What is the real size of the 2006 defense budget? (It’s not what you’ve been told.)
  • How can you add up to $12 billion in pork to a defense appropriations bill and simultaneously reduce the bill by over $4 billion? (When Congress said it “saved” the money, what actually happened to it?)
  • What is “emergency” spending, and why is Congress addicted to it?
  • What is “pork?” How can some of it be a good idea and still be “pork?”
  • Congressional defense reform: Is anything actually getting better?

In December 2005, Congress passed “defense spending” legislation advertised to cost $453 billion. The actual amount for 2006 defense spending is in reality a very different amount. Among a complex menagerie of gimmicks and dodges, Congress actually “saved” little, if any, money, and billions of dollars were diverted away from military readiness to be spent on programs almost no one in Washington, D.C., understands, let alone monitors.

These are just a few of the findings of a new series of “Defense Budget Tutorials” to be released by the Straus Military Reform Project of the Center for Defense Information in Washington. Once each week, between now and Feb. 6, when President George W. Bush will release his new 2007 defense budget request, there will be a new “tutorial.” They will be authored by the Director of the Straus Military Reform Project, Winslow T. Wheeler, who previously spent 31 years working for U.S. senators, from both political parties, and for the Government Accountability Office.

The first tutorial, “What is the Actual Size of the 2006 Defense Budget?” will be released on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2006.