PUTS me in mind of the two middle-aged Midwestern sisters who skimped and saved and finally got to take a vacation to California and see the ocean for the first time.
"Look at all that water," says one.
"Yes," says the other. "And that's just the top of it."
...the Senate Appropriations Committee last week unveiled its spending caps for fiscal year 2013 — without a big defense cut. The appropriators proposed nonwar defense spending (“base” spending) just $2.9 billion below 2011. That cut, less than 1 percent, comes entirely from the military construction and family housing budget — not exactly the pointy end of the spear….
Compared with 2011 spending, the deal requires only a minor trim in security budgets: $4.5 billion in 2012 and $2.5 billion in 2013. And that reduction — pocket change in a $529 billion annual defense budget — need not even come from the Pentagon.
The legislation defines “security” spending as Defense, Homeland Security, Veterans, State and the National Nuclear Security Administration, a part of the Energy Department.
To get under the 2012 cap, Senate appropriators took $3.5 billion from State and around a half-billion from Homeland Security. Veterans and NNSA got small increases. Defense dodged the bullet — save for that military construction trim.
I was tempted to ask if anyone here was old enough to remember how well Gramm-Rudman worked, but, of course, that would be like marveling that Bernie Madoff would dare run a pyramid scheme even though Charles Ponzi went to prison.