The budget deal announced this week increases spending caps by more than $300 billion, and funds the military with $733 billion. While the bill is not through the woods yet, it already has massive implications for the Department of Defense. Gen. Larry Spencer (Ret.), 37th vice chief of staff at the Air Force, says that this money is not insignificant, but it’s the lowest amount the Pentagon needs.
“The amount of money is not unimportant. If you look at the budget deal that was recently agreed to, there are some issues with the amount. If you look at 2020 as an example, the overall growth is about 3%, both the Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs said that they need at least 3-5% real growth to continue the buildup and sustainability of the military,” Spencer said.
Bryan Clark, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, says that the growing budgets are a concern to everyone, including the Defense Department.
“They’re looking out 5-10 years and saying at some point, we’re going to reach some kind of debt wall, where we need to start reconciling the interest on the debt if nothing else. It’s now rising to the point where it’s going to be almost as much as the defense budget. In about 10 years, we’re going to have to figure out if we have to cut defense spending to fund the interest on the debt,” Clark said.