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August 23, 2012

5 Questions for Ryan at Fayetteville
Posted by Bill R. French

Today, Congressman Ryan will be attending a Defense Industry Roundtable in Fayetteville, North Carolina. If I were there, these are the top 5 questions I would ask, largely in follow up to my article last week:

1.     A recent CBS/New York Times poll found that when asked which programs they would be most willing to change to cut spending, 52 percent of Americans chose Pentagon spending and only 15 percent picked Medicare. Since you want to cut Medicare and increase Pentagon spending, can you explain why the majority of the country is wrong?

2.    Your most recent budget did not include a budget for Veterans Affairs. In fact, it did not mention “veterans” once. Why is that? Where did you plan to get money for veterans?

3.    Your most recent budget for 2013 calls for a $599 billion dollar increase in Pentagon spending over the next decade. Mitt Romney’s proposal to peg defense spending to 4% of GDP increases Pentagon spending by $2.1 trillion over the next decade. That’s a $1.5 trillion difference. What changed overnight for you to flip-flop on Pentagon spending by a $1.5?

4.    You and Governor Romney have accused the Obama Administration’s defense strategy of being “budget driven.” Yet, you and Mr. Romeny’s plan to peg defense spending to GDP is by definition a budget driven strategy. What explains this contradiction?

5.    If defense strategy should be driven by what we need to do, and not by numbers, can you explain the strategic rationale for an additional $2.1 trillion dollars? What specifically do we need that to buy and what for? As a budget guy, how do you arrive at that dollar amount?



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