Veterans group pans budget deal as irresponsible, threat to national security
ARLINGTON, Va.—As lawmakers and the administration reached an agreement on a two-year, bipartisan budget, Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) Executive Director Nate Anderson released the following statement criticizing the deal:
“National security is not a function of military might alone; it requires principled leaders willing to make difficult decisions in tenuous situations. Unfortunately, this budget deal shows a lack of that leadership and an unwillingness to see the fiscal writing on the wall and address the snowballing debt crisis. Plunging our great country even further into debt puts at risk our nation’s security and prosperity that our veterans fought and sacrificed for. This budget deal is irresponsible and nothing more than kicking the can down the road at the expense of the American public and future generations.”
The budget deal would raise spending levels by $320 billion and extend the debt limit until at least 2021, adding about $2 trillion to the national debt over the next 10 years. For defense, the topline is $738 billion for fiscal 2020, and $740.5 billion for fiscal 2021.
“While we are pleased to see that VA community care funding remains in the discretionary portion of the budget, this deal continues the trend of increasing overall spending without pursuing commonsense cost-saving measures. Our country cannot afford to allow lawmakers to exploit potential budget crises and massively increase spending while avoiding opportunities to instruct government agencies like the DoD and VA to reform. We will continue working to secure our country’s financial future and will work with those leaders with the principles and foresight to do the same.”
According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the U.S. is on a trajectory to see spending and debt explode, with public debt reaching 185% of GDP in 30 years. But even that’s a rosy scenario which assumes Congress sticks to the budget caps. This deal would put us squarely on target to see the worst-case scenario projected by the CBO of spending soaring to 33% of GDP and debt spiraling to 219% of GDP. Congress should consider a plan that either sticks with the spending caps, or allows for restrained growth in discretionary spending, and coupled with reforms to mandatory spending. A menu of options for such reforms can be found here in AFP’s latest reporton the spending and debt crisis.