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Sunday, March 21, 2004
 
John Solomon must have been on deadline
so he probably didn't have time to research the facts behind the latest RNC talking points:
"...surprise plan to trim $43 billion in spending a decade ago...

...When Kerry introduced his plan, he focused his arguments on an overall cut of $43 billion over several years and the elimination of wasteful or unnecessary domestic programs, hardly mentioning the money he wanted cut from military and intelligence programs..."
This was in the form of Senate amendment 1452 to H.R. 3759. It had 7 co-sponsors. It proposed total defense and intelligence cuts for the fiscal year of $3.96 billion-less than ten percent of the total proposed cuts and about 1 percent of the annual defense budget-maybe that's why he "hardly mentioned" it. Since that's what the article is about, I'm surprised Mr. Solomon didn't mention this number.

$1.1 billion was to freeze procurement of Trident II missiles-this was the end of the Cold War, remember?

$900 million was to finish de-funding the Reagan era Star Wars program, with the caveat that the money could stay if it were transferred from "Strategic Defense Intelligence" to "Theater Defense Intelligence". Moving from a Global Nuclear Defense force to a Theater Defense Force in 1994-sounds like a good idea to me.

$1 billion was to be taken out of the NSC intelligence budget. One year later, Sen Arlen Specter(r) proposed the same cut, which was passed into law. The reason was that the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO-very secret) was alleged to have $1.7 billion in unspent funds that they were hoarding and not reporting to their bosses. Kerry was a co-sponsor of Specter's bill in 1995. Subsequent investigations showed that the allegations of an unspent "slush fund" were true.

Kerry's amendment was voted down and not included in the final Bill.

Interestingly, when HR 3759 finally came out of Joint Committee and was signed into law as PL103-211, it did contain nearly $1 billion in additional fiscal year defense/intelligence cuts.

It's amazing how many journalists a huge campaign war chest can buy, isn't it?
 
Shouting into the closet to inform and entertain the 10 people who actually read this thing. In our new format as an online magazine, we take pride in our reporting and opinions. Please leave reader feedback on our online magazine message board so that we can better serve you.

“There’s a lot of money to pay for this that doesn’t have to be U.S. taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people…and on a rough recollection, the oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years…We’re dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.” -Paul Wolfowitz

Cost of the War in Iraq
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