As part of the current coalition government’s defence reform efforts, the UK Ministry of Defence has begun issuing a bare-bones 10-year equipment plan of expected budgets, and graphics of planned expenditures by category. A fuller plan is submitted to Britain’s National Audit Office for review. The plan itself is a step forward, and so are some of its underlying practices. Even if the document as a whole falls short of being a useful contribution to public debate.
Summaries of some key changes, and information, can be found below.
Alan Krueger, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers (to the White House), on the reason why US GDP contracted by 0.1% in Q4 2012:
“Federal defense purchases declined at an annual rate of 22.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, the largest quarterly decline in 40 years. A likely explanation for the sharp decline in Federal defense spending is uncertainty concerning the automatic spending cuts that were scheduled to take effect in January.”
Emphasis on “likely” is ours: you would think advisers to the executive branch of the federal government would know for sure why it is spending less in response to a budget situation that it co-authored with Congress.
Senator Hagel’s confirmation hearing with the Senate’s Armed Services Committee is unfolding today, 9:30am-noon ET. In his opening statement, new Ranking Member Jim Inhofe (R-OK) confirmed that he thought Hagel was “the wrong person” for what Inhofe characterized as a record of appeasement of the United States’ enemies. C-Span video.