News Release

Ryan Budget: Increases Pentagon, “Out of Touch”


House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) unveiled a 2013 budget plan today.

Hartung is a senior research fellow in the New America Foundation’s American Strategy Program and author of the book Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex, which is just being released in paperback. He said today: “While pretending to make the ‘tough choices,’ Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget cutting plan gives a free ride to the largest single item in the discretionary budget: Pentagon spending. In fact, Ryan would spend $400 billion MORE over the next decade than current Pentagon plans. That will result in harsh cuts to virtually every other domestic program. By contrast, the budget developed by the Sustainable Defense Task Force, a plan endorsed by Representatives Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Ron Paul (R-Texas), would reduce military expenditures by $1 trillion over the next ten years. This can be done without undermining our security, by taking measures such as eliminating outmoded and unnecessary conventional weapons, cutting the Army and Marines back to pre-2001 levels, and eliminating plans for new nuclear bombers, submarines and weapons factories.

“Even as Ryan goes easy on the Pentagon, Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney offers the arms industry an unprecedented bonanza. His plan, which would keep Pentagon spending at 4 percent of Gross Domestic Product, would result in $8 trillion more in Pentagon spending over the next decade, roughly 25 percent more than even Ryan’s generous plan. If Romney endorses the Ryan plan, it is fair to ask whether he is going to eliminate his prior commitment to massive Pentagon budgets or simply pretend the differences between the two approaches don’t exist. That would be a huge deception, if he’s allowed to get away with it.”

ROBERT KRAIG, robert.kraig at
Kraig is executive director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. He said today: “It is shameful that Paul Ryan and the House Republicans are proposing massive cuts that will further threaten economic and health security for 99% of Americans to fund billions of dollars in irresponsible new tax giveaways for the wealthy.”

KAREN DOLAN, via Lacy MacAuley, lacy at
Dolan, fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and director of IPS’s Cities for Progress project, said today: “Ryan unveiled a 2013 budget plan that would impose unnecessary hardship on already hurting Americans. Before the economy has had a chance to bounce back, the GOP budget would slash critical safety net programs to rates below what both parties had agreed to in last summer’s Budget Control Act. At the same time, the Ryan budget would give tax breaks to the wealthy and to corporations. I think this shows not only that the GOP is wildly out of touch with average Americans, but that they lack the ability to lead us anywhere but off a cliff. We need revenues, investments, jobs and a strong safety net for the millions of Americans who continue to suffer from the 2008 recession. Tax breaks for the rich and less for everyone else is an idea which has already failed the vast majority of Americans.”