Chimpy submits another record requestfor blood money.
President George W. Bush’s record request for defense funding for 2008 may set up a fight with the Democratic Congress, keen to examine the budget for questionable spending.
Bush will request a $716 billion for defense spending and the global war on terror in his fiscal 2008 budget next week, according to a Pentagon document. The military funding request is greater than the annual gross domestic product of all but 14 countries.
The request to Congress includes $93.4 billion in additional money for fiscal 2007 to cover costs of the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. The remaining $622.6 billion would cover the year ending Sept. 30, 2008, and includes $141.7 billion for the wars.
Congress has already promised increased scrutiny of the additional funding request for 2007, wary that it will include items that should be funded in the annual budget, such as $389 million requested to buy two Lockheed Martin Corp. Joint Strike Fighters that won’t be operational until 2012 to replace F-16 fighters lost in Iraq.
Fiscal 2007 defense spending will total about $622 billion if Congress approves the second half of the emergency wartime funding requested next week.
“That is more than we have spent, in real, inflation- adjusted dollars, in any year since the height of the Korean war and about $140 billion more in today’s dollars than we spent at the height of the Vietnam War,” Steven Kosiak, a defense analyst with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment in Washington, said in an e-mailed statement.
The fiscal 2008 request will represent the 10th consecutive year of growth in the defense budget after a post-Cold War low point in 1998.
The cost of the wars in fiscal 2007 would rise to $163.4 billion, $45.4 billion more than was approved in fiscal 2006 for wartime spending, if Congress approves the additional $93.4 billion. That figure is about $3.3 billion less than the $99.7 billion that the Pentagon estimated in December that it would need.