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View Diary: Budget sequester or no, Pentagon still will spend like a drunken sailor to fight 20th century wars (70 comments)

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    spending inside the DOD.  Clinton did this very adroitly.  So Congress has insisted that 50% of spending has to have the DOD brand on it.  But the Executive has a lot of internal control on what DOD spends, asks to spend, and proposes to Congress, through SecDef (that's one reason why the Republicans are livid at the thought of Chuck Hagel getting that job).  Anyone who's worked inside the DOD knows about end-of-fiscal-year shuffling about of funds and quick spending to use up money that will otherwise disappear not only this year, but next year as well.  There's an awful lot of managerial discretion as to what to do with the small change.  Clinton deliberately reduced spending on equipment and fancy weapons, and increased salaries and benefits for personnel.  This is directly cutting the salaries of a few hundred rich CEO contractors, in order to raise those of a million or so low and middle-grade employees.  Furthermore, by investing in base housing, housing allowances, medical care, and child care for military families, he distributed more money to communities around bases and consumer spending in general.

    The military has already initiated moves towards vehicles and base equipment, especially generators, that utilize alternative energy sources, for the simple reason that oil supplies can be a real logistic and strategic issue for troops in the field around the globe.  By shifting more money to these programs, you could use Defense money to fund and develop alternative energy technologies.  If Congress is only willing to pay for Pig, well, put lipstick on it and call it a pig.

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