Though the topline numbers in the Obama administration’s national security budget for 2010 may not make headlines, there’s a lot of newsworthy moving and shaking happening beneath the surface. The budget gives the Defense Department $533.7 billion, $20.4 billion more than last year but only a two percent jump when adjusted for inflation. However, President Obama has said several programs are on the chopping block, warning just days ago he would cut “Cold War-era weapons systems we don’t use.” The White House also claims the budget has absorbed some programs funded for the last five years in the wartime supplementals, such as security support for foreign governments and some medical programs. Another $75.5 billion supplemental was also released today, bringing Fiscal Year 2009’s war spending tab to more than $142 billion when combined with the $66 billion supplemental passed last fall. Another $130 billion war funding boost is penciled in for 2010, but the administration says supplementals will eventually be phased out altogether.
The Energy Department’s budget flatlines at $26.3 billion, though nuclear weapons spending is not broken out. Green energy initiatives get a big increase, according to the White House. Nuclear nonproliferation and cleanup programs also get more money, as do programs to extend the life of existing warheads. The Reliable Replacement Warhead—a Bush administration program to rebuild nuclear warheads—is singled out for elimination.
Homeland Security also stays relatively flat at $42.7 billion—only $500 million more than 2009—but the budget brags about more than $100 million in new spending on Transportation Department and Transportation Security Administration programs. The real winner is the State Department, which gets $51.7 million—a 40 percent increase from 2009. Foreign aid is “on a path” to double in size, and global health, USAID and the Foreign Service will all grow. The budget also funds the launch of a new “multi-year counterterrorism and law enforcement assistance program.”
For more information: Laura Peterson, laura [at] taxpayer.net