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CBO – Options for Reducing Defense Budgets to Meet Funding Limits Under the Budget Control Act

Options for Reducing Defense Budgets to Meet Funding Limits Under the Budget Control Act
Source: Congressional Budget Office

In a report released a few weeks ago, CBO presented its projections of the long-term costs of the Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) plans and highlighted the mismatch between those costs and the funding limits imposed by the Budget Control Act (BCA) through 2021. That mismatch, CBO estimates, would average about $60 billion to about $90 billion a year, depending on the cost assumptions used in the analysis. In percentage terms, satisfying the BCA limits in 2021, for example, would require that DoD’s budget be roughly 10 percent to 20 percent below the projected costs of DoD’s plans for that year, CBO estimates.

Today’s post describes several options—as discussed in CBO’s March 2013 report, Approaches for Scaling Back the Defense Department’s Budget Plans—that DoD could use to bring its budgets down to levels consistent with the BCA limits. The Strategic Choices and Management Review (SCMR) that DoD completed a few months after the release of CBO’s March study seems to have taken a similar approach and reached similar conclusions.

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