Photo courtesy of Jose Luis Agapito
Presdient Obama today signed a budget deal that spans the next two years.
As we've written, the budget deal negotiated by Congressional leaders and the White House last week (and passed by the House and Senate) does a few key things:
- Suspends the debt ceiling until March 2017, meaning the U.S. Treasury will be able to pay the government's bills. This avoids all sorts of potentially catastrophic economic consequences
- Raises legislated spending caps for both defense and non-defense spending by $80 billion over two years.
- Averts senseless cuts to Social Security disability payments, and Medicare premium hikes that would have taken place next year.
Most of this is good news, even if the whopping $600 billion Pentagon budget hardly needed more padding. But that brings us to the bad news about the deal:
- It continues the use of a nearly $60 billion slush fund for the Pentagon, in addition to the increased spending cap. This slush fund is supposed to fund our nation's wars, but at $60 billion, only $5 billion is expected to be used for our nation's primary current conflict against ISIS. Much of the rest is just Pentagon padding.
The White House was in on the negotiations from the start. Is the deal worth it? What do you think?