Budget Priorities

Published Mar 12, 2013. By Chris Castelli.

Why did the threat of defense cuts not perform the forcing function many expected by motivating Congress to avoid sequestration? The answer has less to do with defense and more to do with entitlements, panelists said this morning at a budget discussion sponsored by Ogilvy Washington and InsideDefense.com. The "real story" is not so much about defense but that Congress was willing to permit huge defense budget cuts because it was unwilling to grapple with tough challenges posed by growing entitlements, said former House Budget Committee Chairman Jim Nussle (R-IA), who led the Office of Management and Budget under former President George W. Bush after leaving Congress. Lawmakers have yet to make the toughest debt-reduction choices, which concern entitlement and tax reform, said Robert Bixby of the Concord Coalition.