Biden’s Big Lie Budget - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Biden’s Big Lie Budget
by
Joe Biden announcing his new budget last week (Bloomberg/YouTube)

By now we’re used to President Biden’s favorite tactic of The Big Lie. He’s told us that his Afghanistan debacle was a success. He says that inflation is temporary and that it will end soon because the government is spending more trillions of dollars that we can’t afford. In his first State of the Union speech, Biden said he’d secure the southern border.

Biden’s announced FY 2023 budget proposal is founded on some real whoppers.

Announcing his $5.8 trillion budget last Monday, Biden said: “Budgets are statements of values, and the budget I am releasing today sends a clear message that we value fiscal responsibility, safety and security at home and around the world, and the investments needed to continue our equitable growth and build a better America.”

Biden’s budget will also shrink the Army to an end strength of 473,000 personnel, most of whom will not be combat-ready troops.

I will leave it to others to dissect the lies about fiscal responsibility, “equitable growth,” and his never-ending plan to “build a better America.” Let’s concentrate on his claim of ensuring safety and security around the world.

The foreign policy and national security context in which Biden’s budget must be examined is devoid of good news.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is now in its sixth week. Vladimir Putin’s military is trying to crush the people of Ukraine by committing war crimes as a matter of strategy. Putin has, by this invasion, made clear that the peace that has existed in Europe since 1945 is over.

Putin’s Ukraine invasion has revealed NATO’s bankruptcy. Alfons Mais, commander of the German army, said, immediately after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, that his army is “bare” and can offer no real options to help defend NATO. As I’ve written previously, most other NATO armies are in the same condition.

Putin has impliedly threatened nuclear war if NATO intervened in Ukraine and is reportedly planning to deploy nuclear weapons in Belarus, a nation on Ukraine’s northern border.

China, of course, still is eyeing the conquest of Taiwan. Chinese cyberattacks against the U.S. have reportedly increased 116 percent since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began.

And Biden is still — by alternately appeasing and insulting Putin — trying to get Russia’s help to achieve his obsession with renewing Obama’s 2015 disastrous nuclear weapons deal with Iran.

Another of the threats Biden is ignoring is also ignored by the media. Saudi Arabian leaders reportedly won’t even take Biden’s calls because they are livid about his pursuit of another Iran deal. The Saudis are in negotiations with China to sell it Saudi oil based on the Chinese yuan rather than the dollar. This would reduce confidence in the dollar. Putin is also reportedly demanding that gas sales to Europe be paid for in rubles.

If China and Saudi Arabia define oil purchases in yuan, the dollar will probably shrink in value and some nations may shift to using the yuan as a reserve currency. (A reserve currency is one which nation’s central banks use for international transactions and accumulate against fluctuation in other currencies’ values. The U.S. dollar has, since the 1944 Bretton Woods accord, been most nations’ reserve currencies.) No nation is going to be foolish enough to make the Russian ruble its reserve currency but Putin’s demand, if Germany and others concede to it, will also weaken the dollar.

What Biden’s budget would do to our military in that context is directly contrary to our national security. Biden’s budget claims it increases the Pentagon’s budget to $773 billion, or about two percent. How that money is to be spent proves my point.

The Navy says it needs to have a 500-ship fleet to defeat China’s threat. Under Biden’s budget, it will retire 24 ships and buy only nine new ones. Under that plan, the fleet will shrink to 280 ships by 2027.

Biden’s budget will also shrink the Army to an end strength of 473,000 personnel, most of whom will not be combat-ready troops.

Combat readiness, already a thing of the past, will be further reduced. The Air Force is, according to the Air Force Association, the smallest, oldest (in terms of aircraft age), and least ready to fight as it has been in its 75-year history. The budget cuts planned purchases of the F-35 fighter from 48 to 35 and retires most of the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft without having a replacement for it.

AWACS is essential to battle management and air supremacy, which we have taken for granted for too long. The problem-ridden F-35 is not an air supremacy fighter.

Biden’s budget also reflects cancellation of the nuclear-armed sea-launched cruise missile which, as both Adm. Charles Richard, commander of Strategic Command, and Gen. Tod Wolters told the House Armed Services Committee last week, is essential to deterrence.

According to Rep. Doug Lamborn, the ranking Republican on the HASC, the budget also retires the B83 nuclear gravity bomb that can only be carried on the B-2, without replacing it. That action also reduces our deterrent force.

So much for the too-long-delayed modernization of our nuclear arsenal.

Meanwhile, Putin’s implied threat to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine has been effective. Not only has it precluded NATO intervention — which shouldn’t occur — but it has also blocked the transfer to Ukraine of the weapons it most needs such as Poland’s (or Romania’s) combat aircraft.

The Republicans want to increase the Pentagon budget by five percent instead of the two percent the Biden budget claims to accomplish. But the answer is not simply to pour money on the Pentagon.

As faithful readers may recall, during the Reagan era we had a process called “Defense Guidance.”

To develop Defense Guidance, the Pentagon and the intelligence community would first define the threat in terms of our adversaries’ capabilities and intents, going into the nitty-gritty details. Then they would compare what our military capabilities were — and must be — to deter or defeat the threats. The result was a “Program Operational Memorandum,” a real budget that should result in meeting the threats for four or five years in the future.

Since the Reagan era, Defense Guidance was replaced with the Quadrennial Defense Review which became highly politicized and thus valueless. The QDR was replaced by the National Defense Strategy in 2018. A classified version of the NDS was given to Congress on March 28.

Biden’s budget will be supported by the forthcoming National Defense Strategy. Though the public hasn’t seen it yet, it certainly will be more politicized than the preceding QDRs. It will ignore the all-too-real threats we face from China, Russia, and Iran.

There is a lot we can and should do to improve our military capabilities including combat readiness and suitability to task. The only certainty is that none of those things will be done while Joe Biden is president.

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