by Travis Sharp
FY 2010 Pentagon Defense Spending Request Resources
February 26, 2009
On February 26, President Barack Obama released a preliminary outline of its spending priorities and agency budgets (known as “toplines”) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2010, which begins on October 1. In a typical year, the President would submit a detailed budget request to Congress on the first Monday in February. This year, however, has been different. In order to have enough time to complete the “exhaustive line-by-line” budget review as promised during the campaign, the Obama administration decided not to release its detailed budget request until April.
The defense budget topline released on February 26 communicates an overall funding level without including programmatic specifics, which will be released in April. The topline request provides $534 billion in FY 2010 funding for the Department of Defense’s “base” budget, which excludes funding for Iraq, Afghanistan, and nuclear weapons activities. The topline also provides $75.5 billion in war funding for the remainder of FY 2009, as well as $130 billion in war funding for FY 2010. The extra $75.5 billion FY 2009 supplemental, when combined with the $68.5 billion already passed in 2008, would bring total FY 2009 war funding to $144 billion.
President Obama’s topline thus requests $664 billion in total DOD and war funding for FY 2010. This figure does not include funding for nuclear weapons or miscellaneous non-DOD defense costs, which were approximately $23 billion in FY 2009.
Without adjusting for inflation, the $534 billion topline request is $21 billion, or 4.1 percent, greater than the $513 billion appropriated by Congress in FY 2009 for DOD’s base budget. After adjusting for inflation, the $534 billion topline request is $9 billion, or 1.7 percent, greater than the $525 billion (FY 2010 dollars) appropriated by Congress in FY 2009 for DOD’s base budget.
In FY 2009 dollars, DOD’s base budget grew steadily over the last decade, increasing from $370 billion in FY 2000 to $513 billion in FY 2009, an inflation-adjusted total increase of $143 billion (39 percent) or an average increase of $16 billion (4.3 percent) per year. When including funding for Iraq, Afghanistan, and nuclear weapons activities, national defense budgets have grown in inflation-adjusted dollars from $387 billion in FY 2000 to $687 billion in FY 2009, a real increase of 78 percent.