Over at the Center homepage I have a new piece responding to a recent proposal by the head of the Navy’s submarine force for supplemental funding outside the Navy shipbuilding budget for the Ohio class replacement program. Here’s how I begin:
The budget busting Ohio class submarine replacement program is fast becoming a roaring migraine headache for the US Navy. In an attempt to skirt the pain caused by the program’s enormous price tag, estimated to be over $100 billion, the Navy and its supporters in Congress are insisting that the program be exempt from normal budget procedures and protected from tough competition within the Navy budget.
Earlier this month the head of the US submarine force asked Congress for $60 billion in supplemental funding – meaning outside the regular Navy shipbuilding budget — over 15 years to pay for the new nuclear ballistic missile submarine program.
But this ploy merely provides the illusion of pain relief; the bills will be paid out of someone else’s budget. The Pentagon faces tough budget choices in a constrained fiscal environment. An end run around those budget choices by creating a special fund obscures the hard choices that need to be made between nuclear weapons and other defense programs in a time of budget austerity.
You can read the whole thing here.