Budget Growth Flattens out Following Big Bump

Budget Growth Flattens out Following Big Bump

Last week’s two-year spending deal will inject an extra $165 billion in DOD’s fiscal 2018 and 2019 base budgets, amounting to almost 10 percent growth in the department’s topline over FY 2017. Growth in the Pentagon’s future years defense program (FYDP) would be much more modest, however, with some accounts projected to decline slightly through FY 2023, reports CQ.

The FY 2019 budget request that the administration released Monday proposes a $686 billion topline for defense, including the uncapped overseas contingency operations account. From FY 2020 through FY 2023, that topline is projected to rise from $701 billion to $742 billion to keep up with inflation, Comptroller David Norquist told reporters.

The modest growth reflected in the FYDP would appear to fall short of the robust 3 to 5 percent annual growth in defense spending that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has called for. Allocated toward the right places, though, key investments in the 2019 budget can help fulfill Mattis’ priorities of lethality and readiness, said Katherine Blakeley, a research fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.
DoD photo by Master Sgt. Ken Hammond, U.S. Air Force

Dan Cohen
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