Entitlements and Defense

With the 2011 defense budget due for unveiling on Feb. 1, and with senior officials such as Adm. Mike Mullen, the JCS Chairman, warning of tough fiscal times to come for defense , Washington analysts are struggling to factor in the long-term impact of ObamaCare, the big new health care entitlement sought by the President. Massachusetts’s shocking election of Republican Scott Brown to the US Senate has scrambled things considerably, with some predicting the collapse of the $1 trillion new entitlement program. The cost of the program had worried many, including defense backers who believe it could pose a long-term threat to the military. Part of the problem, of course, is the poor state of the federal balance sheet and pursuing ObamaCare at the same time, writes Air Force Magazine Editor in Chief Robert S. Dudney. (Advance copy of February editorial.)