The Budget Balancing Act at HASC

Of all the items in the Air Force’s just-submitted Fiscal 2013 budget proposal, the one that has attracted a bit of heat is the planned cut to the Air National Guard, said Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), House Armed Services Committee ranking member, on Thursday. Smith told reporters in Washington, D.C., that he is having discussions with the Air Force, but has not decided on this issue nor “frankly, many others.” Many state governors and adjutants general have already claimed that those cuts to the Air Guard—which would shed force structure and some 5,100 positions—are disproportionately high. Smith said many lawmakers on Capitol Hill are speaking about proposed defense cuts that they don’t like, but are also making noise about a $1.3 trillion federal budget deficit. He noted that he’s yet to hear anyone on Capitol Hill say, “‘Here’s where you should cut.'” He added, “That’s what we ought to do.” (See also Unity Needed and Trading Size for Quality.)