Joshua Green at Atlantic sees in Obama's amazingly military-friendly budget plans the death of all momentum for military cuts, cross-party:
One surprise in the president's budget is how lightly the axe falls on military expenditures….the big winner unquestionably is Defense Secretary Robert Gates, whose budget is being trimmed by only $78 billion over a decade.
….there seemed to be quite a bit of momentum in both parties to finally cut the military budget, which has grown enormously in the last decade. Traditionally, Democrats are frightened of proposing cuts because they fear being portrayed as weak, while Republicans don't want to propose them because they favor a large military, deficits be damned. Both those attitudes have showed signs of changing. Last summer, Reps. Barney Frank and Ron Paul led a bipartisan effort to push for cuts….Some Republicans, too, appeared open to the idea. Majority Leader Eric Cantor indicated a willingness to consider military cuts, and several Tea Party groups, including the Tea Party Patriots and FreedomWorks, have also embraced the idea…
That now seems unlikely. It's hard to believe that the Republican leadership will go further than the White House in proposing cuts to military spending, so whatever negotiations take place are likely to involve relatively paltry sums….
Sad but likely true, but, keep your eye on the Pauls. Past Reason blogging from Peter Suderman on the possibilities of Republican-supported military cuts here and here. I argued for military cuts in our huge "how to slash the state" cover feature from Reason magazine's November 2010 issue.