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U.S. defense spending is front and center in the grand Washington deal to avert global economic disaster.The first cut is not so deep. Over 10 years, the deal recommends a $350 billion reduction to security agencies.But here’s how the bill now before Congress is wielding the Pentagon brass like a hammer: Unless congressional Republicans sign off on the recommendations of a new bipartisan committee that presumably would seek some tax increases, the bill would automatically add $500 billion to the security establishment’s deficit-reduction bill.There’s a strict timeline involved. The committee needs to report on its recommendations before Thanksgiving, with Congress signing off on the deal by Dec. 23.The early reaction from investors is something of a shrug, since some of the deficit-reduction proposals in play run all the way up to $1 trillion.“However, that does not mean there is no reason for concern,” says Joseph Nadol of J.P. Morgan in a note to investors. “We expect news about specific program hits for FY12 and FY13 starting in the Sept/Oct timeframe, and this is when we would be most concerned about the impact of incremental budget news on the stocks.”Text of Budget Control Act Amendment
ar99, spending, Congress
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