The secretary said a key part of the separate requests is simply the length of time it takes to put a budget together. It takes Pentagon officials up to a year to put together a budget request, he said. So, for example, the fiscal 2006 defense budget request has just been presented to Congress, while officials already are working on the fiscal 2007 request.
Once the Pentagon comes up with a proposal, it has to be cleared through the Office of Management and Budget. The president approves the request and then presents it to Congress. Congress can take eight to 10 months to pass the request, and “then it takes 12 months after that to execute it,” the secretary said. This can mean a period of some two and a half years.
Let’s parse this, the budget projections from the White House cannot <i>estimate</i> the budget impact of a Defense appropriation that must be prepared, according to Rumsfeld, a year and a half before the general budget for the rest of the government.
What we’re seeing is a deliberate attempt to hide the disastrous lack of fiscal discipline by the Bush Administration.