Econintersect: Reports are appearing in the press about budgetary considerations putting a crimp in the normally aggressive defense spending of Israel. The Israel National News characterized as “leftist elements” those that seek to reduce defense spending to preserve socioeconomic commitments. According to Globes the Knesset Joint Committee on the Defense Budget approved today (Wednesday, December 28) a $1.65 billion increase in the defense budget , a move strongly supported by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
The chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Shaul Mofaz of the Kadima party, voted against the budget change and issued a statement afterwards (The Jerusalem Post):
“Why aren’t budgetary surpluses used to take care of social problems that were protested by citizens last summer?” Mofaz asked. “The government must find the proper balance between social and security needs, and the public should know exactly where the additions to the defense budget come from.”
The defense funding increase was funded by appropriations not spent in other departments, including the Welfare Ministry, Immigrant Absorption Ministry, pensions and National Insurance. This sounds like the U.S. Social Security Trust Fund redux.
Hat tip to Sanjeev Kulkarni