The Pentagon’s ever-growing budget-cut estimate now at $492 billion

Weeks after Congress passed the debt-reduction law, Defense Department officials said the actual effect of the $350 billion in national defense cuts it mandated would be a $460 billion cut over a decade.

Then, on Nov. 22, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) revealed the effect would be even more harsh on the Pentagon budget.

“I’m told it’s now $489 billion,” the chairman said in a primetime CNN interview.

A U.S. official, that same evening, confirmed the $489 billion figure in an email to The Hill.

Fast-forward to Friday, and the figure continued to swell.

The expected cut likely will total $492 billion over a decade, David Berteau, a defense analyst and former Pentagon official who still has ties to the five-sided building, said Friday.

The revelation came during a forum at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where Berteau is an analyst.