Shortly after the August passage of that law, which included an agreement to slash $350 billion over 10 years from the Pentagon budget, Defense officials estimated it would equal a $460 billion real-world reduction to planned spending.
Then, appearing on CNN on Nov. 22, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) revealed the cuts would be even deeper.
A U.S. official that same evening, confirmed the $489 billion figure. Pentagon officials would also later put their figure at $489 billion.
The number changed again in early December when David Berteau, a defense analyst and former Pentagon official who still has ties to the five-sided building, said the expected cut likely will total $492 billion over a decade.
During a Thursday Pentagon briefing, Panetta threw out a new figure: $487 billion over a decade.