Who Says We Can and Should Cut Pentagon Spending?PDF Version
Who SAYS We Can and Should Cut Pentagon Spending?
Right, left, and center - budget watchers and decision makers, economists and military experts, foreign policy leaders and policy commentators agree on one thing: it's time for substantial cuts in the Pentagon budget. Public polls and common sense point in the same direction.
The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform says we should cut Pentagon spending.
Last year, the President set up a bi-partisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. Among its recommendations, released in December and affirmed by 11 members of the 18-member task force, was a clear call for substantial defense reductions over the next 10 years . Commission members supporting this call ranged from Senator Tom Coburn on the right to Rep. Jan Schakowsky and Andy Stern on the left, with Senate Budget Committee Chair Senator Kent Conrad and former director of the Congressional Budget Office in the center.
Nonprofit organizations say that we should cut Pentagon spending.
Non-governmental groups' recommendations echoed the Commission's call, including
- Bipartisan Policy Center (with recommendations formulated by former Senator Pete Domenici and Alice Rivlin),
- Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (chaired by former U.S. Representatives Bill Frenzel, Jim Nussle, Tim Penny and Charles Stenholm),
- National Taxpayers Union,
- Our Fiscal Security group
- US Public Interest Research Group
- Peter G. Peterson Foundation , and
- Stimson Center.
All of these groups, right to left, agreed in calling for annual defense reductions in the $70 billion to $100 billion range.
Economists and Military Experts say that we should cut Pentagon spending.
Commissioners Andy Stern and Representative Jan Schakowsky also issued an alternative deficit plan that preserved funding for low-income programs and incorporated deep cuts in the Pentagon budget. Senator Tom Coburn, also a commission member, issued a set of recommendations that called for a Pentagon audit and deeper cuts in military spending than the commission recommended.
Foreign policy and national security experts have spoken out. On November 18, 48 national security experts submitted a letter to the President's fiscal commission arguing that the defense budget might safely bear significant reductions given a willingness to rethink " how we produce military power and how, why, and where we put it to use." On November 15, a separate group of eight defense reformers submitted a letter similarly calling for significant budget restraint.
Former Secretary of State and retired Army General Colin Powell said on CNN's "State of the Union" that he sees no reason why the military budget shouldn't be considered for spending cuts as lawmakers grapple with the ballooning deficit. "I don't think the defense budget should be made sacrosanct," Powell said.
Legislators say that we should cut Pentagon spending.
In Congress, Rep. Ron Paul joined Rep. Barney Frank in convening the Sustainable Defense Task Force to name specific cuts in Pentagon spending that could save nearly a trillion dollars in the next 10 years without diminishing U.S. security.
On the eve of the 2010 election, more than 50 members of Congress conveyed to the President's Fiscal Commission a letter urging substantial reductions in defense as a key part of any deficit-reduction package. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has insisted that military spending will be on the table in deficit reduction efforts.
Policy Commentators and Journalists say that we should cut Pentagon spending.
Policy commentators supporting substantial cuts include Michael O'Hanlon (Brookings Institution), David Stockman (former Reagan administration director of the Office of Management and the Budget), former US Inspector General David Walker, Loren Thompson (Lexington Institute), conservative columnist Cal Thomas, and the editor of The Nation magazine, Katrina vanden Heuvel. The report of the Sustainable Defense Task Force has received specific editorial support from the American Conservative magazine, the New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer, and USA Today - as well as an array of smaller media.