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Time to Cut Pentagon Spending - Now

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Message Mark Dunlea


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by The National Guard

It is time to cut the military budget.

 

It has been time to cut the military budget for many years. Like right after WWII. Otherwise known as a peace dividend. Free up funds to pay for school, job training, health care, clear water and air, mass transit, housing, hunger, jobs.

 

Under sequestration as part of the federal budget-deficit deal, half the budget cuts would come from the military, around $45 billion this year - perhaps 6% of existing spending.   And those cuts include reductions in growth. That is way too little. Lawrence Korb, defense advisor for former President Reagan, estimates $150 billion a year could be cut while maintaining the Reagan-era level of military strength.

 

Imagine how much you could cut if your focus was primarily to defend the US, not to protect oil companies - or to fight an attack by Stalin's tank divisions, which no longer exist. Groups like the Green Party argue for cuts of $300 billion or more - and still the US would have by far the largest and strongest military.

 

The whole idea behind the sequestration deal was that neither Democrats or Republicans would allow any real cuts to the military. And there has been a bipartisan push to find a solution that spares the military from anything off than a little trimming of the fat around the edges. Even the budget deal pushed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus would reduce the military cuts well below the sequestration requirements.

 

The Republicans of course want to slash spending on programs that benefit the majority of Americans. The first part of the strategy was to create a deficit with huge tax cuts that benefit the rich that creates the deficits that provides the excuse to cut social spending - a weak safety nets makes for a complaint work force.

 

But Obama and the Democrats have put cuts on the table to programs like Social Security and Medicare while be willing to accept major cuts in other critical domestic programs such as health care, hunger, housing, environment, etc.

 

Below I go into how wasteful and criminally corrupt Pentagon spending has become. How we have fallen into the standard trap of countries 'arming themselves not to fight the next war but rather the past one (from the 1940's, or as President Obama pointed out in the last debate, we don't need as many bayonets as we used to - we also don't need as many tanks or aircraft carriers either).

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President of Green Education and Legal Fund Inc. Executive Director of Hunger Action Network. Author of Madame President: The Unauthorized Biography of the First Green Party President. Co
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