A group of liberal members of Congress, including our own Raul Grijalva, are sponsoring H. R. 4898 to cut wasteful military spending by 60 billion dollars (15%) and reallocate those savings to badly needed social investments. The recomended cuts come very close to the military spending cuts recommended by the Progressive QDR authored by Lawrence Korb.
The programs cut are Cold War holdovers and new programs that haven’t any well-defined mission, but are the products of log-rolling Congressional desire to buy votes with defense contractor jobs, and such unproven and wasteful programs such as the National Missile Defense and space-based weaponry.
Programs cut include the following:
- The F-22 fighter aircraft program, $2,800,000,000.
- The F-35 Joint Strike fighter aircraft program, $3,300,000,000.
- The C-130J aircraft program, $1,600,000,000.
- The V-22 Osprey aircraft program, $2,100,000,000.
- The Virginia class submarine program, $2,300,000,000.
- The next generation destroyer (DD(X)) program, $3,400,000,000.
- The Ballistic Missile Defense program, $8,300,000,000.
- Cross-service accounts for research, development, test, and evaluation, $5,000,000,000.
- Accounts providing funds for personnel and other costs associated with
drawdowns and other reductions in the Armed Forces, $5,000,000,000.
- Space weapons programs, $5,000,000,000.
- The Future Combat System, $2,700,000,000.
- Programs relating to the operations of the Department of Defense that
can be combined to achieve efficiencies in such operations,
- Nuclear Weapons maintenance and development by the National Nuclear Security Administration of the Dept. of Energy, 14,000,000,000.
These are a great place to start cutting wasteful and provocative spending. I don’t expect this initiative to be terribly popular when people are so afraid that they will approve spending money on anything defense related, but there has to be a place to start a dialog about the militarism that is eating our Republic alive.