Sensible Spending Priorities


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.

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Michael founded as the Howard Dean presidential campaign blog for Arizona in 2003, and has been blogging ever since. Michael is an attorney living in Tucson with his wife Lauren. In 2008, Michael remade BlogForArizona into a collaborative project. Michael now is but one of the contributors to the blog and provides editorial and publishing direction in consultation with the Board of Directors and the other authors. If you want to keep up with the latest Arizona and National political news in an entertaining quick hit of news and opinion, check out the BlogForArizona twitter feed, which Mike curates under the hashtag #MB.


  1. What people want desperately right now is a sane approach to, well, anything at all. Defense, Immigration, Renewable Energy – the entire spectrum.

    Even staunch conservatives and lifelong hawks are now saying “whoa” in response to the extreme actions and misguided policies of the current administration. This is the perfect time for reasonable, targeted defense cuts, a plan to accomodate the jobs that will be eliminated, and an explanation of how the US will accomodate for changes in the world.

    The phase of heated retoric is now just slightly behind the foresighted. It is time now for visionary leadership to influence policy. Public tolerance for the blame game is waning fast. Only those who can portray a clear sense of the purpose of the US as a world team leader (notice I didn’t just say “world leader”) will garner the respect and support of the growing majority of us softly sobbing “make it stop – please, make it stop.”

  2. Today my concern is that Congress went home for a “Holiday Break,” when we as a Nation are facing a “Pivitol Breaking Point” at Home and in the Middle East. From a Social colapse of our “Social Services,” to a “Nuclear War” in Iran, that has been written about for decades!

    The Media is showing Iranian “Flying Boats” 2000 mile per hour torpedoes, and now talking about hitting 450 nuclear sites in Iran at the same time,with nuclear bombs, according to Vice President Dick Cheney,whom ordered the Pentagon to make The plans for a Nuclear strike on Iran, to protect Isreal.

    Its like when we were attcked in New york and in Washington on 911, The president told us to “Go To The Mall!”

    We heve seen “The Drum Beat” before and are in denial that it is real!

    The President would be “Crazy” to go to War with Iraq! Crazy like a Fox!

    Remember President Carter in his last days in Office sitting in The White House powerless,as the Iranian Hostages took him and my Party down?

    The President is not worried about “Wiretaps” and things that would upset many Presidents in History; Why?

    Does he know something that would make those issues mute? You Bet!

    Scholars of History tell us that from 2005 forward to 2012 are the most dangerous times in the history of humanity on this Earth. When our enemy and we are on the same page as far as this revelation it invites knee-jerk decisions that neither side could have immagined!

  3. “Bingo!”

    100% “Right on!”

    This is what Iam talking about and support as a start to racheting down the retoric; and feel that we as a Country would do more to tell the World , “We are now putting humanity first and War second!”

    The new “Toys” of the Military are what Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us about. I sight one big program sitting in the DM Boneyard right now, The B-1 Bomber! I wish people could see these planes lined up sprayed white sitting in the desert with the ground hogs!

    The F-22 is not what should have been built,as Jeff Latas talked about also, the “Joint Strike Fighter” was a system that could transcend services but the Navy did not like it and it was killed!

    The Raytheon “Thing” has been an ongoing problem of incompetents and “Retired Military” finding something to do after serving. Why should a retired Air Force Officer drawing a Military Pension,that is more than most people will make in a lifetime, offered a job at Raytheon, at $150,000 plus per year? In my day the Post office took the Military personel into its ranks, and I suggest it would be more benificial to everyone if the mail got through than if a new F-22 can hit Iran faster than a F-16!

    There is a disproportionate amount of “Military” running for Congressional District 8,” stating “They are the only ones whom should be elected because of their “Military Negotiating Skills as Employees of The Pentagon?!”

    We need a good Military, and have great young people in service right now, there are alot of things they need that are not being done because of systems that contractors have lobbied for that are not needed , but line there pockets,as was the case with Congressman Cunningham. He sold Contracts to the Military of “Stuff” no-one needed then or now, and had his house filled with Rugs and his pockets filled with bribes!

    There needs to be “Oversight” and the Congress is not doing it ,on both sides of the Aisle!