By: Ethan Rosenkranz & Christine Anderson
Yesterday, groups from across the ideological spectrum, including the Project On Government Oversight, wrote to Members of Congress recommending a number of commonsense spending reductions at the Pentagon that could save American taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars over the next ten years.
Signed by a coalition of 28 organizations, the letter urges Congress to focus on culling wasteful and ineffective programs from the national security budget. As congressional appropriators finalize an omnibus appropriations bill that includes a full-year Defense Appropriations Act, the letter emphasizes that “spending on ineffective weapons systems and wasteful Pentagon programs does not make us safer.” Signatories range from more fiscally conservative groups Americans for Tax Reform (founded by Grover Norquist) and National Taxpayers Union to more progressive groups CREDO and Campaign for America’s Future.
The letter cites a number of reports that detail potential savings in the tens of billions of dollars. These include commonsense policy recommendations, such as spending billions of dollars less on military bands and cutting hundreds of millions of dollars in funding from the M1 Abrams tank that the Army has repeatedly said it does not want. Other ideas contained in the reports include modestly reducing the size of the Navy fleet, which would save $35 billion to $41 billion over the next decade, or decreasing the number of deployed nuclear weapons for close to $30 billion in savings over ten years.
“To be clear, we do not agree among ourselves on every recommendation listed here. However, we are united in the belief that there are plenty of ways to strategically target pork-barrel projects and programs designed to fight the Cold War instead of 21st century threats,” the letter says.
The recommendations listed in this transpartisan letter, taken together, offer a roadmap for enacting billions of dollars in savings across the Pentagon’s budget. As Congress reassesses its funding priorities, it is time to make tough decisions on military spending. With plenty of pork to cut, these sensible spending recommendations are a good place to start.
To add your voice to the call for smart spending on defense, take action here.