If the sequester goes into effect on January 1st, we will see over time a $500 billion reduction in security spending (which includes the Pentagon and State Department) over a ten year period.
In Politico this morning, defense lobbyists who make their money from large military spending are sounding increasingly worried about these cuts becoming a reality.
But remember that Pentagon spending is the largest portion of discretionary spending, and that the United States spends more on its military than the rest of the world combined.
In fact, leading defense experts from the right and left have actually recommended that we cut military expenditures by twice the amount that the sequester reduces spending. In 2010, Reps. Barney Frank (D-MA) and Ron Paul (R-TX) assembled the Sustainable Defense Task Force (SDTF) to look at the Pentagon budget.
They brought together experts from the right-wing Cato Institute, the fiscally conservative Taxpayers for Common Sense, the Center for American Progress (which was represented on the commission by Reagan Pentagon official Lawrence Korb), and other organizations to look at what America’s real defense needs in the 21st century are.
The Sustainable Defense Task Force concluded that the United States can and should safely trim its military budget by $1 trillionover the next ten years. It ends its report by writing, “Our military budget should be sized to defend us. For this end, we do not need to spend $700 billion a year – or anything close. We can be safe for much less/”