Support Our Troops Or Pork? | Message Matters

As Congressional Republicans like Sen. Ayotte fearmonger over the coming Pentagon budget cuts that the next Defense Secretary will preside over, we must keep pressing the point that finding savings in the Pentagon budget is more than just fiscally responsible and supported by the public. Cutting Pentagon waste makes us stronger by keeping us focused on real 21st century threats — which is why our military leaders and national security expert after expert after expert support it.

CORE MESSAGE

Cutting Pentagon waste makes us stronger.

Connect: We need to be strategic in how we invest our money as a nation so we’re focused on current needs and future threats.

Define: It doesn’t make us any safer or help our troops for Congress to keep spending money like we’re still fighting two major wars and buying outdated Cold War weapons. But it does bring home the bacon.

Expose: Congress is forcing our generals to spend billions on pork-barrel projects they don’t want and don’t need just to pay off campaign donors.

Debunk: Defense spending doubled this last decade — and the coming savings in the Pentagon budget merely return the funding levels to what they were at the height of the Iraq war.

Explain: There’s so much waste in the massive Pentagon budget that millions in taxpayer money are going straight to contractor CEO pay. The Pentagon is even sitting on $100 billion in unused money!

Lead: It’s time to modernize and reshape the national security budget to match our national security strategy. That means strategic budget savings that put our troops and our economic security ahead of Pentagon pork.

Words to use: Pentagon budget; Pentagon pork;

Savings in the Pentagon budget; Cutting waste;

Our military ahead of millionaires

Words to avoid: Cutting our military; Cutting our defense

ATTACKS AND RESPONSES

CLAIM: “The sequester’s defense cuts will devastate our military.”

RESPONSE:

We’re dealing with these sequester cuts because Congressional Republicans kept refusing to put the military ahead of millionaires and to end tax breaks for the richest 2%. They admit to it, saying that “my party has their fingerprints all over it.”

Our military budget is already bigger than the next 13 countries’ combined and the Pentagon budget doubled this last decade.

The coming savings in the Pentagon budget merely return the funding levels to what they were at the height of the Iraq war. But it’s as if Republicans in Congress think we’re still fighting two major wars in the Middle East, plus the Cold War.

The world has changed, and so have the tools we need. So let’s enact strategic cuts that keep us focused on current needs and future threats. It’s in our strategic interests to build the leaner, more agile force that our military leaders want.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Charts you should check out: “America’s staggering defense budget, in charts.”

There’s so much waste in the massive Pentagon budget — including spending on outdated pork that our military leaders don’t want and contracting waste — that military and national security experts are urging strategic CUTS of $500 billion, if not up to a $1 trillion, that will reshape the Pentagon budget to focus on 21st century threats.

Gen. Colin Powell, Former Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen, a number of conservative politicians, and even defense industry contractor CEOs agree we should rein in the Pentagon budget.

Republicans in Congress are trying to protect Cold War era weapons the Pentagon does not want and that have been dismissed as outdated and unnecessary by top military leaders — like Gen. James Cartwright, the retired vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a former commander of the country’s nuclear forces.

The U.S. defense budget is six times that of China’s and equal to that of more than the next 13 highest spending countries’ combined. In fact, we are on track to spend $640 billion on nuclear weapons and related programs alone over the next ten years.

Military and defense spending played a significant role in increasing the national debt — over the last decade, the defense budget nearly doubled.

If the scheduled “trigger” Pentagon spending drawdowns go through starting in 2013, the Pentagon budget would return to 2007 levels — a time when we were paying for two major wars.

The Pentagon has so much money that at the end of Fiscal Year 2012, it had $100 billion in unused funds.

From 2006 to 2011, Pentagon contractors actually laid off their workers while getting more and more in taxpayer dollars — while giving their CEOs $20 million compensation packages.

Pentagon spending actually ranks dead last as a way to create jobs compared to investing the same amount in health care, clean energy, or education.

We develop messaging by aggregating, analyzing and distilling polling, tested messaging, and expert recommendations, and monitoring the media to identify what is and isn’t working. See here for some of the experts and organizations we draw on.

via Support Our Troops Or Pork? | Message Matters.