In a Nation editorial last week, Representative Barney Frank took to task the centrist and even liberal organizations that harp about reducing the budget deficit but turn a blind eye to the defense budget. Why aren't we talking about cutting back on the biggest part of the budget?
Obviously people should be concerned about the $700 billion Congress voted for this past fall to deal with the credit crisis. But even if none of that money were to be paid back--and most of it will be--it would involve a smaller drain on taxpayer dollars than the Iraq War will have cost us by the time it is concluded, and it is roughly equivalent to the $651 billion we will spend on all defense in this fiscal year.
Representative Frank writes that he is currently at work identifying areas for significant cuts in the defense budget that will have no negative ramifications for national security. He singles out the incredibly high-tech weapons that have one critical flaw: no conceivable enemy. Of course, it's easier to sell this argument to readers of The Nation than to his fellows Members of Congress or, for that matter, to the Department of Defense.
Robert Koehler applauds Representative Frank's article on the Huffington Post, citing America's ludicrously high share of world military expenditure as one more reason to consider cuts. Check out his post here.