For Immediate Release
Just Foreign Policy Responds to Super Committee "Failure": “We Now Have a Historic Opportunity to Cut Military Spending”
WASHINGTON - Responding to reports that the Congressional "Super Committee" had failed to reach agreement on a new plan to reduce projected government debt by $1.2 trillion over ten years, Just Foreign Policy Policy Director Robert Naiman said today, "Given the deals that were on the table, 99% of Americans should celebrate the 'failure' of the Supercommittee to reach agreement. The 'automatic trigger' - which is now supposed to be implemented under the Budget Control Act - protects Social Security benefits and does not raise the Medicare retirement age. The trigger would force real but sustainable cuts to projected military spending - cuts that can easily be achieved by drawing down our military forces to pre-war levels, canceling unnecessary weapons systems, and closing unnecessary foreign bases."
Under the Budget Control Act, Congress will enact a plan to reduce projected debt by $1.2 trillion over ten years regardless of what the Super Committee does. The only question is how. Press reports indicated a reluctance by the Super Committee to consider serious cuts to projected military spending, in part due to pressure from the military spending lobby. As a result of the "failure" to reach agreement, an additional cut of half a trillion dollars in military spending is supposed to take place - a far greater cut than the Super Committee was considering. The "failure" reflects the fact that there is no option that both parties prefer to reasonable cuts to military spending. From the point of view of cutting military spending, that's a "success."
When one adds this cut to the cuts in projected military spending to which the White House and the Pentagon have already agreed, it amounts to about a trillion dollar cut, or 15%, in projected military spending over ten years, which would reduce military spending to its 2007 level. A series of bipartisan task forces have identified how such cuts could be easily achieved, including by reducing the size of our armed forces to pre-war levels, by cutting necessary weapons systems, and by eliminating unnecessary foreign bases.
President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Reid promised to oppose any effort to protect military spending from the automatic trigger if the Super Committee failed to reach agreement. Now the 99% should hold President Obama and Senator Reid to their promise. "We now have a historic opportunity to cut projected military spending, and use the savings to create jobs, reduce taxes, and reduce government debt," Naiman said.
This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.
Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.
Just Foreign Policy is a nonprofit nonpartisan advocacy organization that works to reform U.S. foreign policy so that it reflects the values and interests of the majority of Americans.