“Citizens Against Government Waste is Washington's leading opponent of pork-barrel spending.” - Washington Post

Media Availability: CAGW Representatives on Defense Cuts

For Immediate Release
December 5, 2012

 

Contact:  Leslie K. Paige 202-467-5334 Luke Gelber 202-467-5318

Media Availability: CAGW Representatives on Defense Cuts

(Washington, D.C.) – Next week, Tom Schatz, President of Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), and Sean Kennedy, CAGW’s Director of Research, will be available for radio and television interviews on Department of Defense (DOD) spending cuts that should be implemented as part of an overall strategy to achieve long-term fiscal stability going forward. CAGW prefers judicious cuts to the across-the-board budget cuts slated to occur on January 2, 2013 as mandated by the Budget Control Act, better known as sequestration.

It is CAGW’s position that it is possible to reduce defense spending without devastating the country’s national security or bleeding the economy to death, but that those cuts must be made as part of an effort to preserve and strengthen DOD’s core functions. It is essential that defense cuts are on the table as part of a holistic approach that includes tax and entitlement reform as well as cuts to other domestic, discretionary programs. CAGW has spent 28 years advocating for smaller government and more efficient federal spending, including prudent cuts to the DOD budget.

Among the most obvious cuts is the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS), which has already cost taxpayers billions despite the fact that it will never be used by the Pentagon. Cancelling MEADS would save taxpayers $195 million in one year and $16.5 billion over the duration of the program. Three out of four of the relevant congressional committees with jurisdiction over MEADS funding zeroed it out for the fiscal year (FY) 2013 budget cycle. The December 4, 2012 issue of The Hill newspaper quoted Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) calling MEADS a “waste of money” in a letter to DOD. CAGW maintains a microsite, www.misguidedmissile.org, devoted to educating taxpayers on the history of the MEADS program and why it should be eliminated. CAGW has also advocated delaying the initiative to rebuild the M1 Abrams tank, a move that would save taxpayers $3 billion by 2017. Army Chief of Staff Ray Odierno told Congress in 2011 that the Army has enough tanks.

Like all federal departments, DOD spends billions each year on programs that have little to do with its mission. In a November, 2012 report titled “The Department of Everything,” Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) pointed out that DOD will spend a total of $67.9 billion over 10 years on nonessential projects, including $15.2 billion on education, $9 billion on grocery stores and commissaries, $6 billion on non-military research and development, and $700 million on alternative energy.

The DOD budget has roughly doubled since fiscal year 2001, and as threats to the country’s security change over time, so too should budgeting. Defense spending must be part of any budget reform initiative.

To schedule an interview, contact Luke Gelber at 202.467.5318 or email him at lgelber@cagw.org.

Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, mismanagement and abuse in government.