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Idea of the Day: We Need to Make Targeted Reductions in Defense Spending

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This year, in accordance with the Budget Control Act of 2011, the Obama administration released a plan to reduce projected military spending by $487 billion over the next 10 years as part of an effort to reduce the federal deficit. These reductions are a smart first step to rein in the Pentagon’s $620 billion per year budget, which has increased by 46 percent since 2001 and reached levels that exceed peak military spending during the Cold War.

The $487 billion in proposed cuts, however, come from projected increases in the defense budget. As a result, these “cuts” essentially keep the defense budget steady at its current level, adjusted for inflation, over the next five years, before allowing a return to moderate growth thereafter. In short, the Obama administration has halted the explosive increases in military spending that have occurred since 9/11 but has done nothing to bring the budget down from its current level, which remains near historic highs.

As Congress works to come to an agreement to avoid sequestration and put the country on a more sustainable fiscal path, targeted reductions in defense spending must be part of our budget solution.

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To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education, poverty)
202.478.6331 or apreiss@americanprogress.org

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, health care, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or tcaiazza@americanprogress.org

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues, Legal Progress, Half in Ten Education Fund)
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi
202.741.6258 or tarditi@americanprogress.org

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or rrosen@americanprogress.org

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

 

This is part of a regular column: Idea of the Day

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