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Local House members seek targeted defense cuts

By Josh Richman
Monday, December 10th, 2012 at 5:26 pm in Barbara Lee, Lynn Woolsey, Mike Honda, U.S. House.

Three Bay Area House members were among a bipartisan contingent that asked President Obama and congressional leaders Monday to find targeted but substantial cuts in defense spending as part of the “fiscal cliff” negotiations.

The letter’s 22 signatories included Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland; Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-San Rafael; and Rep. Mike Honda, D-Campbell.

“The Pentagon’s budget has increased dramatically over the last decade, due in large part to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq,” they wrote. “As we transition from wartime to peacetime, and as we confront our nation’s fiscal challenges, future defense budgets should reflect the conclusion of these wars and acknowledge that our modern military is able to approach conflicts utilizing fewer – but more advanced – resources. Congress must consider these changes, not past spending or percentages of GDP, and move toward defense budgeting that focuses on meeting specific military requirements.”

The letter noted the Cato Institute, Taxpayers for Common Sense, the National Taxpayers Union, the Project on Defense Alternatives have released plans to save up to $550 billion in defense spending without harming national security.

The sequestration scheduled to hit in January – enacted under the mid-2011 budget deal that ended that summer’s debt-limit standoff – will mean $110 billion in cuts, split evenly between defense spending and discretionary domestic spending. But these are across-the-board cuts, affecting all programs regardless of utility; lawmakers on both sides of the aisle see this as surgery with a chainsaw rather than a scalpel.

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  • Bruce R, Peterson, Lafayette

    Cut the most bloated, wasteful agency in the world? Now I remember why I voted for Barbara Lee for president in 2008. The only person in congress to oppose the destruction of Iraq. Watch people scream about lost American jobs, in one of the few industries that didn’t move out of the country.

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    Let’s hold a block party at the UN HQ for all the countries and movements that oppose the U.S. and make friends with them. I propose Barbara Lee (who bleats for me) as the host.

  • John W

    I think United States support for and patience with the UN falls into the category of “keeping your friends close and your enemies closer.”

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