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ACTION ALERT: How to Cut the Deficit by $960 Billion


June 12, 2010
Friends Committee on National Legislation

On June 11, 2010, Rep. Barney Frank presented a detailed plan to cut $960 billion from the Pentagon budget over the next ten years -- cuts that would reduce military spending by almost 20 percent while strengthen security. Urge your representative to sign a bipartisan letter to the President's deficit reduction commission.

http://www.capwiz.com/fconl/issues/alert/?alertid=15133806

WASHINGTON (June 11, 2010) -- Today, Rep. Barney Frank (MA) presented a detailed plan to cut $960 billion from the Pentagon budget over the next ten years. These cuts would reduce U.S. military spending by almost 20 percent and strengthen U.S. security.

In addition to Rep. Frank, influential members of Congress, including Senators Chuck Grassley (IA) and Tom Coburn (OK), have said that Congress should not rule out cuts in military spending to help reduce the budget deficit and fund essential government services.

Across the country, support is growing for the call from FCNL and other groups to cut military spending and make the Pentagon more accountable to Congress. Let your representative know that you want her or him to support Rep. Frank's proposal to cut the federal deficit by reducing military spending.

In a report issued today, "Debt, Deficits, & Defense: A Way Forward," the Cato Institute, Taxpayers for Common Sense, and other groups detail specific cuts in military spending. You'll find excerpts from that report below. Please use it to start conversation in your community about ways to cut military spending and strength the US.

The statements from Barney Frank and this report will be essential tools for participants in FCNL's Our Nation's Checkbook campaign as we work to persuade Congress to cut military spending.

Take Action
Urge your representative to sign a bipartisan letter circulated by Representatives Frank, Ron Paul (TX), and Walter Jones (NC). The letter, addressed to President Obama's deficit reduction commission, commits the signers not to vote for deficit reduction legislation unless it includes substantial reductions in military spending "of the order of magnitude" recommended in the report.

Ask your representative to read a copy of the report, "Debt, Deficits, & Defense: A Way Forward," and to consider each of the recommendations for restraint in military spending.

Background
FCNL's "Our Nation's Checkbook campaign is helping people around the country take a new look at federal spending priorities.

Specifically, our grassroots lobbyists around the country have been encouraging influential members of Congress to take money away form the Pentagon and invest those funds in other strategies to make the United States safer and stronger.

The report, "Debt, Deficits, & Defense: A Way Forward,” is different from other reports that list unneeded weapons and recommend efficiencies. A core recommendation of the report is that the US should rethink and reset its expanded concept of the US military mission in the world. Echoing President Eisenhower, the report asserts, "We should spend as much as necessary on national defense, but not one penny more." The authors identify specific reductions, including:

* More than $113 billion in savings by reducing the U.S. nuclear arsenal to 1,050 total warheads deployed on 450 land-based missiles and seven Ohio-class submarines;

* More than $200 billion in savings by reducing US military presence in Europe and Asia to 100,000 while reducing total uniformed military personnel to 1.3 million;

* More than $138 billion in savings by replacing costly and unworkable weapons systems with more practical, affordable alternatives. Suggested cuts would include the F-35 combat aircraft, the MV-22 Osprey, and the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle; and

* More than $60 billion in savings by reforming military health care.

The authors emphasize that, even if all of the recommendations are adopted, the military budget five years from now will still be higher than it was at any time since World War II.

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