Several leading advocacy groups from across the political spectrum—conservative taxpayer and Tea Party groups, centrist government watchdogs, and progressive mobilizing and anti-war organizations—released a joint letter today telling President Obama and Congress that whether automatic spending cuts take effect this week or not, there is still an urgent need to reduce the Pentagon’s bloated budget.
“Our organizations believe that sequester might not be the best way to reshape Pentagon spending, but that should not serve as an excuse to avoid fundamental reforms,” said the letter signed by 22 organizations. The organizations range from conservative groups Americans for Tax Reform (founded by Grover Norquist) and National Taxpayers Union to progressive groups CREDO and Campaign for America’s Future.
The groups say reducing wasteful and ineffective Pentagon spending could save as much as $100 billion per year over the next 10 years. They make the point that there are plenty of ideas, just a lack of political will. The letter cites billions of dollars in potential cuts recommended by organizations and members of Congress with diverse interests and ideologies. The recommendations include some made by Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and conservative Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). (The members of Congress were not signers of the letter released today.)
“To be clear, we do not agree among ourselves on every recommendation listed here. However, we are united in the belief that there are plenty of ways to strategically target pork-barrel projects and programs designed to fight the Cold War instead of 21st century threats,” the letter said.
Follow the link to read the letter and recommended savings.
Organizations signing the letter: Americans for Tax Reform, Campaign for America's Future, Center for Freedom and Prosperity, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, Cost of Government Center, Credo, Freedom Action, Friends Committee on National Legislation, National Priorities Project, National Taxpayers Union, Peace Action, Progressive Democrats of America, Project On Government Oversight, Republican Liberty Caucus, R Street, Take Back Washington, Taxpayers for Common Sense, Taxpayers Protection Alliance, USAction, U.S. PIRG, Women’s Action for New Direction, and Win Without War.