Pressured by the need to shrink the federal budget deficit, Congress is insisting that Pentagon spending can’t continue to grow at the galloping rate of the last decade. In response, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told Congress in October that he’s planning to cut $450 billion in planned military spending increases.
We shouldn’t stop at $450 billion. Congress can and should cut military spending by at least $1 trillion — and probably more — over the next 10 years. That would make a significant dent in the federal budget deficit and free up money to create jobs, kick-start our economy, and preserve funding for programs with a proven track record of helping the poor.
But cutting Pentagon spending isn’t just about the deficit. Panetta says that our military would be able to do less if its budget growth is limited. I say that’s a good thing, especially if our country invests some of the savings in a new kind of foreign engagement.