"Republicans should resist pressure to take all defense spending off the table. ... Taking defense spending off the table is indefensible. We need to protect our nation, not the Pentagon's sacred cows." Those words come not from a progressive Democrat or antiwar activist, but from famed ultra-conservative Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), who wrote a bold op-ed last week chiding his fellow Republicans for their resistance to reducing the defense budget. Coburn is the latest in a string of Senate Republicans to come out in favor of scaling back the Pentagon's treasure chest, which makes up the largest chunk of discretionary spending in the federal budget. With the U.S. debt now exceeding $13 trillion, sensible efforts to cut wasteful spending while minimizing cuts to job-enhancing measures for average Americans are more welcome than ever. In early December, President Obama's Deficit Reduction Commission will release its plan to Congress, likely setting off a furious debate about the proper measures to take to rein in U.S. debt. Slowly, Tea Party-backed conservatives interested in downsizing the government and progressives who have long sought to lower U.S. defense spending are coming together to ensure that reducing the military budget to a more appropriate size for the 21st century will be prominent part of the debate.
That's the liberals at Think Progress talking. They have more on the subject here, here, and here. Good to see them taking a break from demonizing the Tea Parties to see if there's an area where a left/right coalition can be forged.
One friendly amendment: Please stop referring to every Pentagon cut as a "defense" cut. The reductions we're discussing here aren't going to leave Americans any more vulnerable than before.