Last week, President Obama said cutting military spending by $1 trillion over the next 10 years goes too far. Referring to White House’s fiscal commission co-chaired by Erskine Bowles and former GOP Sen. Alan Simpson, Obama said of the $1 trillion figure:
There were aspects of Bowles-Simpson that I said from very early on were not the approach I would take. I’ll give you an example. On defense spending. … I think we need to cut defense, but as Commander-in-Chief, I’ve got to make sure that we’re cutting it in a way that recognizes we’re still in the middle of a war, we’re winding down another war, and we’ve got a whole bunch of veterans that we’ve got to care for as they come home.
COBURN: We can save a trillion dollars at the Pentagon over the next ten years, not hard. It’s– it’s difficult, but it is not super hard. It’s common sense.
Coburn’s right. It’s not that hard. CAP’s Larry Korb, Laura Conley and Alex Rothman recently outlined how the U.S. government can “save $400 billion through 2015 without harming U.S. national security.”
In addition to Simpson-Bowles, other debt and deficit reduction task forces have recommended reducing military spending by at least $1 trillion over the next decade as well, a move which would, as Korb notes, “bring defense levels back to the Cold War average in inflation adjusted dollars.”