Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today expressed its support for congressional Republicans’ statements that military spending cuts should be part of any serious plan to reduce the deficit and restore fiscal solvency while avoiding tax hikes.

On June 26, 2011, the Washington Post reported, “House Republican leaders said they have found a surprising willingness to consider defense cuts that would have been unthinkable five years ago, when they last controlled the House.”

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told the Post, “When we say everything is on the table, that’s what we mean.”  CAGW has long been a proponent of cutting wasteful spending at the Department of Defense (DOD), dating back to the group’s exposure of the Pentagon’s $436 hammer and $640 toilet seat.

“On November 20, 2010, CAGW and 26 other conservative groups signed a letter urging the House and Senate Republican leadership to stop ignoring defense waste,” said CAGW President Tom Schatz.  “Taxpayers should be heartened that Republicans in Congress may finally have taken th
ese concerns to heart and are willing to trim the DOD’s undeniably bloated budget, which can be done without jeopardizing national security.”

As an aid to members of Congress, CAGW has created a list of spending cuts that should be enacted immediately:

·         Eliminate all earmarks in the FY 2012 Defense Appropriations Act.  CAGW identified 72 programs at a cost to taxpayers of $3.9 billion in the House version of the bill that meet CAGW’s long-established earmark criteria.

·         Eliminate the language in the FY 2012 Defense Authorization bill that keeps the door open for taxpayer support of General Electric’s Joint Strike Fighter alternate engine program.  As CAGW has pointed out previously, President Obama has threatened to veto the entire bill if the alternate engine program is not eliminated.

·         Eliminate the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS), which would save taxpayers $547 million.  MEADS is a collaborative transatlantic missile defense project that been plagued with total program cost overruns of $2 billion and is ten years behind schedule.

·         Enact each of CAGW’s 77 defense-related recommendations in its Prime Cuts 2011 database, which would save taxpayers $25 billion in one year and $197 billion over five years.

Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, mismanagement and abuse in government.