Today, Americans for Tax Reform, joined by a strong coalition of organizations and individuals, released a joint letter calling on Republican leaders in Congress to consider all areas of the federal budget in their efforts to cut spending. The letter states that leadership on spending reform requires lawmakers to reject the sanctimonious pardoning of Department of Defense waste, and consider military spending cuts when confronting government profligacy. In part, the letter states:
Defense spending, like the rest of the federal ledger, has grown unsustainably over the past few years. Under President Bush, military spending averaged 3.9 percent of GDP. Under President Obama, it has averaged 4.9 percent—a full percentage point higher. It is outrageous to assume spending under the president who launched the War on Terror, started the Department of Homeland Security and began the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is not sufficient for even the most hawkish member of Congress.
And yet, defense spending continues to enjoy protected status. The Pentagon is slated to spend $6.5 trillion over the next ten years – equal to the current projected deficit spending in the same time period. Ignoring the burden military spending places on the taxpayers promotes the same reckless spending ethos that led to failed “stimulus” policies, government bailouts and a prolonged economic recession.
Leadership on spending requires commitment that aims to permanently change the bias toward profligacy, not simply stem the tide in the short-term. True fiscal stewards cannot eschew real spending reform by protecting pet projects in the federal budget. Any such Department of Defense favoritism would signal that the new Congress is not serious about fiscal responsibility and not ready to lead.
Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist said: “Voters in the November elections went to the polls to express their concern about one thing only – explosive government spending. If Members of Congress don’t take the mandate to stem government growth seriously by keeping spending cuts on the table for all areas of the federal budget, they will not be asked to stick around to continue to spend taxpayers’ money for long.”
Signatories to the letter include (organizational affiliations listed for information purposes only): Al Regnery of The American Spectator, Bill Pascoe of Citizens for the Republic, Bob Barr of Liberty Guard, Brian Burch of CatholicVote.org, Chip Faulkner of Citizens for Limited Taxation, Christopher Preble of the Cato Institute, Chuck Muth of Citizen Outreach, David A. Keene of the American Conservative Union, Duane Parde of the National Taxpayers Union, Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform, Jim Martin of 60 Plus Association, Joe Seehausen of Liberty Guard, John Tate of Campaign for Liberty, Karen Kerrigan of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, L. Brent Bozell of Media Research Center, Lewis K. Uhler of the National Tax Limitation Committee, Lisa Miller of Tea Party WDC, Matt Kibbe of Freedomworks, Mattie Corrao of the Center for Fiscal Accountability, Richard Viguerie of ConservativeHQ.com, Rick Watson of the Florida Center-Right Coalition, Seton Motley of Less Government, Susan Carleson of the American Civil Rights Union, Tim Phillips of Americans for Prosperity, Tom Giovanetti of the Insitute for Policy Innovation, Tom Schatz of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, William Greene of RightMarch.com