By BRYAN RAHIJA
POGO and Taxpayers for Common Sense today unveiled a plan for reducing the deficit by $586 billion over the next decade that focuses on national security spending cuts.
The savings come from cutting unneeded weapons, reforms to the military's health care system, reeling in spending on service contracts, and reducing the number of U.S. troops stationed in Europe. The report notes that we could also reduce the deficit by downblending highly-enriched uranium and selling it on the market in its low-enriched form.
Here's a closer look at what Congress can do to reduce the deficit and how much of a reduction it would yield:
- Reduce Department of Defense (DoD) service contract spending by 15 percent: $300 billion
- Reduce non-DoD service contract spending by 15 percent: $73 billion
- Reform DoD’s TRICARE health care system: $60 billion
- Replace two of the three F-35 variants with the less expensive F/A-18 E/F models: $44 billion
- Withdraw 20,000 troops from Europe: $30 billion
- Decline to renew the procurement contract for the V-22 Osprey: $12 billion
- Downblend highly-enriched uranium and sell it as low enriched uranium on the market: $23 billion
Be sure to check out the full report for a host of other ideas.
POGO Executive Director Danielle Brian issued the following statement:
“We’re giving Congress and President Obama a roadmap on where to start. These are realistic targets and don’t include the far more significant long-term savings of implementing enhanced administration and oversight of national security spending and contracting.”
And Taxpayers for Common Sense President Ryan Alexander had this to say:
“This is an assembly of solid numbers based on our collective expertise and experience. These should not be the hard choices—there is room for much more. The only way this country is going to climb out of our deep budgetary hole is to put everything on the table, and that includes defense spending, revenue, and entitlements. Eliminating the fat at the Pentagon will make our country fiscally stronger and more secure.”
As we've noted in our press release, the Senate's "Gang of Six" has proposed substantial cuts in defense spending as well—their plan, however, lacks specifics.
Bryan Rahija edits POGO's blog.
Image: U.S. Air Force.