New School Conservatives Just Say Yes to Defense Spending Cuts

Tuesday, 05 Feb 2013 11:50 AM

By Dan Weil

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The younger generation of House conservatives is embracing defense spending cuts in a manner that would be sacrilege to their elders.

This new breed of conservatives are all about fiscal austerity, and they don’t believe the Pentagon budget should be spared the knife while outlays for domestic programs are being slashed, Politico reports.

Indeed, the new-age Republicans are willing to let stand the $500 billion in defense spending reductions set to begin March 1 — sequestration, as the automatic spending cuts are known.

“What you’re hearing from some folks about the status of the sequester simply tells you that there’s a group of Republicans who are willing to look at the Defense Department equally with the other departments,” Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., told Politico.

“I think Republicans lose credibility when they say we have to look everywhere for savings except defense.”

Michele Flournoy, who served as undersecretary of defense policy in 2009-12 and is now a senior adviser to the Boston Consulting Group, offers several ideas of how to trim defense allocations in a Wall Street Journal column.

Regardless of how Congress deals with sequestration, defense spending will probably shrink at least 10 percent during the next 10 years, she writes.

Flournoy recommends cutting unnecessary overhead costs at the Pentagon, reducing the cost of military healthcare, and dumping excess infrastructure.




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