Progressive economists have told us, quite clearly, that this moment in an extremely fragile economic recovery is NOT the time to focus on deficit cutting — that avoiding the even higher unemployment of a real Depression requires another round of stimulative public investments.
HOWEVER. While holding this thought in our minds, we can’t ignore another: that the president has set up a bipartisan commission on deficit reduction. It will make its recommendations in December. In the absence of strong pressure from progressives, we can expect that cutting social programs will dominate this agenda.
What one thought do we need the members of this Commission to keep in their minds? That you can’t take a serious approach to reducing the deficit while exempting the largest portion of the budget that Congress votes on every year. This is, of course, the military budget.
Congressman Barney Frank assembled a group, called the Sustainable Defense Task Force, to make its own recommendations to the Commission on what cuts in military spending could be made with no sacrifice to our security. We came up with $1 trillion in savings over the next ten years. Our report outlining these savings to the Commission is being released today.
UPDATE: The Hill has an overview of a panel commission hearing, featuring Sustainable Defense Task Force members.