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This time last week, President Obama was getting ready to deliver his State of the Union Address.  In that speech, the President proposed a freeze on non-defense discretionary spending.  Earlier that day, House Republicans voted in favor of cutting non-defense spending to 2008 levels.

Is Washington really serious about cutting spending if almost 60 percent of discretionary spending is exempt?

As long as we're talking about cutting education, child care, and other important programs that Americans depend on, we should cut defense spending too.  I've introduced H.R. 413, a bill that would decrease defense spending to 2008 levels.  This would be about a 5 percent cut – from a department riddled with extra planes and engines and bombs that the Pentagon doesn't even want.  It would save $182 billion over the next five years.

Even the Secretary of Defense – appointed by former President George W. Bush – agrees that we can find waste to cut, saying: "We must come to realize that not every defense program is necessary, not every defense dollar is sacred or well-spent, and more of everything is simply not sustainable."

We spend the most of any country in the world on defense.  The next closest country is China.  We spend nearly seven times what they do.  Surely, if we want to reduce the deficit and stop borrowing money from the Chinese, we could live with spending only five or six times as much as they do on their military.

With President Obama reducing the number of troops in Afghanistan this year, we should also be able to lessen our war costs.  I urge you to contact your representatives in Congress and ask them to join me as a co-sponsor of H.R. 413, the Defense and Deficit Reduction Act.

For more information on the legislation, please click here:

Find your representative here:

Originally posted to Congressman Pete Stark on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 12:49 PM PST.

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