By Robert Greenwald and John Amick, Huffington Post
Recent commentators have rightly called out Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan's obvious hypocrisy on cuts to Pentagon spending. This strikes us as a good time to step back and take a broader look at Pentagon spending, and deconstruct the spin coming from the Washington elites.
Historically, the United States has made cuts to the Pentagon budget once its major wars come to an end. It happened after the Korean War, Vietnam and the Cold War. And after a decade of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, now is the time to seriously consider significant cuts to a bloated, wasteful Pentagon spending machine. Yet those within the Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex have been working hard to convince the American public that their perceived right to profit off of Pentagon spending is sacrosanct.
What about fiscal responsibility, Mr. Romney? What about all the waste, like marching bands or NASCAR sponsorships or the $50 billion in cancelled weapons programs -- caused by industry business practices -- that contractors get to keep? The Romney-Ryan proposed budget adds more money to an already-massive Pentagon reserve. Worries of more recessionary pressure on the American economy are mounting -- Pew now reportsone in five Americans go without enough food in a time of record food stamp enrollment. Yet, the Romney ticket pledged this week to "retroactively" reverse any sequestration cuts to the Pentagon -- and push for the House budget that slashed funding for social programs, like food stamps -- all in an effort to protect profits for their war-profiteering friends.
And is sequestration a doomsday mechanism, as Panetta has claimed? Hardly.
In reality, sequestration cuts -- $55 billion reduction in defense spending in FY 2013 -- would return defense spending to 2006 levels, by all measures a healthy time for the Pentagon budget. This reduction in spending would mean the U.S. would still outspend the next ten top defense-spending nations combined by $45 billion.
Now is the time to urge your member of Congress, your friends, family and neighbors to call for substantial cuts to the Pentagon budget. The profiteering and waste must stop. Cuts have widespread support, regardless of party politics. It's our money, and we have the power to demand accountability in how it's used. These videos are the first in a series to explore these hysterical statements made by officials that want to keep the status quo. It's time to expose the unnecessary items the Pentagon acquires that hardly make us safer or go to service members. It's wasteful, it's harmful, and we must speak up.