Thursday, March 16, 2006

Common sense—who could argue?

Not that you'd know about it, but Reps. Lynne Woolsey and Barbara Lee introduced the modest and realistic Common Sense Budget Plan last week.

The plan calls for $60 billion in cuts for the Pentagon (from total military spending of about $1.1 trillion), all of which will come from obsolete programs, as identified by a team led by Lawrence Korb, Reagan's assistant secretary of defense for Manpower, Installation and Logistics.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle:
Backers have a wish list for spending the proposed $60 billion in defense savings: $5 billion to homeland security improvements, including a program to inspect all 11 million shipping containers that enter the country annually; $10 billion to move toward energy independence; $10 billion for children's health care; $10 billion for school construction; $5 billion for job training; $2 billion for medical research; and $13 billion for overseas humanitarian aid. Another $5 billion would go to start cutting the rising national debt.

The proposal, Lee said, would "slash $60 billion from the defense budget without diminishing our ability to protect our nation.''
Sounds greeaaaattt, right? Who could be against such a bill? Would it surprise you to learn that "there's little chance Republican House leaders will allow a committee or a floor vote on the plan."

Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities, a group whose leaders include Ben Cohen Ben and Jerry's fame, are buying ads in Iowa and New Hampshire to boost the idea of the $60 billion cut in Pentagon spending.

"We know once the people there see how this money is spent, they will come to conclude on their own that it's right,'' Cohen said of the proposed cut.

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