Democratic strategist David Goodfriend appeared on “The Dylan Ratigan Show” on Tuesday to talk about how the large budget cuts facing the Pentagon would help spur the economy — if they can get past Congress. (Watch below.)
“The Obama administration’s first real attempt to state a vision for the armed forces in a post-Iraq, post-Afghanistan, post anything-goes budget world seems to be a good start,” he said, ticking off areas in which the country’s vast military budget could be reduced.
But those cuts are a long way from reality, Goodfriend warned, because “even if the Pentagon’s proposed budget makes it through Weight Watchers on its way to Capitol Hill, it still has to make it through the porkers on Capitol Hill.”
The problem is that lawmakers will be unduly influenced by defense contractors in their districts who will threaten to cut jobs if proposed cuts become reality.
But “forcing defense contractors to get leaner and meaner is exactly what we need,” Goodfriend says, citing a Taxpayers for Common Sense study finding that cutting such contractors by 15% would save $300 billion a year.
“Look, if it’s about jobs, there are better ways to get them,” Goodfriend continued. The New York Times, he said, recently reported that transportation and education spending produces many more employment opportunities than military spending.
But “that’s not the point” for contractors, he said, because naturally, “big companies with big contracts want to keep what they’ve got. Let the games begin.”
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