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California Democrats in Congress Ignore Platform Call to Cut Military Spending (Opinion)

By Nicholas Carlin
Wednesday December 19, 2012 - 07:46:00 AM

Why are Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feinstein and the entire California congressional delegation ignoring the mandate of their own party to cut the military budget by at least 25%? 

The 2012 California Platform, adopted at the party's convention in April, calls for reducing the grossly bloated military budget by "at least 25%". This is fully in line with historical precedent: the United States has cut its military expenditures by about 30 percent at the end of major conflicts. (President Eisenhower cut defense spending by 27 percent after the end of the Korean War; President Nixon reduced the budget by 29 percent as we withdrew from Vietnam, and Presidents Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Clinton combined to cut military spending by more than 35 percent as the Cold War came to a close.)

The 25% cuts called for by California Democrats would be from $200-250B/year—more than enough to provide the targeted amount of budget cuts. Yet the only spending cuts we hear about in these fiscal cliff talks is Social Security, Medicare, and other entitlements.

Why are Pelosi and the rest of the Democratic congressional delegation not talking about this? Why are they not moving to implement this policy directive of their own party? By failing to advocate for this platform directive, or even mention it, Pelosi and the other Democratic lawmakers are betraying their constituents, and doing a grave disservice to their country. 

Nicholas Carlin is a partner with Phillips, Erlewine & Given, a San Francisco law firm. He was a member of the 2012 California Democratic Party Platform Committee and Chair of the National Security Plank.