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The Raw Story - Obama's Cuts to Defense Budget are Good First Step, GOP Representative Says

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By Nathan Diebenow

he Obama administration's $78 billion cut to the defense budget is a good start to protect nation, according to a Republican congressman from California.

"This is just the beginning," Rep. John Campbell (R-CA) said on Fox Business Network's Bulls & Bears Monday.

He continued, "We need to look at some more, and look at what is our role, what is our role going to be going forward with the military to keep ourselves safe but know we don't have unlimited resources."

Campbell's urge is the latest among an informal alliance among libertarians and progressives pushing for deeper cuts to the US military.

"Republicans also should resist pressure to take all defense spending cuts off the table," Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) said in an op-ed piece last November, aligning himself with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) in breaking with the GOPs "Pledge To America."

However, cuts to the US military made now might be too little too late to stop the damage done by the creation of the nation's $14 trillion debt which has paid for its "guns and butter" programs.

Given the shape of its political system and governmental institutions, the United States has "reached a point of no return," David Stockman, a former Reagan administration budget director, recently told Raw Story.

"And I'm not sure how they are going to be reversed or eliminated," he said. "It may be a permanent way of life. Then, if it is, it'll be both a corruption of democracy and a serious weakening of the private capitalistic economy."

Stockman suggested that a reasonable target to shrink the defense establishment would be 3 percent of GDP by 2015 from its current level at 5.4 percent of GDP.

In his interview on Fox Business, Rep. Campbell offered no projection for defense cuts, though he said that there is no reason for the US to keep alive weapon systems from past conflicts while using the Defense Department as a jobs program.

"When we have to build more of this particular weapons system... because it will provide jobs in someone's district - that's the wrong reason to do it," Campbell said.

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) last year called for $1 trillion worth of cuts to the Pentagon's budget over the next decade.


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