Key Conservative Lobbyist Talks Up Military Spending Cuts

'We Need to Look at Defense the Way We Look at Welfare'

With the election looming and most Republicans looking to shore up their imagine by promising massive spending on the military as a matter of course, Americans for Tax Reform head Grover Norquist, one of the most influential conservative lobbyists out there, is talking cuts.

Discussing the sequestration plans in recent comments, Norquist termed the plan “helpful” because it got people talking about military spending cuts, adding that “we need to look at defense the way we look at welfare and education. Just because somebody calls something by a good name doesn’t mean every dollar is spent wisely or constructively.”

It isn’t the first time Norquist bucked the Republican trend and talked up military spending cuts. In August he made a similar argument, saying that military spending cuts could resolve “misallocation of resources” and noting that military spending doesn’t create jobs, but instead just “takes money out of the real economy and puts it in the government sector.”

True though this all surely is, this is one occasion in which Norquist may face an uphill battle to get a Republican audience, with many of the party’s lawmakers also deeply tied to military spending lobbies for whom spending must always go up and even hints at slowing the rate of growth are an outrageous “threat.”

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.