To be sent: September 9, 2011

Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction

The Honorable Patty Murray, Co-Chair                                                           

The Honorable Jeb Hensarling, Co-Chair

The Honorable Xavier Becerra                                                            

The Honorable James E. Clyburn                                                           

The Honorable Chris Van Hollen

The Honorable Pat Toomey

The Honorable Max Baucus                                                                        

The Honorable John Kerry                                                                 

The Honorable Dave Camp

The Honorable Fred Upton

The Honorable Jon Kyl

The Honorable Rob Portman


Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction

Dear Co-Chairs and Members,

Congress and the American people have entrusted you with a great responsibility – ensuring the economic well-being of our nation.  This is no simple task and will require both bold decisions and fair compromises.

We understand that you will consider many options when it comes to reaching the benchmarks set by Congress.  But too often, when it has come time to reduce spending, the working poor and the middle class have been asked to bear most of the sacrifice.  Fortunately, there are other alternatives.

To generate much-needed savings, we strongly urge you to examine the costs of the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.  To date, the wars have cost our taxpayers at least $2.3 trillion, with an additional $884 billion in future costs for veterans and their families.  This adds up to  a total of  at least $3.2 trillion.  By ending the wars and paying for a safe, orderly, and responsible redeployment of troops from both Afghanistan and Iraq, we can go a long way toward meeting our fiscal challenges.  We propose:

  • Ending the  overseas contingency operations emergency supplementals and on-budget appropriations starting in Fiscal Year 2013, $70 billion in Fiscal Year 2012 to fund redeployment, while saving more than $1.8 trillion from current law spending levels over ten years

These reductions are substantial and robust.  They will put us on the road to a more prosperous and secure future while advancing our national security interests. 

Exorbitant spending on failed wars that have killed thousands of Americans must not be exempt from budgetary scrutiny.  Before we ask American families to pitch in more, let’s bring our troops home – and, in the process, our tax dollars home.