Amid all the talk about spending cuts for unemployment benefits, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) has a counter proposal: cut NATO spending. The congressman told The Huffington Post that defense spending needs to be included in the discussion about spending cuts, and argued that the liberal community should focus specifically on NATO spending as an issue. The Democrat went so far as to question NATO’s value.
“These kind of restrictions on domestic spending with unlimited spending for the war — and you always have to talk about both — is a great mistake,” Frank said in an interview. “And the liberal community’s got to focus more on Afghanistan, Iraq, NATO. NATO is a great drain on our treasury and serves no strategic purpose.”
Lawrence J. Korb, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, estimated NATO-related spending makes up about 20 percent of the baseline defense budget, or roughly $100 billion a year, though the number is difficult to guess precisely.
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Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website’s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl(at)talkingpointsmemo.com