In an open letter to the Senate Armed Services Committee sent on July 10, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel urged Congress to rethink the impending $52 billion cut from the defense budget for the 2014 fiscal year.
The planned cuts are a result of the Budget Control Act signed into law by President Obama on August 2, 2011. The act included a $500 billion cut in defense spending over a ten year period as American troops began pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan.
President Nixon faced a similar test of reducing military spending as the War in Vietnam came to an end.
By the time President Nixon left office in 1974, the defense budget had been reduced to $371.3 Billion, a significant reduction from the $523.8 Billion defense budget set during the last year of the Johnson administration in 1968.
In his acceptance speech at the 1972 Republican National Convention, President Nixon discussed his administration’s significant reductions in defense spending.
“Let’s look at the record on defense expenditures. We have cut spending in our Administration. It now takes the lowest percentage of our national product in 20 years. We should not spend more on defense than we need. But we must never spend less than we need.”
President Nixon begins discussing his cuts to defense spending beginning on the 33:00 minute.
President Nixon 1972 RNC Acceptance Speech: