Appearing on CBS Monday, House Financial Services Committee ranking member Barney Frank (D-MA) pointed to growing military spending as one of the causes of S&P's downgrade of U.S. credit.
"I would hope there would be one bipartisan agreement we can reach and I've been working for," Frank told CBS' Nancy Cordes. "There is one area in American policy where we are doing things disproportionate to the rest of the world. We don't give our older people more medical care, we don't have a better retirement, we don't spend more on the environment. Where America is disproportionate is our extraordinary willingness to be the military policemen for the whole world."
"We spend far more of our economy as a national percentage on the military than just about any nation except a beleaguered nation like Israel, which has to do with self defense. We are spending well over $120 billion a year in Iraq and Afghanistan. The time has come to find a place where we could, I think, together, make some savings. So, I am -- that's going to be my mantra for the next few months."
"We could be the strongest nation in the world for $400 billion instead of $700 billion, or $450 billion instead of $700 billion," he added. "We could easily save more than $200 billion without in any way endangering our security."
Watch this video from CBS' The Early Show, broadcast Aug. 8, 2011.