Taxpayers for Common $ense,
June 19, 1997.
Dear Representatives Luther and Ramstad: Taxpayers for Common $ense is pleased to support the Luther-Ramstad amendment to the FY98 Defense Authorization Bill to end further procurement of the D-5 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) and deactivate eight Trident submarines currently equipped with an older missile system. This amendment would both eliminate future purchases of a weapon costing $50 million per missile and cancel the backfitting of submarines with older missile systems, leading to ultimate savings of $5.7 billion.
As the United States moves to a balanced budget, it is unacceptable for taxpayers to finance an outdated missile program originally designed to counter Cold War threats. With 350D-5 missiles currently in service, the U.S. Navy is more than well-equipped, making further D-5 purchases unnecessary. Only a select few nations possess SLBM capabilities. The U.S. already leads the world in this area, with four other nations, Russia, China, France and Great Britain, all trailing in the distance. To the extent that the SLBM still remains a viable strategic weapon in the redefined global arena, the U.S. possesses an adequate deterrent capability.
To ensure that we achieve the goal of a balanced budget, Congress must make difficult decisions regarding each and every dollar. Your amendment represents a sensible balance between sound defense policy and sound budget policy.