Surprising Findings on Defense Industry Campaign Cash to Supercommittee

Our friends at Brave New Foundation have teamed with Alternet and Salon to document how the Democrats on the "supercommittee" have actually received far more defense industry campaign cash than the Republicans serving on the committee.

From the findings: "Since 2007, Democrats on the supercommittee have received more than $1 million in defense industry donations, while contributions to the Republicans added up to only $321,000. Panel co-chair Senator Patty Murray, for example, has received more defense industry dollars over that period than the combined total of the top four Republican recipients on the super committee."

The supercommittee is charged with finding $1.5 trillion in new cuts in order to reign in the debt, and it will be interesting if this defense industry campaign cash to Democratic members of the committee will have an affect on potential cuts. When you couple this news with supercommittee member Sen. Jon Kyl's (R-Ariz.) threat a couple of weeks ago to quit the bipartisan committee if defense cuts were on the table, the prospects for finding savings in defense spending seem bleak.

What this could mean, of course, is that other vital programs like Medicare and Medicaid end up on the chopping block. The American people favor a balanced approach to debt reduction, and campaign cash and lobbying efforts from interested industries, including defense, are sure to play a role. How big a role remains to be seen, but this surprising news on who's received all this campaign cash doesn't bode well.