A reasonable person might ask, doesn't cutting Pentagon spending mean a weaker military? It doesn't.
Military experts tell us our armed forces will be stronger if we force ourselves to think strategically. Some military brass may view the sequester as a crisis -- but it's also an opportunity for Congress to seriously assess the Pentagon's strategic choices and budget needs based on a careful exploration of our priorities.
And what are our priorities? Priority one might be to make greater investments in special operations forces for counter terrorism, and discontinue occupying entire countries.
Priority two might be putting less emphasis on huge fleets of expensive aircraft like the F-35 (the most expensive weapons system in our history) or listening to the Pentagon when they recommend not to build any more M-1 Tanks because we have 3,000 in reserve in the California desert.
Priority three might be greater investment in cyber capabilities to protect cyberspace and boost informational security over future threats like China.
Recent polls show that a majority of both Democrats and Republicans think Pentagon spending should be responsibly reined in, and both Democrats and Republicans prefer cuts in this area to cuts in programs like Medicare and Social Security.
So what are we waiting for? And what must be overcome?
Today, 53 years after outgoing President Dwight Eisenhower warned of a "permanent armaments industry of vast proportions," we must overcome the pervasive power of military contractor CEOs and their lobbyists.
We must recognize that present priorities command us to invest in domestic concerns such as jobs, education and health care. Nation-building at home must trump nation-building abroad.
We must recognize that strength and respect abroad is built, and based, on economic strength at home. And we cannot thrive if obsolete and unnecessary weapons systems are consuming our precious resources and weakening our economy through cuts that cost jobs here in the homeland.
It is not the size of government that is the problem but who government is working for -- CEOs and lobbyists or working families and the middle class? We need a government that works for us.
Zuckett is executive director of West Virginia Citizen Action.