Although I’m a proponent of a strong national defense, I don’t regard the military budget as just another jobs bill. Many members of Congress view defense spending as an aspect of pork-barrel-as-usual, and vote accordingly. As a fiscal hawk, I oppose that frame of mind.
Under the current wave of budget cuts mandated by the Obama administration, the Defense Department has already taken a massive hit. Since Congress couldn’t agree on a budget, a new series of automatic cuts — known on the Hill as “sequestration” — is set to kick in. By the time the axe finishes falling, our national defense may see a further reduction of 18%.
If this were part of an across-the-board cut for the whole of the federal government, I wouldn’t raise a fuss. But it isn’t: the defense budget took a hugely disproportionate hit during the first round of cuts, so that by the time sequestration runs its course, our military will be gutted.
Social spending, however, is facing a much more modest reduction. Health and Human Services and the Department of the Interior are not taking as big a hit. And recent reports indicate that the budget for the Department of Homeland Security will actually be increased.
In effect, the president has drained the blood from our national defense and used it to give a transfusion to ACORN and the SEIU.
In other words, business as usual for the Obama White House.
On February 1, 2012, the Center for Security Policy hosted a panel discussion and press conference in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill, under the auspices of the Coalition for the Common Defense. The panel topic was “The Security and Economic Implications of Defense Spending Cuts”.
Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), who serves on the Armed Services and Judiciary Committees, was one of the panel participants. He spoke extensively about the danger posed by Iran, and the potential devastating effects of severe cuts in the military budget. Below are some excerpts from his remarks:
The Coalition for the Common Defense has just launched a new website with an extensive breakdown of the effect that reductions in the defense budget will have on localities throughout the country. According to a CSP press release:
With the President’s recent announcement of a new strategic direction for the defense of the United States and the impending release on February 13 of the 2013 defense budget, American communities need to prepare for the losses in jobs and revenues from defense budget cuts.
Panelists discussed the alarming effects of the administration’s proposed defense cuts on America’s ability to confront and defeat aggression in an increasingly dangerous world.
Additionally, the Center for Security Policy has rolled out a new educational resource, the “Defense Breakdown Economic Impact Reports,” with summary reports for all states and territories, and online reports that show the effects of defense cuts on states, counties, cities, business types (ethnic/minority/women/veteran), congressional districts, and industries.
The reports are part of a broader 2012 initiative, the Coalition for the Common Defense, to educate and engage the American public on the importance of maintaining a strong national defense.
At last week’s event, Frank Gaffney, the President of CSP, made a few remarks before introducing the Defense Breakdown Economic Impact Reports:
For more information, and to see the Defense Breakdown reports, visit the Coalition for the Common Defense.
Former congressman Fred Grandy, also of CSP, talked to KT McFarland on FOX News last week about the effect of the proposed defense cuts, as detailed in the Coalition for the Common Defense reports.
See for yourself: the Defense Breakdown Economic Impact Reports.
The information is the reports refers to both contractor location and the “place of performance” — that is, where the contract was carried out. The second set of reports is further subdivided by Weapon System, Product or Service, and Contracting Office, and broken out by city and county for each state.
Many thanks to Vlad Tepes for uploading these videos. The original 28-minute video from CSP is here.