Skip to comments.Defense industry sounds the alarm on sequester (GOP abandons the military)
Posted on 10/17/2013 7:20:43 AM PDT by SkyPilot
The heads of the worlds largest defense companies are working to reclaim their clout in Congress after failing to push lawmakers to tackle sequestration as part of an agreement to end the latest standoff.
The announcement of the deal to reopen the government and raise the nations debt ceiling made clear just how far the industry has fallen in its influence on Capitol Hill.
Addressing the Senate on Wednesday, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) touted the accord as a victory for conservatives precisely because it continues sequestration, the automatic spending cuts that have hit the Pentagon and the sprawling defense industry especially hard.
Keeping the cuts in place has been a priority for me and my Republican colleagues, McConnell said. For the first time since the Korean War, government spending has declined for two years in a row.
McConnell is far from the only Republican for whom the cuts have become a source of pride, despite pleas from defense executives to avert them.
About 100 CEOs discussed the situation Tuesday evening in a conference call organized by the Aerospace Industries Association, which led an unsuccessful campaign last year to stave off sequestration.
The call was led by Northrop Grumman CEO Wes Bush, who also serves as chairman of AIA, along with AIA CEO Marion Blakey and L-3 Communications CEO Mike Strianese, AIAs vice chairman.
Together, they laid out for their fellow CEOs the contours of what was known about the agreement at the time and concluded that they must up the volume in their fight against sequestration.
But the defense industry has few options for battling back against fiscal conservatives and tea party supporters, especially since its executives have historically been uncomfortable taking sides in congressional races or pointing fingers at specific politicians.
(Excerpt) Read more at politico.com ...
Senator "Weasel" McConnell - proving once again this is not Ronald Reagan's GOP. The Republicans are now a greater enemy to the military than Democrats. Who would have ever thought that possible? But sadly, it is now cold, hard fact.
Many of you are upset that Republicans could not overturn ObamaCare (a long shot at best without control of the Senate or the White House).
Stopping the bleeding of the military was an achievable goal, had the Republicans chosen to even carry that fight.
Instead, they stabbed the military in the back - - again.
I am done with the Republican party.
Because of the structure of defense spending, our national security forces and defense industry have been able to continue operating under sequestration, but not without permanent damage. The full brunt of the cuts hasnt hit yet, and if we go down the sequester path for too long, we wont be able to reverse the devastating impacts. It isnt primarily the size of either the federal budget or the defense budget that poses problems; it is the dramatic change in the composition of those budgets over the decadeentitlements are pushing out investments. And sequester worsens that trend. Essential government services, especially in defense, are not being performed, and will not be if sequester continues. The combination of sequester cuts and unaddressed cost increases will erode force readiness, stall modernization, and reduce the fighting forces by at least 50% by 2021. The impact of the defense sequester on spending, which drives the economic impact, will double in FY 14 and triple in FY 15, compared to FY 13.
One of the few people talking about the Sequester today is a Democrat!
Sen Orin ("Don't Cut Your Hatches Before They've Chickened") Hatch was just on MSNBC bragging about how the Sequester will be "preserved" to devastate the military in the coming years.
Way to go GOP!
The military is approximately 17% of the budget (and shrinking), yet it is forced to "pay for" 50% of all Sequestration cuts.
Operations and Maintenance accounts were cut 40-50% last year, and FY14 and FY15 will be even worse.
Thousands of DoD doctors, nurses, and medical professionals have quit in disgust. Eleven Air Force combat wings went non-mission ready. Navy ships and submarines are being mothballed because of lack of maintenance funds. The Army and Marines will be cutting over 140,0000 troops, and that is just the floor, not the ceiling. Research, development, and procurement are being decimated. Thousands of defense jobs and related jobs have already been lost.
But the GOP won't touch the Entitlement Welfare State, which is the real cause of our exploding debt and deficits.
Republicans are happy to exploit the military and veterans when they think it serves them, but they collaborate with those who destroy it fiscally.
In fact, they are now leading the charge to bring the military to its knees.
I voted for Steve Lonegan yesterday - and that is my last vote for a member of the Republican party until they stop this assault on the US military.
God help us all.
I think the conservative position in this fight was clearly on the side of NOT spending more money.
There will be a push in the budget negotiations to modify the sequester. The democrat’s plan all along was to use the GOP love of the military to bribe them into accepting higher non-defense spending and to raise taxes.
The failure in leadership was when the sequester was designed. Now we are left with only bad options. Not winning elections can really keep you from getting what you want. It’s time we learned that lesson and focus on majorities.
"WE in the GOP defend corruption, leave the borders open,
arm al Qaeda and ignore its coverup,
actually make money from the TSA non-profiling nonsense,
as we enjoy FORCING ObamaCARE/RomneyCARE
on YOU and YOUR children, but not ours or our staff.
We are the GOP, home for conservative and Constitutional backstabbers."
The failure in leadership was when the sequester was designed. Now we are left with only bad options. Not winning elections can really keep you from getting what you want. Its time we learned that lesson and focus on majorities.
We didn’t get what we wanted but the Politburo got everything that they wanted.
if we need to balance the budget the pentagon should not be immune from cuts. in fact, it is mathematically impossible to balance the budget without cutting needless military spending. SS/medicare are about 55% of the budget; 10% is interest on the debt (which cannot be cut); defense spending is 20%, and remaining discretionary spending is 15%.
to balance our budget the military must share the pain, especially as the wars in afghanistan and iraq come to an end. the alternative is borrowing more money from the communists in peking
Here is an article about what is happening locally to the Marine Corps. Like so many other professionals, I will probably leave the DOD next year, I will not wait to be cut and left floundering with a family to support. http://jdnews.com/military/II-mef-headquarters-to-relocate-as-corps-shrinks-to174a000-1-217777
While this may sound good, the world has not changed, it is a very dangerous place, these men and women will deploy until they are burned out, the good ones will leave the service for a better quality of life leaving us a hollowed out force similar if not worse than 1980. The next 9-11 strike we will be too weak to respond, but hey the EBT cards will work. This time it is the GOP who is to blame, they had an opportunity to lift sequestration and renegotiate so the DOD does not get hammered.
Sorry OldGoat - everybody is taking a hit. I may loose my job before this is over, but there are no sacred cows.
I'm for prudent investment in US strategic defenses, but this Washington DC attitude of seeing endless world crisis and needing to police the world has to end if we are to survive.
“Tonight, I want to explain to you what this defense debate is all about and why I’m convinced that the budget now before the Congress is necessary, responsible, and deserving of your support. And I want to offer hope for the future.
But first, let me say what the defense debate is not about. It is not about spending arithmetic. I know that in the last few weeks you’ve been bombarded with numbers and percentages. Some say we need only a 5-percent increase in defense spending. The so-called alternate budget backed by liberals in the House of Representatives would lower the figure to 2 to 3 percent, cutting our defense spending by $163 billion over the next 5 years. The trouble with all these numbers is that they tell us little about the kind of defense program America needs or the benefits and security and freedom that our defense effort buys for us.
What seems to have been lost in all this debate is the simple truth of how a defense budget is arrived at. It isn’t done by deciding to spend a certain number of dollars. Those loud voices that are occasionally heard charging that the government is trying to solve a security problem by throwing money at it are nothing more than noise based on ignorance. We start by considering what must be done to maintain peace and review all the possible threats against our security. Then a strategy for strengthening peace and defending against those threats must be agreed upon. And, finally, our defense establishment must be evaluated to see what is necessary to protect against any or all of the potential threats. The cost of achieving these ends is totaled up, and the result is the budget for national defense.
There is no logical way that you can say, let’s spend x billion dollars less. You can only say, which part of our defense measures do we believe we can do without and still have security against all contingencies? Anyone in the Congress who advocates a percentage or a specific dollar cut in defense spending should be made to say what part of our defenses he would eliminate, and he should be candid enough to acknowledge that his cuts mean cutting our commitments to allies or inviting greater risk or both.” ~ Ronald Reagan
And your back ground in military readiness comes from what university or academy. The sequestration does not touch contingency operations, only maintenance, personnel/payroll and morale/welfare funding, or “OPTAR” funds. Cutting the Corps to below 9-11 levels is insane. Because of the addition of MARSOC (spec warfare) this is the equivalent of cutting the general war fighting capability of the Corps by 10% of its pre war level. As the charts clearly show it is not the military, it is all the welfare programs that are eating your tax dollars. The GOP had the opportunity to negotiate an increase in OPTAR funding, they choose not to. Ironically, the Dims wanted to bring DOD back to the levels originally recommend post-war. That would keep the Corps at 184,000 down 18,000 personnel from their war time peak. Note nearly a 10% reduction with corresponding reductions in costs.
I hate to say it, but I am not sad to see the military getting cut.
I say this because I think the next target of the US military will be the US public.
I used to dismiss such talk. But after seeing how quickly park ranger of all people pulled out M4s and pointed them at citizens at war memorials, I realized that most soldiers, marines, and civilian police will not keep their oaths to defend the Constitution, but will rather just follow orders.
And, yes, I am ex-military. Never thought I’d have this opinion.
Defense was already cut in 2009 and 2011, before Sequestration dealt the final blow.
Entitlements were exempt from Sequestration. Our wonderful friends, the "upright and moral" Democrats saw to that.
Only a very small portion of reimbursement to providers for Medicaid was hit - but zero cuts to all other Entitlements (including Social Security, Medicare, and the 70+ unearned Entitlements).
So, Defense has been "sharing the pain" - and too many in this nation have not, and still aren't.
Never said there were, and I never claimed to be one. My position is funded every two years out of profit from the military exchange system. Yes they make a small profit for those who did not know that. I seriously doubt 1/2 of our positions worldwide will be refunded after January 2015. It comes with the job, I knew the rules when I accepted the job. The DOD has borne the brunt of all cuts for years, after this rounds of cuts, people on this site will still claim we are bloated and need more cuts. It never ends, until a bunch of civilians get their asses blown-up then and only then do people say give the military more money, protect us. Once they no longer feel threaten, they say screw all those people sucking off the military tit, cut DOD spending. I have watched this same story play out over and over again since 1975.
I have seen hundreds of service members sent home in the last year, no jobs, limited skills most end up on unemployment or disability or both, all we did was move them out of the DOD and turned many of them into free-riders. And the GOP brags about this.
You need to rethink your position, DHS is bigger than the United States Marine Corps. A small leaner military will only impact overseas capability, domestically a smaller force will be more efficient especially if coordinating with the DHS.
I have paid into Social Security for decades now. Someone else has cashed those checks, and I doubt I will see much of "my money" back.
I have also paid taxes those same decades - to fund the military, and also Food Stamps, TANF welfare, and Section 8 housing.
Not all programs, however, are morally equivalent.
"As a result, Social Security, Medicaid, veterans' benefits, unemployment insurance, and food stamps will not see any reduction in funding. Medicare beneficiaries were also spared the axe, while Medicare providers will see only a 2 percent reduction in payments. Mr. Obama's healthcare bill, some recall, also opted to slash payments to Medicare providers in lieu of targeting beneficiaries. Cuts to entitlement benefits are among the most politically sensitive of deficit reduction proposals - Social Security, for example, is called the "third rail" of American politics because politicians who propose any significant alterations to the program risk being electrocuted by the political fallout."
So much for (as another Freeper put it) we all "must share the pain."
Exactly right. The next time I am in NPS I will compliment them on their brown shirts. The more military that are out now the more the fights that come later will be equal.....
McCornhole is Enemy # 1.
Oh please, the Pentagon could cut $30-50 is stupid programs without adversely affecting our security. There is SO much ridiculous waste, as there is in farm subsidies, obamaphone, etc.
They cut the one thing the government is actually supposed to fund, but then spend $200 million moving office furniture in D.C and $3 billion on some freaking river project in Ohio. I don’t think that the Defense industry and fiscal Conservatives should be enemies. The cuts that need to take place are the brass sitting in the Pentagon making half a million dollars not the technology, research and development, and combat pay.
The Pentagon has more than enough money, and should not be immune from cuts. We are wasting our treasure in lives and dollars on perpetual war that gains us nothing but more trouble and which cannot be sustained. History illustrates the financial collapse of every empire that grew beyond sustainability. We are not immune, and we are choking on the ever-accumulating debt.
The ‘defunders’ also were not defunding the real socialized medicine- Medicare. Far bigger socialism than even Obamacare.
Cruz was trying to save Medicare from $500 billion in cuts from Obamacare. Why?
We’ll never cut the other guy’s favorite pork until we cut our own.
Steve King is a good example- ‘Mr Conservative’ (until it comes to ethanol or windmills)
This graph distorts the cuts and makes them look much larger than they really are. You don’t do your argument any favors by using such a plot.
Semper Fi! Cuts in personnel can/should start with a reduction of general officer billets.
Next, consolidate the acquisition/logistics function into one directorate.
Fill new civilian DOD positions on a term contracts, not make them permanent from Day 1. The FDIC does that with about 75% of their current workforce, which was beefed up for the banking crisis.
Contracts were set for 2 years, with an agency option for two additional years. Any extension beyond that must be approved through OPM. You won't see any immediate benefits on the cost side, but you'll certainly bend the long-term cost curve on personnel.
Kinda hard when, even here, there are those think the U.S. are the World Police or the U.N.’s bitch.
I’m sure to get a few of those ‘Const. is not a death warrant’ responses /s
On the other hand, sequestration is the only thing holding Obama in check right now.
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