GOP senators launch tour warning of defense cuts

Discussion in 'Politics' started by AK Forty Seven, Jul 26, 2012.

  1. GOP senators launch tour warning of defense cuts

    Senate Republicans warning of the devastating impact from looming defense cuts will hit four presidential battleground states next week, ratcheting up the political pressure on President Barack Obama even though Congress endorsed the reductions. Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte announced Thursday that they will hold a series of town hall meetings in Florida, North Carolina, Virginia and New Hampshire — states that are home to military installations and defense contracting jobs.

    The three said in a statement that they will "sound the alarm about the profound negative consequences of these cuts to our national security and economy. These communities, which provide our troops the equipment and support they need to defend our country, will bear the brunt of the defense sequestration cuts."

    McCain, R-Ariz., voted for the cuts last August; Graham, R-S.C., and Ayotte, R-N.H., opposed them.

    Republicans have blamed Obama for the automatic, across-the-board reductions in projected defense spending, but Republicans as well as Democrats voted for the cuts as part of a $1.2 trillion deficit-cutting plan.

    The law implements nearly $500 billion in cuts over 10 years as the nation emerges from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. If Congress can't find a way to avert the automatic cuts, known as sequestration, defense and domestic programs would face another round of cuts of about $500 billion apiece beginning on Jan. 2.

    The cuts were set in motion by the failure of the bipartisan congressional supercommittee last November to produce $1.2 trillion in spending cuts.

    Lawmakers have called the reductions catastrophic for the military. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta issued a fresh warning of his own on Wednesday.

    "I sure as hell hope that sequestration doesn't happen," Panetta told a joint House panel focused on veterans issues. "It would be, as I've said, time and time again, a disaster in terms of the Defense Department, as far as our budget is concerned and as far as our ability to respond to the threats that are out there."

    Panetta said it would mean double the defense budget cuts and the 100,000 personnel cut.

    In real terms, however, the base defense budget has nearly doubled over the last decade, from $297 billion in 2001 to $529 billion in 2011. That amount does not include the billions spent on the two wars. The Pentagon envisioned spending would increase to $700 billion in 2021.

    If the automatic cuts kick in, next year's Pentagon budget would face a cut of about $55 billion in projected spending from a half-trillion-dollar budget.

    Graham, who traveled through his state of South Carolina in May, warned that the automatic cuts would force more than 180,000 out of the Army, cast doubt on the future of Fort Jackson and mean the termination of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which is supposed to be based at the Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort and Shaw Air Force Base outside Sumter.

    Since then, Graham, McCain and several Democrats have discussed a possible one-year alternative to the automatic cuts that would involve raising revenue through changes in the tax rates. That idea, however, hasn't won much support from Republicans resistant to raising taxes.

    Graham said in an interview that to force the issue in Congress, it's necessary to "create pressure outside the body. ... I hope Democrats will do what we're doing on the non-defense side. If I were a Democrat worried about the NIH's budget — I'm worried about it myself — I'd be out there doing what we're doing."

    But he made clear he is frustrated with Obama.

    "I think he's been AWOL," Graham said. "Quite frankly, it's an abrogation of his commander-in-chief responsibility to go to the VFW and criticize us when you haven't done anything to solve the problem."

    Obama said in his VFW speech on Monday. "There are a number of Republicans in Congress who don't want you to know that most of them voted for these cuts. ... Now they're trying to wriggle out of what they agreed to."

    Graham said he hopes to attach any plan to a bill to keep the government operating.

    On the House side, the top Democrats on the various committees sent a letter to Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, calling for bipartisan negotiations to replace the automatic cuts with a balanced deficit reduction plan.

    "We are confident that we can identify revenue sources and prioritize investments in a bipartisan fashion to avoid the sequester while achieving our deficit reduction goals," the 21 Democrats wrote.

    Donna Cassata of The Associated Press wrote this report. Susanne Schafer in Columbia, S.C., contributed.
  2. When Clinton left office The US spent 300 billion on defense

    When Bush left office The US spent over 700 billion on defense

    Obama wants to cut defense spending,Romney wants to increase it

    The US spends more on defense then nearly every other nation combined

    Russia and China spends around 100 billion a year on defense and have no problems defending their country,The GOP says we need to spend more then 700 billion a year to defend The US

    Over 700 billion a year spent on defense yet the GOP is telling us that 50 billion in cuts are going to be catastrophic
  3. Ricter


    What is it they call these guys, Keynesian Republicans?
  4. Yep, the current crop aren't worth a damn.

    Too many credit bubble baby boomer a-holes in both parties. The "old guard" politico's had some guts...and perhaps when this "Great Recession" wipes out the hopes of the current generation, we'll return to some principle and sanity...but I'm not holding my breath.
  5. Mav88


    with all DUE respect (Ricter = some, AK =0) your opinions are worthless without an examination of the military reality.

    Most of the military budget is for pay and benefits of both active duty and retirees, that can't be cut. Most of the rest is for ops and maintenace of legacy (old) systems. There isn't much for anything new, if you cut it then Panetta is right- you cripple future ops.

    Military spending is at average cold war levels and isn't that big of a deal as a percent GDP. Entitlements are the real problem.

    What is ALWAYS left out of the discussion is purchasing power parity. China can spend relatively little and get a whole lot more bang because they treat their people like crap. I have seen the inside, we are losing despite these stupid and wrongheaded analysis based soley on absolute levels.
  6. With no do respect Hail Hitler,we were doing just fine when Clinton was spending only 297 billion a year on defense

    We haves nukes and 50 % of US households have guns,this country is safe spending 200-300 billion on defense.Our problem is neo cons who want the US to police the world , start a war any chance they get and give hundreds of billions to defense contractors
  7. Wrong

    If you're going to be a military industrial complex supporter at least learn the facts.Military Personnel and housing is only 158 billion a year

    Most military spending is operations and maintenance,procurement,and research.In other words wars,policeing the world and defense contractors

  8. +1

    It is almost beyond comprehension that Romney wants to increase spending.
  9. Mav88


    Haiti, Bosnia, and Serbia was all Bill Clinton - try reading sometime you ignoramius... then 9/11. We had hollowed out the military by then and had to increase its size.
  10. Mav88


    Amazing, just amazing display of rank stupidity. Whatever you paid for education, get it back:
    #10     Jul 26, 2012