For some Super Committee members, an added incentive to avoid “doomsday” defense cuts

posted at 9:25 am on August 15, 2011 by Tina Korbe

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta has called it the “doomsday” scenario: The Super Committee deadlocks and defense funding faces substantial cuts. That’s why, the day after the president signed the debt ceiling into law, I wrote that the Super Committee would need deficit and defense hawks.

A few weeks and 12 picks later, the first half of Panetta’s scenario is a little less likely and the specter of the second half looks a little more insubstantial, given that a way to delay the cuts actually exists. Still, it’s nice to know a few of the Super Committee members have an added incentive to avoid the triggered cuts to defense funding: Turns out, several of them come from states that could be especially struck by the cuts.

From The Washington Times:

The cuts could hammer Everett, Wash., where some of the 30,000 Boeing employees are working on giant airborne refueling tankers for the Air Force, or Amarillo, Texas, where 1,100 Bell Helicopter Textron workers assemble the fuselage, wings, engines and transmissions for the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft.

Billions in defense cuts would be a blow to the hundreds working on upgrades to the Abrams tank for General Dynamics in Lima, Ohio, or the employees of BAE Systems in Pennsylvania.

For committee members such as Sens. Patty Murray, Washington Democrat; Rob Portman, Ohio Republican; and Patrick J. Toomey, Pennsylvania Republican, the threat of Pentagon cuts is an incentive to come up with $1.5 trillion in savings over a decade. Failure would have brutal implications for hundreds of thousands workers back home and raise the potential of political peril for the committee’s 12.

Given all of this, of far more concern than the possibility of cuts to defense is that the Committee looks increasingly unlikely to yield any meaningful work on entitlement reform. In the end, the Committee will probably come up with the bare minimum cuts it needs to avoid the trigger mechanism, but the biggest driver of our debt will remain unaddressed. Of course, it will still be better that the “bare minimum cuts” come from some area other than defense, one of the few responsibilities of the federal government explicitly outlined in the Constitutions.


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It only matters if it affects any of the owners of the democrat party … like unions.

darwin on August 15, 2011 at 9:29 AM

They will end up deeming themselves a waiver from the triggered cuts when they can’t agree on anything.

forest on August 15, 2011 at 9:30 AM

What a waste of time

cmsinaz on August 15, 2011 at 9:31 AM

Aren’t we still just talking about reductions in how much the budget will increase?

Count to 10 on August 15, 2011 at 9:31 AM

We need another downgrade.

artist on August 15, 2011 at 9:31 AM

Tina, stop hanging around Ed so much. His rosiness is rubbing off on you. Do you really thing a hack like Patti Murray cares about workers?

SouthernGent on August 15, 2011 at 9:32 AM

These jackass, self serving politicians will never have the guts or good sense to make difficult decisions so why don’t we just hire a country administrator and a country council (about 20 people) and let them run the country like a large city? I know,it’s absurd, but just had to vent. Millions upon millions are spent on politicians and their functions but none of them ever have the guts to do their jobs after they’re hired. This poor sick Republic is in deep trouble.

rplat on August 15, 2011 at 9:33 AM

Do you really thing a hack like Patti Murray cares about workers?

SouthernGent on August 15, 2011 at 9:32 AM

Murray cares about getting re-elected. If defense cuts lead to big job losses in her state, that adversely affects her chances of getting re-elected. So yes, in a roundabout, selfish, how does it affect me? kind of way, she does care.

AZCoyote on August 15, 2011 at 9:41 AM

Tina, stop hanging around Ed so much. His rosiness is rubbing off on you. Do you really thing a hack like Patti Murray cares about workers?

SouthernGent on August 15, 2011 at 9:32 AM

I’m wondering if she is mourning the death of such a humanitarian like OBL, whom she talked up to schoolkids as building health clinics and other things in the Middle East to make him popular with the people.

teke184 on August 15, 2011 at 9:43 AM

So yes, in a roundabout, selfish, how does it affect me? kind of way, she does care.

AZCoyote on August 15, 2011 at 9:41 AM

Boeing has already cut way back on employment in Murray’s state. It’s now a high-tech playground, and unless her cuts hurt the liberal software geeks, not much chance of job cuts affecting her reelection chances.

MrScribbler on August 15, 2011 at 9:48 AM

This is already a big waste of time.
This panel of 12 couldn’t cut their way out of a paper bag.

ORconservative on August 15, 2011 at 9:53 AM

Sorry, I just don’t see anything good for the defense department from this deal. They’ll get screwed and in 10 years, maybe less, we will once again have Dems taking to the floor of congress to belittle a Republican president over the shoddy equipment or lack of equipment while engaged in whoever the enemy of the day is. It is a cycle that has been repeated all throughout America’s history.

Ramp up in time of war and cut like hell when there is no enemy within the borders. We are there once again. Most people don’t see a threat in their lives so it is time to put away the tools of war and wait for the next attack.

Besides the TSA and those wonderful gun running folks at DHS will keep us safe.

Just A Grunt on August 15, 2011 at 9:57 AM

This is just more Washington slight of hand. The opportunity to get rid of more of these elites comes in 2012 and I pray we can do then what we did in 2010.

csdeven on August 15, 2011 at 10:00 AM

That’s a MAN, baby!

KeepOhioRed on August 15, 2011 at 10:01 AM

This is just more Washington slight of hand. The opportunity to get rid of more of these elites comes in 2012 and I pray we can do then what we did in 2010.
csdeven on August 15, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Yeah

and put in romney
lol

Sonosam on August 15, 2011 at 10:09 AM

“the Committee looks increasingly unlikely to yield any meaningful work on entitlement reform.”

Why do you say this?

I guess I never once thought the committee was any more likely to “yield meaningful work” on entitlements than any other committe ever has accomplished meaningful work of any kind, but I’d sure like to know what news led you to this conclusion. Has there been any news?

MTF on August 15, 2011 at 10:12 AM

As long as Seattle is in Washington state, Murray is in a safe seat…

Khun Joe on August 15, 2011 at 10:15 AM

Hell… I just heard Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA) on the radio. He said this defense cuts trigger puts the Ds in the cat bird seat of not really needing a deal… They could just as soon let the trigger get pulled.
-
Then the guest host took to trashing Bachmann using the standard ‘she’s crazy’ mo in the next segment so… now the radio is off.
-

RalphyBoy on August 15, 2011 at 10:20 AM

Of all the things said at the debate, the most accurate was Gingrich stating this is the biggest waste of time…nothing will come out of this except political rhetoric.
It is just fodder for the election…

right2bright on August 15, 2011 at 10:26 AM

This is just more Washington slight of hand. The opportunity to get rid of more of these elites comes in 2012 and I pray we can do then what we did in 2010.

csdeven on August 15, 2011 at 10:00 AM

I’ll bet Sarah Palin knows the difference between ‘slight’ and ‘sleight.’

fossten on August 15, 2011 at 10:27 AM

Millions upon millions are spent on politicians and their functions but none of them ever have the guts to do their jobs after they’re hired. This poor sick Republic is in deep trouble.

rplat on August 15, 2011 at 9:33 AM

Well stated…

right2bright on August 15, 2011 at 10:27 AM

I’ll bet Sarah Palin knows the difference between ‘slight’ and ‘sleight.’

fossten on August 15, 2011 at 10:27 AM

One of the great aspects of HotAir has always been the tolerance of someone “mistyping” in the blog without some weasel goof ball pointing out an error that is insignificant.
The ideas are robust, and the adults understand the casualness of typing out a thought without having to resort to worrying about some guy/gal pointing out minor differences…especially when they admit they know what the error ment.
You have shown how petty you are to try to win an argument or two make a pint…

right2bright on August 15, 2011 at 10:31 AM

Dog and Pony Show. Americans have every right to be insulted by this lame offering. It’s as if in the history of this country we have never had a divided government. Pitiful, and Trifling.

Dr Evil on August 15, 2011 at 10:36 AM

Surely you must be joking, Tina.

You think Patty “Freak-Left” Murray is worried about radical unionist Boeing employees suddenly turning on the Democrats? Good grief.

Jaibones on August 15, 2011 at 10:38 AM

The Super Committee will become the Dems version of the debt limit debate but with them in the driving seat.

The GOP will be presented TWO choices: Tax Increases vs. Deadlock leading to defense cuts.

The other discretionary cuts have been tailor-made for Dems and will once again be sham cuts.

So either way the GOP gets screwed and Dems, unlike the squishy GOP, will NOT hesitate to deadlock leading to the defense cuts!

So sorry, defense hawks, it’s your turn to go under the GOP bus. Social and fiscal conservatives have already been through that experience.

TheRightMan on August 15, 2011 at 10:49 AM

Patti Murray carea about

A) patti Murray
B) democrat party

30k workers in Everret? Not on the list.

angryed on August 15, 2011 at 10:55 AM

especially when they admit they know what the error ment.
You have shown how petty you are to try to win an argument or two make a pint…

right2bright

Not to worry. We knew what you meant! :)

honsy on August 15, 2011 at 11:16 AM

right2bright on August 15, 2011 at 10:31 AM

Talk about missing the forest for the trees.

While yes, we at Hot Air do generally give others the benefit of the doubt, when certain posters (such as csdeven) wander off into left field to parse every little spelling and grammar mistake from Palin (while completely missing the point of her writing), and then display the exact same issue for which they criticize others…

That’s called hypocrisy, something that Hot Air posters DO call others out on.

dominigan on August 15, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Give Tina a break, Patti Murry should care about jobs in her state. Murry seems to care, whining about the jobs that went to SC and sicing the Government on Boeing.

IowaWoman on August 15, 2011 at 11:25 AM

Just the pic of that dolt Murray sends me reeling knowing that the shallowest of minds can achieve, in this case part of an unconstitution supr committee that has the power to raise taxes

she brings nothing but mindless partisanship

maybe she can tell us more good things about obl

Sonosam on August 15, 2011 at 11:27 AM

Patty Murray is my Senator. Trust me. Everyone that posts here on HotAir (including csdeven) possesses vastly superior spelling skills to Senator Patty Murray.

My collie says:

FYI, Washington’s other Senator is Maria Cantwell. It’s easy to tell the two of them apart — because Patty is the “smart” Senator.

CyberCipher on August 15, 2011 at 11:32 AM

And if they don’t agree?

We’ll have an extra-special supplemental spending package that puts back in the ‘doomsday cuts’ and promises (cross their hearts and hope to be re-elected) that the rate of outyear growth will decrease by 0.1% (insert favorite number in case you don’t like that) to ‘pay’ for them!

Which will then be immediately ignored for the next FY’s budget.

See how this works?

I bet you I can find 5 agencies that if we cut them totally, as in end them and sell off all their property, could get you a $1 trillion drop in the budget permanently. No ‘cuts in growth’ and no ‘outyear savings’ but savings today, tomorrow and from here on out. It’s dead simple, start with Ag and you are past the 50%… and you could get rid of all the tax breaks for farming, price supports to Big Ag (really, why does Monsanto need help?) and put an end to paying people who have had no intention of farming not to farm. You get more with doing just that than in any ‘doomsday budget’ shinola… and for shinola it isn’t smelling all that good…

ajacksonian on August 15, 2011 at 11:59 AM

Patti Murray cares about

A) patti Murray
B) democrat party

30k workers in Everret? Not on the list.

angryed on August 15, 2011 at 10:55 AM

Exactly. I will wait with bated breath for the news that Patty Murray has sided with fiscal conservatives on rational spending cuts in order to preserve our defense budget.

Don’t bet the farm on this, Tina.

Jaibones on August 15, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Patty Murray: The Stupidest Person in America

slickwillie2001 on August 15, 2011 at 12:30 PM

I am not a really big fan of large cuts to defense. I remember when Clinton cut defense by 25%. Then 9/11 came. Bush had to rebuild our defense mechanisms. It cost a lot of money. Money that now label Bush as a “RINO”. During the Clinton time, we lost some of our best military minds because they were forced to retire.
Cutting defense has some large pitfalls.
Voter from WA State on August 15, 2011 at 12:14 PM

it’s funny how the commies have made a narrative that defense cuts hurt only the right

defense is for all including scummy lefty garbage living off their betters

Sonosam on August 15, 2011 at 12:33 PM

Not to worry. We knew what you meant! :)

honsy on August 15, 2011 at 11:16 AM

That was sarcasm, along with “two” and “pint”…in case you didn’t get it…but the goofball did.

right2bright on August 15, 2011 at 1:01 PM

I am all for cutting defense spending. Within reason of course.

Let’s face it, military spending is one of the biggest forms of corporate welfare out there. But because it’s draped in the flag we’re supposed to never question it. I have worked with defense contractors and these companies make unions blush when it comes to porking up projects.

We need a small but highly effective military. But we don’t need a military that is always ready to fight 3 wars simultaneously.

angryed on August 15, 2011 at 1:07 PM

That’s right, folks, watch the clown car closely! How did they all ever get into that little car? Oh, and look! They’re all getting back in it now! Amazing!

Meanwhile, as the rubes and media have their attention drawn away by the distraction, Boehner and Reid put the finishing touches on the deal they had basically worked out before, including Medicare means testing and a gradual rise in the age of eligibility, tax reform to eliminate deductions and loopholes and lower rates, and a further package of cuts to reach the goal.

They roll out their deal amidst multiple reports of deadlock on the Super Committee, and pass it. This time Obama has nowhere to go but to sign it.

Adjoran on August 15, 2011 at 2:04 PM

Patty Murray: The Stupidest Person in America

slickwillie2001 on August 15, 2011 at 12:30 PM

Tina, you should read Coulter’s take on Murray. You might come away more concerned about the prospects for the wondrous Super Committee on finding sensible spending cuts.

Jaibones on August 15, 2011 at 2:46 PM

Panetta is a big pretender. The only purpose that fool was put in that position is to downsize defense.

Don’t believe a word he says.

Schadenfreude on August 15, 2011 at 3:20 PM

I have a better Idea: Just let me make all the cuts.

I would start by eliminating the departments of energy, education, commerce, labor and probably some we have not thought about yet.

I would increase the Social Security retirement age by six months each year until the retirement age was 3 years less than average life span for people who live reach the age of 25.

I would put people to work by drilling for oil and refining it here, building nuclear power plants, and the associated transmission lines.

I would offer a $10,000 reward to the first person (illegal alien or not) to turn in employers who hire illegal aliens who do not screen their applicants and fine the employers $15,000 to finance the system. I would also make it illegal to rent housing to illegals. Those who do would have to refund all the rent. All the illegal aliens would just go home because they couldn’t live here or work here. That would free up 5 million jobs.

I would impose the FAIR tax and eliminate the income tax.

Heck, while I am at it I would just take possession of the Federal Reserve Bank and make it part of the US Treasury. That way the US government could collect the interest on the loans the Fed makes to banks. That could eliminate the need for all other taxes.

Man, it is nice to dream.

The Rock on August 15, 2011 at 5:09 PM

patty murray.

heh

heh

hah

HAH

HAHAAHHAHHAHHAHAHAH !!!!

franksalterego on August 15, 2011 at 5:54 PM