Study: 9% unemployment if Congress doesn’t stop sequestration

posted at 12:01 pm on July 17, 2012 by Rob Bluey

The congressional Super Committee is long gone, but the consequences of its failure will be felt by millions of Americans unless Congress addresses mandatory cuts that take effect Jan. 2, 2013.

A new study released today by economist Stephen S. Fuller of George Mason University and the Aerospace Industries Association estimates that 2.14 million U.S. jobs will disappear as a result of the Budget Control Act’s sequestration mandate. That would push the nation’s unemployment rate above 9 percent.

Automatic cuts totaling $1.2 trillion will hit the defense industry particularly hard. Defense-related jobs makes up about half of the lost jobs, according to the study. The report estimates losses for other sectors of the economy as well: 48,059 jobs in healthcare, 98,953 in construction, 473,250 in manufacturing. California, Virginia and Texas will fare worst.

Aerospace Industries Association President Marion C. Blakey and Fuller will share details about the study at The Bloggers Briefing at noon ET Tuesday at The Heritage Foundation. Click here to watch it live.

Fuller predicted an uptick in unemployment without action from Congress:

The unemployment rate will climb above 9 percent, pushing the economy toward recession and reducing projected growth in 2013 by two-thirds. An already weak economy will be undercut as the paychecks of thousands of workers across the economy will be affected from teachers, nurses, construction workers to key federal employees such as border patrol and FBI agents, food inspectors and others.

The first year of cuts will result in a $215 billion drop in America’s GDP. The overall U.S. workforce also faces a $109.4 billion decrease personal earnings.

Cuts to America’s military are particularly alarming. The across-the-board cut of more than $500 billion over the next decade comes in addition to the $487 billion in cuts already proposed by President Obama for the Department of Defense. The Budget Control Act hits the military hardest.

At the release of today’s study, New Hampshire’s two senators — Republican Kelly Ayotte and Democrat Jeanne Shaheen — warned of the consequences of inaction. Ayotte emphasized the impact on America’s military in particular:

Military leaders have been clear that defense sequestration will deprive our troops of the resources they need and undermine our national security for generations. This new study underscores that sequestration will also crush our economy, devastate our defense industrial base, and put tens of thousands of Americans out of work.

Defense readiness is already a mounting concern. All branches of the military are attempting to do more with less, relying on SUVs for combatextending the life of aircraft and cutting back on our Navy fleet.


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At the release of today’s study, New Hampshire’s two senators — Republican Kelly Ayotte and Democrat Jeanne Shaheen — warned of the consequences of inaction. Ayotte emphasized the impact on America’s military in particular:

Military leaders have been clear that defense sequestration will deprive our troops of the resources they need and undermine our national security for generations. This new study underscores that sequestration will also crush our economy, devastate our defense industrial base, and put tens of thousands of Americans out of work.

Kelly knows her stuff.

A+

Del Dolemonte on July 17, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Those jobs aren’t that important to our leaders in Washington.

They are engaged in an important debate about how many dollars can dance on the head of a pin.

trigon on July 17, 2012 at 12:06 PM

People are dreaming if they think the GOP Congress will take ANY action that may lower unemployment before the election.

Election wins > People’s Welfare

inthemiddle on July 17, 2012 at 12:06 PM

We’re conservative! We want limited government! Fiscal responsibility! Slash the spending!

Yeah. Right.

Shump on July 17, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Who caress?

Obama is awesome.

Good Lt on July 17, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Study: 9% unemployment if Congress doesn’t stop sequestration

…so really 19% ?

KOOLAID2 on July 17, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Looking at those graphs gives you an idea of just how much taxpayers are screwed.

Good Lt on July 17, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Math doesn’t lie. Liberals do.

DanMan on July 17, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Things would get better if only TFGRP didn’t have Congress mucking up the works.

Bishop on July 17, 2012 at 12:11 PM

So we extort $1.2 trillion in spending cuts from the Dems at huge political risk, and now we want to get rid of them? Fail.

Cornell Conservative on July 17, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Yeah, that’s what happened when spending was cut (particularly military spending) in the late 40s. It ushered in an era of Depression and extreme unemployment.

/

mankai on July 17, 2012 at 12:12 PM

The other thing to take away from this graph is the % of spending that goes to defense.

It is DWARFED by entitlements and non-defense discretionary spending.

So if anybody whines about how much we’re spending on the military, remind them that the overwhelming majority of the spending is for funding the ever-expanding maw of the federal government entitlements, and it is those ‘freebies’ that are going to collapse the economy.

This is what the Democrats want, and then they’ll blame you for not paying enough of your money to the government, even though you fought against the creation of such monstrosities the whole time.

Pony up. You’re nothing but an ATM to the Democrat party.

Good Lt on July 17, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Neither the government nor the military exist to employ people.

mankai on July 17, 2012 at 12:13 PM

Gutting our military has been one of Obama’s goals all along. And the GOP fell right into his trap.

ButterflyDragon on July 17, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Abolish the military and spend the money on PP clinics.

Seems simple enough that even you rightie wing-dings can understand it.

Bishop on July 17, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Then it is time to dial back our foreign policy expectations. Because everyone is going to get a haircut.

JohnGalt23 on July 17, 2012 at 12:16 PM

The Democrats don’t care, they think this will give them a win. How do you vote for a Democrat Senator who couldn’t even pass a budget? IT’s your job, if you have leadership that can’t get it done, vote them out and do your job. So someone, please, tell me why you should vote FOR a Democrat because I certainly can’t think of a good reason.

bflat879 on July 17, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Am I really reading something on Hot Air pimping stimulus spending? Sure there will be an uptick initially. But unemployment is not why we have a military. This isn’t China. You can make an argument against sequestration, this certainly isn’t one because it’s bad economics.

There’s a place for bad economics, it’s called The Huffington Post.

cpaulus on July 17, 2012 at 12:17 PM

We’re conservative! We want limited government! Fiscal responsibility! Slash the spending!

Yeah. Right.

Shump on July 17, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Let’s slash the only thing that the government is mandated by the Constitution to provide: defense. Ah, but defending the country from enemies isn’t nearly as important as taking over the healthcare and insurance industry.

search4truth on July 17, 2012 at 12:17 PM

A new study released today by economist Stephen S. Fuller of George Mason University and the Aerospace Industries Association

Hmmmm.

a capella on July 17, 2012 at 12:18 PM

So we pay almost as much in interest as we do for national defense, but can’t find a way to put a dent in $26 trillion in entitlement spending. It’s for the children, or something.

JeremiahJohnson on July 17, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Everything consumers and the people use goes up in price daily.
The unemployment rate rises daily.
Govt taxes and fees,state and local go up daily.
Regulations and ordinances change like ladies fashions daily.
Two things aren’t going up,jobs and wages.
So let’s play politics.

docflash on July 17, 2012 at 12:19 PM

We can neither tolerate our ills, nor the cures for them.

lorien1973 on July 17, 2012 at 12:20 PM

search4truth on July 17, 2012 at 12:17 PM

You don’t believe there’s waste in the Pentagon?

mankai on July 17, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Eventually we will need to have much bigger cuts than in the sequestration, either before or after we collapse.

zmdavid on July 17, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Is that exponential allocation curve deliberate?

Axe on July 17, 2012 at 12:21 PM

You don’t believe there’s waste in the Pentagon?

mankai on July 17, 2012 at 12:20 PM

$26/gal for biofuels vs $4/gal for fossil fuel? Naw,…they’re cool. Not influenced by political agendas at all.

a capella on July 17, 2012 at 12:24 PM

People are dreaming if they think the GOP Congress will take ANY action that may lower unemployment before the election.

Election wins > People’s Welfare

inthemiddle on July 17, 2012 at 12:06 PM

“Math is hare, science is harder and research is hardest of all”

Are you really that ignorant. Congress is made up of two branches
1. the house
2. the senate

Remind me again as to who controls the senate. You are still inthemiddle of that pile of feces decomposing right along with it.

chemman on July 17, 2012 at 12:25 PM

i’m pi$$ed that the gop agreed to this boondoggle in the first place…

cmsinaz on July 17, 2012 at 12:26 PM

And unemployment is highest among black youth. And right now Drudge is making a big deal of flash mobs, like — 300 — youths stormed this FL walmart: http://jacksonville.com/news/crime/2012-07-17/story/saturday-night-flash-mob-takes-over-jacksonville-walmart
And flash mobs all over the place. The point: make an election issue over it, because people are irate over it, and this is an Obama phenomenon, one way or another Obama is responsible.

anotherJoe on July 17, 2012 at 12:26 PM

you don’t believe there’s waste in the Pentagon?

mankai on July 17, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Yes there is a lot of waste in the DOD budget but much of it can be laid at the feet of congress and the arcane contracting rules. Fix those and you fix the waste.

chemman on July 17, 2012 at 12:27 PM

We’re conservative! We want limited government! Fiscal responsibility! Slash the spending!

Yeah. Right.

Shump on July 17, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Defense spending is 20% of the budget and it’s not the portion of the budget that’s exploding and slated to explode even further down the road. Historically our defense spending is low as both a % of GDP and a % of the budget.

It also happens to be one of the few explicitly named responsibilities of the federal government.

gwelf on July 17, 2012 at 12:29 PM

defense = interest x 2
discretionary = defense x 2
entitlement = discretionary x 2

x2^0, x2^1, x2^2, x2^3 …

Axe on July 17, 2012 at 12:30 PM

We voted for these deeply unserious and probably clinically deranged people.

vityas on July 17, 2012 at 12:30 PM

This may be a less than thoughtful way of going about slashing spending… like handing a blind guy and axe… but are we really going to complain about the feds finally cutting something??

gravityman on July 17, 2012 at 12:31 PM

anotherJoe on July 17, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Could be. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2012/07/17/are_race_riots_news_114812.html

a capella on July 17, 2012 at 12:32 PM

We can neither tolerate our ills, nor the cures for them.

lorien1973 on July 17, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Slashing defense spending is not going to balance the budget. Sure, if we were tens of billions of dollars away from balancing the budget then defense spending cuts might get us there but all we’re doing is giving democrats cover for ‘cutting spending’ at the cost of our national defense.

gwelf on July 17, 2012 at 12:32 PM

People are dreaming if they think the GOP Congress will take ANY action that may lower unemployment before the election.

Election wins > People’s Welfare

inthemiddle on July 17, 2012 at 12:06 PM

The dozen or so jobs bills they’ve drummed up only to have them ignored by Dingy Harry don’t count I guess.

You really should get your news from more sources than MSNBC, fella.

RedNewEnglander on July 17, 2012 at 12:33 PM

Remind me again as to who controls the senate. You are still inthemiddle of that pile of feces decomposing right along with it.

chemman on July 17, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Hence, a better name is inthemidden.

derecho on July 17, 2012 at 12:34 PM

People are dreaming if they think the GOP Congress will take ANY action that may lower unemployment before the election.

Election wins > People’s Welfare

inthemiddle on July 17, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Well that explains all the jobs legislation passed by the House and sitting on Harry Reid’s desk for the last couple of months doesn’t it?

GarandFan on July 17, 2012 at 12:35 PM

Let the Euros dip into their shrinking Utopian funds and stop leaving Americans with the bill. I have no attachment to any of the special interest parasites who have made a comfortable living fleecing the American people for decades. Cut everything. Entitlements, national defense, subsidies. Once the bond market goes, half of the spending goes away anyway, so it would be wise to start making difficult choices.

Pitchforker on July 17, 2012 at 12:35 PM

Tea Party Patriots elected Republicans in 2010 to put the brakes on the insanity that came from the Democrats controlling the House, Senate, and Presidency in 2009 and 2010.

Boehner and the Republican House should have understood that and should have flatly refused to raise the debt ceiling. It would have FORCED the Democrats into a De Facto balanced budget, because they would not be allowed to continue deficit spending.

Instead, the Republican House allowed the spigot to remain wide open, and the result is that the total amount of new debt added in the last 4 years ($6.36 Trillion) exceeds the total amount of new debt added in the 4 years that Nancy Pelosi was Speaker of the House ($5.33 Trillion).

The current Republicans in the House and Senate have done some good things, but not enough to stop the Democrats’ fiscal insanity. They never should have agreed to raise the debt limit.

ITguy on July 17, 2012 at 12:35 PM

Let the ax fall, there is TOO much waste in the Military. Way too much, and it can use a trimming.

damian1967 on July 17, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Slashing defense spending is not going to balance the budget. Sure, if we were tens of billions of dollars away from balancing the budget then defense spending cuts might get us there but all we’re doing is giving democrats cover for ‘cutting spending’ at the cost of our national defense.

gwelf on July 17, 2012 at 12:32 PM

There’s waste in the defense budget. The military doesn’t exist to provide jobs to people. I’d bet that every single area of government could suffer a 40+% budget cut and operate just as it does now. Bloat hits all areas of the government, military too.

lorien1973 on July 17, 2012 at 12:40 PM

OT:

This is why we should completely abandon the Olympics, and prohibit them from ever being held in the US.

Read both stories at this link, and then ask yourself if there is any reason to be responsible for the cost of the Olympic bullshit.

BobMbx on July 17, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Including governement spending in GDP is like giving your kid a raise in his allowance and sayign that your household income went up. Or cutting his allowance and saying your household income went down (in this case).

osborn4 on July 17, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Nuts. Here’s the link.

BobMbx on July 17, 2012 at 12:41 PM

I really think the highly politicized mantra “For the troops” has become the conservative answer to the liberals “For the children” nonsense which justifies unlimited spending for their niche interest. In comparison, the mighty Chinese are only spending a little over 100 billion for their military expenditures. I think the U.S. can live with some modest cuts to the military.

Pitchforker on July 17, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Its very simple. Democrats care more about power than the country. They will happily oversee the destruction of America if it lets them be riding in the cockpit on the way down.

clippermiami on July 17, 2012 at 12:42 PM

So, if Obama is our next President, who’s he going to blame for the mess he inherits?

Speakup on July 17, 2012 at 12:44 PM

And unemployment is highest among black youth. And right now Drudge is making a big deal of flash mobs, like — 300 — youths stormed this FL walmart: http://jacksonville.com/news/crime/2012-07-17/story/saturday-night-flash-mob-takes-over-jacksonville-walmart
And flash mobs all over the place. The point: make an election issue over it, because people are irate over it, and this is an Obama phenomenon, one way or another Obama is responsible.

anotherJoe on July 17, 2012 at 12:26 PM

The Wal-Mart flash mob was black? Who knew?

slickwillie2001 on July 17, 2012 at 12:45 PM

ITguy on July 17, 2012 at 12:35 PM

While the 2010 elections were a good start 63 new GOP House critters They were never going to be enough to change the culture of the GOP at the time. We need two to three more elections with those results to get the change we need.

chemman on July 17, 2012 at 12:46 PM

I think the U.S. can live with some modest cuts to the military.

Pitchforker on July 17, 2012 at 12:41 PM

We passed through the “modest” cuts during the Clintonian regime. We’re now entering an era of dangerous cuts to the defense budget.

I’m willing to bet PF will be the first to pen a complaint about how the military failed to protect us within seconds of the next domestic terrorist attack, or when US sovereign territory is attacked by a foreign power (the mighty Chinese who spend only $100B, maybe?)

BobMbx on July 17, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Could be. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2012/07/17/are_race_riots_news_114812.html

a capella on July 17, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Oh my. Thank God a black man wrote that.

slickwillie2001 on July 17, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Let’s slash the only thing that the government is mandated by the Constitution to provide: defense.

search4truth on July 17, 2012 at 12:17 PM

The Constitution doesn’t mandate that we have troops stationed all over the world wasting blood and treasure on pointless proxy wars, spinning our wheels in the sand. There’s plenty of room for cuts in so-called “defense” spending; really what we need to do is cut offense-spending.

FloatingRock on July 17, 2012 at 12:49 PM

We should have never agreed to the committee…you cannot trust democrats to be sincere.
We did this to ourselves because we wanted to be “bipartisan”…BS.

right2bright on July 17, 2012 at 12:49 PM

I think the U.S. can live with some modest cuts to the military.

Pitchforker on July 17, 2012 at 12:41 PM

It’s not “modest”, and just read history and what it was like after Carter gutted the military.

right2bright on July 17, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Are we expected to oppose “sequestration” today and go back to favoring “budget cuts” tomorrow?

Really, the Americans are $11,066,000,000,000 in debt at the “federal” level alone, and going further into debt at the rate of some $1.2 trillion annually. However, even a writer on a nominally conservative web site sounds the alarm over small, ineffectual cuts to the size of merely planned increases in expenditure over the next nine years. Real, budget-balancing cuts, when they finally come, will be on the order of ten times the size of this penny-ante “sequestration.”

Marsili.us on July 17, 2012 at 12:54 PM

People are dreaming if they think the GOP Congress will take ANY action that may lower unemployment before the election.

Election wins > People’s Welfare

inthemiddle on July 17, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Enlighten us, oh sage one, what would you do to lower unemployment before the election in 4 months?

oldroy on July 17, 2012 at 12:54 PM

We passed through the “modest” cuts during the Clintonian regime. We’re now entering an era of dangerous cuts to the defense budget.

I’m willing to bet PF will be the first to pen a complaint about how the military failed to protect us within seconds of the next domestic terrorist attack, or when US sovereign territory is attacked by a foreign power (the mighty Chinese who spend only $100B, maybe?)

BobMbx on July 17, 2012 at 12:47 PM

I have no such illusions that a bloated military budget will stop every zealot with a will and a way. The U.S. is spending an unconscionable 700 billion a year on defense expenditures when it is technically broke. Does anyone else not see a major problem with this trend???? I believe roughly 60% of federal tax revenue goes towards budget expenditires while the other 40% is borrowed. At some point in the near future, certain market realities will force the U.S. military operations to pull back to the Western Hemisphere. It is inevitable.

Pitchforker on July 17, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Obviously those here that are commenting on the defense budget either didn’t look at the chart or they are deliberately being obtuse. Just one look at that chart should send shivers down your spine at the grotesque amount of tax dollars being spent on entitlement spending. BTW – stop calling them entitlements, nowhere in the constitution does it say that anyone is “entitled” to anyone else’s property ($). It does explicitly say that we have to spend money on “defense”.

That being said, yes the DoD has to eliminate the waste, fraud & obuse there nobody I know would say differently. But that pales in comparison to the Waste, Fraud & Abuse in the entilement programs by a magnitude of +10.

D-fusit on July 17, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Raise your hand if you could live with the U.S. spending 500 billion a year in defense spending. This is all fear mongering by the defense industry. The public sector unions pull the same stunts when their lucrative pension guarantees are threatened. They get on the phone with their bought politicians and tell them to create hysteria.

Pitchforker on July 17, 2012 at 1:01 PM

My opinion is let the axe fall, the F-22 fighter jet program’s price tag alone was revealed to be $1 trillion. So our nation is going to be invaded if half of a fighter jet’s program is slashed? ($492 billion)

To me, a lot of these defense contractors are no different than Solyndra. It’s not free market capitalism, it’s shady, pay for play crony capitalism under the guise of national security.

I don’t why we as conservatives are expected to turn a blind eye to government waste when it involves the Pentagon.

BradTank on July 17, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Obviously those here that are commenting on the defense budget either didn’t look at the chart or they are deliberately being obtuse. Just one look at that chart should send shivers down your spine at the grotesque amount of tax dollars being spent on entitlement spending. BTW – stop calling them entitlements, nowhere in the constitution does it say that anyone is “entitled” to anyone else’s property ($). It does explicitly say that we have to spend money on “defense”.

That being said, yes the DoD has to eliminate the waste, fraud & obuse there nobody I know would say differently. But that pales in comparison to the Waste, Fraud & Abuse in the entilement programs by a magnitude of +10.

D-fusit on July 17, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Entitlement spending is undoubtedly the large elephant in the room. But all departments need a hard, objective look at. No stone should be left untouched.

Pitchforker on July 17, 2012 at 1:03 PM

Pitchforker on July 17, 2012 at 1:03 PM

And I said as much.

D-fusit on July 17, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Hey Defense Spenders:

The government is out of money. That means the government is out of money for Defense too. Don’t be part of the problem. You are not entitled to Defense money.

Kohath on July 17, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Pitchforker on July 17, 2012 at 1:03 PM

Oh, BTW that ain’t no elephant, that there is a Leviathan.

D-fusit on July 17, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Kohath on July 17, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Somebody needs to read the Constitution again, if you ever did that is.

D-fusit on July 17, 2012 at 1:08 PM

News Flash. Cutting government spending to any significant degree will result in job cuts.

(unless somehow we get an approved 10% accross the board cuts of every check the government cuts-for payroll or anything)

Just because cutting spending will result in initial government employee (or subcontractor) job loss doesn’t mean it isn’t the right thing to do.

talkingpoints on July 17, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Pitchforker: Oh, agreed. But why are we cutting defense _more than the rest_? Surely, if everything can be trimmed, then they should all be trimmed equally, no?

Also, as someone else has already said, you can ‘trim’ the defense budget all you want, and you won’t get rid of waste. I’ll be the first to tell you that there’s all kinds of waste in DoD, with multiple family members who are government engineers in Acquisition. Just cutting money is not going to work.

What will happen? Most likely, you’ll cut programs and/or staff. If you cut staff, you _do_ directly affect unemployment. Also, you’re not cutting the waste! Generally, reductions in staff in a government facility is done on the basis of seniority, and there is very little if any positive correlation between seniority and effectiveness on the job.

If you want to cut the defense budget, cut the boondoggles like the biofuel thing. But guess what? DoD isn’t asking for that crap. It’s being mandated/pursued by the Executive and Legislative Branches at a higher level. So the likely result of defense cuts is that you will lose (IMO) a disproportionate of your better employees, not affect the boondoggle crap being pushed on DoD, and actually not save very much money.

Scott H on July 17, 2012 at 1:09 PM

The U.S. is spending an unconscionable 700 billion a year on defense expenditures when it is technically broke.

So if we zeroed out the defense budget, completely, we would have a deficit of what…$700 billion under the libtard economics of the last 3 years? So what would you propose to cut after eliminating the DoD in order to reduce the deficit?

Here’s a great analysis of defense spending over the last 40 years or so. In case you don’t read all the way through, here’s the summary:

As you can see, military spending was nearly 47% of agency outlays in 1962. This figure has slowly declined over the years, and was 18.6% in 2010.

This isn’t due to military spending decreasing – instead, spending at other agencies has increased dramatically over the past 40-50 years. For instance, spending on Health and Human Services was just 3.3% of total agency outlays in 1962, and 23.3% in 2010.

As you can see from the data above, US military spending rapidly increased after 2001, roughly doubling (in inflation adjusted dollars) in just a decade.

Why did it double? Two wars. At the highpoint of defense spending since 9/11 and including Iraq and Afghanistan, it reached a maximum of 18.6% of GDP. In that year, HHS spent 23.3% of GDP.

I think HHS could use some modest cuts.

BobMbx on July 17, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Who are they kidding? Congress isn’t going to cut sh*t. They fought tooth and nail over a few billion the last debt ceiling clown show. They’ll come up with a way to stop this or delay it forever.

Same show, same clowns, different scene.

skree on July 17, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Pitchforker: Oh, agreed. But why are we cutting defense _more than the rest_? Surely, if everything can be trimmed, then they should all be trimmed equally, no?

Also, as someone else has already said, you can ‘trim’ the defense budget all you want, and you won’t get rid of waste. I’ll be the first to tell you that there’s all kinds of waste in DoD, with multiple family members who are government engineers in Acquisition. Just cutting money is not going to work.

What will happen? Most likely, you’ll cut programs and/or staff. If you cut staff, you _do_ directly affect unemployment. Also, you’re not cutting the waste! Generally, reductions in staff in a government facility is done on the basis of seniority, and there is very little if any positive correlation between seniority and effectiveness on the job.

If you want to cut the defense budget, cut the boondoggles like the biofuel thing. But guess what? DoD isn’t asking for that crap. It’s being mandated/pursued by the Executive and Legislative Branches at a higher level. So the likely result of defense cuts is that you will lose (IMO) a disproportionate of your better employees, not affect the boondoggle crap being pushed on DoD, and actually not save very much money.

Scott H on July 17, 2012 at 1:09 PM

In a perfect world, we would have 20% percent across the board cut in every department regardless of bias, given our massive debt problems complicated further by the future entitlement catastrophe. But that’s not how the world works. Every politician and lobbyist have their sacred cows that they dare not cut. HHS, Department of Agriculture, etc. I’m game to take them all down a notch. But apparently, the concept of shared sacrifice does not resonate throughout America.

Pitchforker on July 17, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Going exactly to Obam’s plan.

Job destruction is in his DNA.

Schadenfreude on July 17, 2012 at 1:16 PM

Somebody needs to read the Constitution again, if you ever did that is.

D-fusit on July 17, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Which Article says Defense can never be cut? Which Article makes Defense spending an entitlement? Which Article mandates defense spending to create or save jobs?

The government is out of money. Reading the Constitution doesn’t magically create money.

Kohath on July 17, 2012 at 1:16 PM

Pitchforker: Well, to be frank, I have a rather hard time asking for Defense to live in that perfect world when no one seems to be asking any other part of government to live there. And that is leaving aside the Constitutionality of Defense spending vs. most other spending on the table here.

Scott H on July 17, 2012 at 1:18 PM

Polls consistently find that people (especially conservatives) would welcome across-the-board spending reductions. Are we really going to throw a fit because it’s not even?

theperfecteconomist on July 17, 2012 at 1:18 PM

There’s waste in the defense budget. The military doesn’t exist to provide jobs to people. I’d bet that every single area of government could suffer a 40+% budget cut and operate just as it does now. Bloat hits all areas of the government, military too.

lorien1973 on July 17, 2012 at 12:40 PM

I agree there is waste in the budget and that the military doesn’t exist to provide jobs to people (though 80% of it’s budget goes towards salary and training) but a 40% cut seems extreme.

gwelf on July 17, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Hot Air, 2009: Cut government spending! Government spending does not create jobs!

Hot Air, 2012: Don’t cut government spending! Government spending is needed to create jobs!

Congrats, Hot Air has gone Obama.

AngusMc on July 17, 2012 at 1:20 PM

Kohath: You are correct that the government is out of money. However, it is completely defensible from a Constitutional perspective to eliminate that spending that is harder to defend Constitutionally than that spending which is easier to defend Consitutionally. I believe that this was D-fusit’s point. It certainly is mine, on that question.

Scott H on July 17, 2012 at 1:20 PM

theperfecteconomist: Certainly. ‘Across-the-board’ generally means even cuts, does it not? Particularly when the disproportionality is in the opposite direction of the part of the budget.

Scott H on July 17, 2012 at 1:22 PM

Pitchforker: Well, to be frank, I have a rather hard time asking for Defense to live in that perfect world when no one seems to be asking any other part of government to live there. And that is leaving aside the Constitutionality of Defense spending vs. most other spending on the table here.

Scott H on July 17, 2012 at 1:18 PM

Well, that entails electing more constitutional conservatives and jettisoning RINOs and hardcore democrats. We are in dire need of an adult conversation on the national budget.

Pitchforker on July 17, 2012 at 1:25 PM

theperfecteconomist: Certainly. ‘Across-the-board’ generally means even cuts, does it not? Particularly when the disproportionality is in the opposite direction of the part of the budget.

Scott H on July 17, 2012 at 1:22 PM

Right, but that’s my point. Why would people favor across-the-board cuts but not favor disproportionate cuts? Is it just a balance of power issue?

theperfecteconomist on July 17, 2012 at 1:25 PM

So what you’re saying is that government spending creates jobs. Blasphemy!

If that were true, then the Republican’s insistence on cutting spending while the economy is still weak would be stupid…

twm378 on July 17, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Obama can’t afford to look as though he doesn’t care if sequestration occurs. The results to the nations defense, jobs, and economy is too dire.

We all recall that Obama has not managed to produce a budget that could garner even a single vote from DEMOCRATS in his last three attempts.

The GOP needs to stand their ground and these tax issues. The Democrats have proven repeatedly that they don’t understand economics in general, or what even drives this nations economy specifically.

The reason the nation is teetering on the edge of a ‘fiscal cliff’ is that the Democrats passed Obamacare which contains MASSIVE TAX HIKES that kick in on January 1, 2013… and because of a failure to reach a permanent deal on the Bush era tax cuts… the Bush era tax cuts are set to EXPIRE on January 1, 2013. This represents a jolt to our economy that, in its fragile state it cannot withstand. Investors cannot invest money that they’ve already been forced to render up in taxes. Entrepreneurs cannot start small businesses in a high tax, high risk, uncertain environment. Consumers cannot spend what they no longer have due to huge tax hikes.

Add the impending damage to the military as represented by sequestration… also a product of a failure to reach a permanent deal with the ‘grand bargain’… the loss of ANOTHER 2 million plus jobs… and the resultant damage to the national economy, defense, and our citizenry, would persist for generations to come.

The GOP must stand fast and make certain that sequestration does NOT occur and that the Bush era tax cuts are extended. There is little that can be done to mitigate the hit that will come from the massive tax hike on the middle class that is Obamacare, at least until Romney and the GOP can REPEAL it and institutes something along the lines of Paul Ryan’s plan.

thatsafactjack on July 17, 2012 at 1:30 PM

However, it is completely defensible from a Constitutional perspective to eliminate that spending that is harder to defend Constitutionally than that spending which is easier to defend Consitutionally. I believe that this was D-fusit’s point. It certainly is mine, on that question.

Scott H on July 17, 2012 at 1:20 PM

So what? Everyone with a “defensible” position gets money? That’s why the government is out of money. Because everyone thinks they have a “defensible” position explaining why they should spend it. Money for everyone then. Cuts for no one.

The Defense Department is going to find itself defending a destitute, bankrupt America. Maybe we can eat copies of the Constitution.

Kohath on July 17, 2012 at 1:30 PM

So, if Obama is our next President, who’s he going to blame for the mess he inherits?

Speakup on July 17, 2012 at 12:44 PM

You seriously asked that question?

Why, Bush of course!

There is, apparently, no statute of limitations on the dog ate my homework.

Tenwheeler on July 17, 2012 at 1:30 PM

I thought cutting government spending would stimulate the economy?!
What happened to the “cut cut cut” theory?
It turns out if you cut spending in a recession you lose jobs. Who’d have thought that’s the case, but then again right-wing economics never made sense.

Salahuddin on July 17, 2012 at 1:33 PM

So what? Everyone with a “defensible” position gets money? That’s why the government is out of money. Because everyone thinks they have a “defensible” position explaining why they should spend it. Money for everyone then. Cuts for no one.

“You were too busy thinking about if you could, that you never stopped to think about if you should.”

theperfecteconomist on July 17, 2012 at 1:35 PM

Congrats, Hot Air has gone Obama.

AngusMc on July 17, 2012 at 1:20 PM

It’s gone Obomney. Hope and Change, now with artificial Republican flavoring added.

FloatingRock on July 17, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Clearly if government spending creates jobs, what we need is even more deficit spending and everything will be great, right? Maybe House Republicans should introduce “Stimulus II”?

AngusMc on July 17, 2012 at 1:37 PM

Pitchforker: You and I both agree on that point. :)

theperfecteconomist: Well, if nothing else, because it is a sense of fairness or justice. You can make the argument of fairness is either relative or absolute terms. These numbers are not absolutely OR relatively fair.

The percentages in the article are only the percentages of the sequestration. What percentage of each area’s _budget_ is being reduced?

Entitlements: 0.655%
Non-defense discretionary spending: 2.85%
Defense spending: 9.28%
Net Interest: 4.69%

Now, where is our oncoming fiscal catastrophe coming from? Defense spending? No. It’s coming from Entitlements. So why are we cutting over 14 times the amount of money from Defense as we are from Entitlements?

Please note, also, that the 9.28% figure does not count other Defense cuts as well. Finally, while I don’t advocate cutting nothing from Defense, I’d like to point out that a 20% cut in Entitlements comes out to… $5.26T, which is our entire Defense Budget.

Scott H on July 17, 2012 at 1:37 PM

It turns out if you cut spending in a recession you lose jobs. Who’d have thought that’s the case, but then again right-wing economics never made sense.

Salahuddin on July 17, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Cutting government spending only eliminates inefficient, wasteful jobs. If American citizens subjects are allowed to keep their money they’ll spend it far more efficiently and create a whole heck of a lot more jobs than the Government could ever pretend.

FloatingRock on July 17, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Kohath: Ah, so you believe that the answer is to raid the Defense budget to pay for our entitlement budget? That is a bridge to nowhere.

If these numbers were _remotely_ even on any sort of relative level, I wouldn’t have a problem. The ‘think of the jobs’ argument is also awful, from a conservative perspective.

But saying that this sequestration is remotely fair to DoD is patently false. You can be for a more equitable share of the pain without being a DoD fanboy.

I am not saying that the DoD deserves all of its budget. However, DoD has a much better claim on its budget, from a Constitutional perspective, than, say, the DoE (either of them).

You’re apparently worried about the DoD defending the broken shell of a nation. I’m worried about us cutting DoD so much that we suffer an invasion. Neither outlook is very good.

Scott H on July 17, 2012 at 1:42 PM

Cutting government spending only eliminates inefficient, wasteful jobs

FloatingRock, I am going to assume that this is sarcasm?

Scott H on July 17, 2012 at 1:43 PM

I thought cutting government spending would stimulate the economy?!
What happened to the “cut cut cut” theory?
It turns out if you cut spending in a recession you lose jobs. Who’d have thought that’s the case, but then again right-wing economics never made sense.

Salahuddin on July 17, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Um, no, “stimulating” the economy through cuts isn’t really part of right-wing economics. Cuts are about faster growth in the long-term.

theperfecteconomist on July 17, 2012 at 1:47 PM

Now, where is our oncoming fiscal catastrophe coming from? Defense spending? No. It’s coming from Entitlements. So why are we cutting over 14 times the amount of money from Defense as we are from Entitlements?

Scott H on July 17, 2012 at 1:37 PM

Because someone has to go first. Someone has to lead. You want it to be Grandma’s Social Security check first? Well, even if you do want that, it will be hard to sell that to Grandma.

But if you actually lead, and if everyone’s favorite project gets cut, then Grandma might be willing to listen. And if she’s too selfish to listen, maybe voters will see her as selfish instead of seeing her as a victim.

Kohath on July 17, 2012 at 1:49 PM

But saying that this sequestration is remotely fair to DoD is patently false. You can be for a more equitable share of the pain without being a DoD fanboy.

Bankruptcy isn’t fair or equitable.

. . . You’re apparently worried about the DoD defending the broken shell of a nation. I’m worried about us cutting DoD so much that we suffer an invasion. Neither outlook is very good.

Scott H on July 17, 2012 at 1:42 PM

Which one is more likely? Who is going to invade? And why? I don’t believe you are genuinely worried about an invasion in the next 10 years. If we’re lucky, we have 10 years left.

Kohath on July 17, 2012 at 1:56 PM

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