Chief executives from Lockheed Martin Corporation have predicted they may have to fire 10,000 workers if sequestration budget cuts are forced on Congress, but prophecies of economic doom if defense spending is cut aren’t up to snuff.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney, shilling for the military industry as usual, spoke at a private meeting with Senate Republicans on Tuesday and predicted possible cuts totaling $500 billion over 10 years could be “devastating” to military modernization and planning. Even if that were true, which it isn’t, he failed to explain why that would be a bad thing.
The military-industrial-congressional complex has been very active in recent weeks, lobbying hard to maintain current spending levels and projections. They fear-monger about devastating cuts, but all that’s even being considered are minor decreases in the rate of growth of defense spending. No actual “cuts” are even on the table.
One recent study, “commissioned by a top defense and aerospace trade association” – namely, the Aerospace Industries Association and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers – found that “a new batch of planned Pentagon spending cut would cause 1 million jobs to be lost next year.”
The National Association of Manufacturers, another lobby group, repeated this finding, adding that proposed cuts would “increase unemployment by 0.7 percent, and decrease gross domestic product by almost 1 percent.”
But, as Lawrence Korb, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress has just written, these lobby groups kind of fibbed up their numbers.
“To maximize their findings (and their political impact),” Korb writes, “both studies assessed the effects of defense sequestration on every sector of the economy that could be hit by “’nduced effects,’ including secondary and tertiary effects like reduced consumer spending. As a result, the ‘1 million jobs’ figure includes jobs in industries as distant from defense as ‘retail trade’ and ‘leisure and hospitality services.'”
And besides, Korb points out, “defense spending is not a jobs program.” At least, it’s not supposed to be. As far as the health of the economy is concerned, defense budgets are a net drain. The jobs that these rent-seeking defense corporations maintain only show what big business can do with taxed and diverted wealth.
The proposed cuts to defense budgets are, frankly, puny. Overall defense industry profits have skyrocketed since 9/11 and the harshest scenario for defense cuts would only put budgets back at about the 2007 level.
The true crisis is the debt-ridden government. The US budget deficit grew by nearly $60 billion in June, and is on track to exceed $1 trillion for the fourth straight year.
More than a quarter of what Washington spends money on every year is spent on the warfare state. That’s about 65% of all discretionary spending.
“The United States spent $728 billion on its military in 2010,” according to the Mercatus Center, “about 45% of the world’s $1.6 trillion total. US spending amounts to more than the next fourteen largest military spending countries combined. In fact, the US spends nearly 6 times more than the next largest military spender, China.”
More inclusive estimates on national security spending find that the true dollar amount the US spends every fiscal year exceeds $1 trillion.
3 thoughts on “Lockheed, Cheney Lobby Against Puny Cuts in Defense Budgets”
All that cuts are “devastating" for the US militarism regime, because US is a militarism regime, because capitalism depends on government that is working for capitalism – militarism. That is like, people who use credit cards cutting their card and not paying any interests to these cards companies.
These companies work on the dividend produced by US government being at war all the time, Dick Cheney is a party member of the capitalism elite, having some share in war industry here and there, like the Saudis have, if there is no war then they are out of business, which I guess worries them a lot. If Saudis not going to buy US war machineries the whom is going to support them, use their barbarians in Syria, so things as such in capitalism world is called money making cooperation, and Dick Cheney is doing it like vulture capitalism do, saving his interests in Lockheed Martin Corporation, rest is the political game played by Lockheed Martin to either get paid to keep the workers or have a new contact with government, here no matter which way Obama would go he is going to lose anyway and the American people pay the price.
10,000 layed off here will probably save 100,000 somewhere else on this planet.
We need to get rid of the entire US military. It's painfully clear that even one lackey General hanging around DC is a threat to our national security. Before too long he'll have made the rest of the world angry at us and gotten us to be afraid of our own shadows.
Comments are closed.