Defense Industry Lobbies to Kill Sequester Spending Cuts

Kevin Glass

7/7/2013 11:42:00 AM - Kevin Glass
Modest spending cuts that were put into place March 1 due to sequestration have mostly failed to result in the economic doom predicted by Keynesians. Now the defense industry is working to undo those cuts.

Jeremy Herb of The Hill has reported on lobbying industries going up to Capitol Hill, redoubling their efforts to restore budget cuts:

Cord Sterling, vice president of legislative affairs for the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), said his group is working to articulate the damage from the cuts that are now beginning to take hold. They remain hopeful that a fix is on the horizon.

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The industry’s public case is also hampered by the share prices of its biggest firms. The stocks of Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman and other top contractors have all jumped since sequestration took effect in March.

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Sequester opponents are looking to the continuing resolution that will be needed in September and the upcoming debt ceiling debate as opportunities to fight against the automatic budget cuts.

This is especially troubling for small-government conservatives in light of David Fahrenthold and Lisa Rein's reporting for the Washington Post this past week:

Sequestration did hit, on March 1. And since then, the $85 billion budget cut has caused real reductions in many federal programs that people depend on. But it has not produced what the Obama administration predicted: widespread breakdowns in crucial government services.

The Washington Post recently checked 48 of those dire predictions about sequestration’s impact. Just 11 have come true, and some effects are worse than forecast. But 24 predictions have not come to pass. In 13 cases, agencies said it is too soon to know.

It makes sense that, if the promised pain of sequestration turned out to be largely illusory, the defense industry would have to try doubly hard to protect their place at the government trough. This week's Washington Post report should assure Americans not to believe what the defense industry is now trying to sell, and stick hard to the spending cuts that everyone in Washington agreed upon.