Defense Budget Cuts – Worst Case Scenario

This document, written by House Republican staffers for Rep Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (CA – R), Chairman of the HASC, gives us the “worst case” situation for the Defense budget 2013 – 2021 if:

(1) The recommendations of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction fail to be enacted and full sequestration occurs; or
(2) The FY 2013 defense budget request is 10% below FY 2011 enacted levels, which is one scenario OMB has directed all departments, including DOD, to plan for.

Unfortunately, I think things could get worse. There’s no saying what the next 11 years will look like. However, I can say that from an industry (and writ large US economy standpoint) the thought of losing 200,000 jobs directly related to Defense and a further Million associated positions will deal a blow to this Nation that will be tough to overcome.

Worst of all, there is the loss of military capability associated with these cutbacks. It is unfathomable to consider that the US would not maintain preeminence.

So, when you hear politicians of either party talk about cutting Defense, please remind them that the Defense industry employs Americans and many of them in manufacturing jobs which are the bedrock of any healthy, long lasting economy. And then remind them that they will be responsible for weakening this Nation if they do not maintain our military’s capability to defend on Land, Sea, Air, Space and Cyberspace.

HASC Budget Impact Assessment 22 Sep 11

10 Responses to “Defense Budget Cuts – Worst Case Scenario”

  1. Mike says:

    The military industrial complex has never been cut to a reasonable size since WW2. Unfortunately, someday the price has to be paid. And it looks like the day has come. All other major arms exporting countries already made those steps.

    When looking at the national debt, there no reason, defense shouldn’t be cut.
    The USA currently has over 153 million jobs. Every economy can easily cope with a less than 1% job cut.

  2. Hey chuckles says:

    These aren’t exactly McDonalds jobs where people are making minimum wage here. As was pointed out, a lot of these jobs are manufacturing jobs. And the other industrialized countries could cut defense. After all, they had the US watching their backs.

  3. Mike says:

    150 million jobs include all jobs. From minimum wage up to CEO.
    And production jobs are known for not having the best payment too.

  4. Buckaroomedic says:

    It’s true, the military/industrial complex and Federal government have been living high on the hog for way too long. It’s time to reign them both in. Don’t get me wrong, I love the perks of the military, but the fraud, waste and abuse that I see on a daily basis has got to stop.

    Here’s one way we could save some money; why are we still occupying Germany and Japan? That war ended over 60 years ago. I think both of those countries have learned their lesson and can be trusted to act responsibly now. Just by withdrawing from these two countries alone would save billions of dollars a year. Here’s another idea; why don’t be combine the branches of service into a true DOD? All of our allies have done so, due to their own budgetary constraints, we should to. If we can’t consolidate the different services, can we at least stop some of the waste associated with four separate bureaucracies? One way to save money would be to consolidate some of the redundant Corps. As a start, combine all the branches’ different medical assets into one Medical Corp. That would standardize the level/standard of care across the board and lead to significant monetary savings and better patient outcomes. There has got to be many other ways to consolidate to save money.

    Significant budget cuts are coming no matter what happens. The DOD should be proactive in this process.

  5. GregK says:

    Given that I read Soldier Systems a couple of times per day, I’m clearly a fan. I’m also pre-disposed to want our nation to have the pre-eminent fighting force and defense capabilities on the planet.

    So having said that, the header to the linked document is crap. The DOD and the military/industrial complex have been soaking the taxpayers for years, and 9/11 just gave them free reign to soak us even more. Anyone who is in the military can likely list dozens of examples of waste, inefficiency and outright fraud without much help. Heck, has a major defense procurement ever would up with a deployed piece of hardware without being billions of dollars over budget?

    Every time someone attempts to tackle this issue, the status quo defenders start making jingoistic threats that any military cuts will somehow cripple out national defense. They ignore the fact that the DOD’s budget can already encompass the next 20 nation’s defense budgets combined. When confronted with that fact, much hemming and hawing ensues.

    The new tact is unemployment. So we should keep soaking nearly $0.40 of every federal tax dollar into defense as a sort of jobs program?

    It is funny how folks in the defense industry are typically fiscal conservatives who trumpet the advantages of the free market. When it comes to *their* slice of the pie though, they begin to sound like socialists.

  6. Aaron says:

    Can’t wait for this…I really can’t…back to the 90s everyone. This blows and I mean really blows.

  7. I see what you mean but... says:

    The 90s will be a cake walk compared to this.

  8. Administrator says:

    To be clear, this mean troops cuts as well. Not to mention the lack of O&M budget that Aaron alludes to. If you served in the 90s, you’ll know what he means.

    Sure, maybe we’ve lived high on the hog for too long, but we also have the most capable military in the world. I’d like a show of hands from all of the guys who want to cut the Defense budget and who’d like to see us be second best, or third? And I’d also like to see which folks want to give up their jobs? Personally, I’ve lost one defense related job due to the recession.

    I heard something funny the other day. For those of us who’d like to turn swords into plowshares, “Swords are made in America, Plowshares we get from China.”

  9. Martin says:

    The cuts are coming. I think we all know that and most of us accept that. It is just important that we apply some of the lessons learned from the 90’s when it was done badly. Cut training and maintenance last. If you only have a few guys make sure they are good at what they do. If you cut the force make sure you reduce the operational tempo. Don’t cut the force and keep the same missions. Better an older system that you have the parts to keep running that a super high speed widget that you can’t afford to repair.

  10. […] Street Journal Rep Buck McKeon discusses looming cuts to the US Defense budget. You may recall the worst case scenario document prepared for his use by committee staffers which we recently […]