The defense industry’s loud campaign against sequestration has led many observers to believe those companies would be safe if steep cuts to the military budget under sequestration are avoided.
That’s a misperception. The defense industrial base is also concerned about possible cuts to the nondefense budget if the $109 billion in automatic cuts takes effect next year. Even if sequestration is averted, they worry about a fiscal-cliff deal that scales back overall discretionary spending in both defense and nondefense accounts. Now, with just a few days left for Congress and the White House to reach a deficit deal to avert the looming cuts, the defense industry is starting to speak up for the other side of the budget that could get the ax.
“It’s not just the defense industry or private-sector workers who are on the chopping block here, but nondefense programs and workers as well,” Aerospace Industries Association CEO Marion Blakey said in a speech to the National Aeronautic Association on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012.