Private industry’s warnings that automatic defense cuts under sequestration would cost more than 1 million jobs are exaggerated, according to a new study by a national security think tank.
“Despite claims made by defense contractor funded reports, the Pentagon is not a jobs program,” said William Hartung, director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy. “Pentagon spending is a drag on the economy, not a spur to economic growth.”
The center’s report, called “Minimum Returns: The Economic Impacts of Pentagon Spending,” offers quantitative, state-by-state analysis intended to counter arguments from groups such as the Aerospace Industries Association that defense cuts will harm local economies.
The left-leaning group also argues that a well-planned drawdown in defense spending will not harm national security. “Now is the time to get serious about developing a forward-looking defense strategy that aligns with national priorities and reshapes the Pentagon budget so we can better respond to 21st century threats,” Hartung said in a statement. “A well-educated and healthy workforce supported by state-of-the-art technology, not wasteful Pentagon programs, holds out the best hope of spurring sustainable economic growth.”