Resolution on Effects of Defense Sequestration on US National Security and the US Economy
This resolution addresses the bipartisan concern that defense sequestration, or the automatic spending cuts to the defense budget, will have a significant national security impact and will have severe economic consequences for the states. This resolution would call for all policy makers to work together to form a solution that averts defense sequestration. Cuts to the defense budget would come from the National Guard and affect a state’s ability to respond to natural disasters, and cuts to the manufacturing base would result in the loss of high-skilled, high-paying jobs.
Whereas, the enforcement mechanism built into the Budget Control Act of 2011 mandates that if $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction is not achieved by December 31, 2012, Defense Sequestration will result in $500 billion in automatic cuts from the Pentagon budget in addition to the $487 billion already agreed to over the next decade; and
Whereas, fiscal responsibility involves making prudent choices with the limited resources; and
Whereas, Defense Sequestration cuts will be arbitrary and automatic without regard to national security or economic priorities making prudent choices impossible; and
Whereas, there is widespread consensus that Defense Sequestration will have a devastating impact on U.S. national security; and
Whereas, defense spending accounts for only 20 percent of the federal budget, but it accounts for 50 percent of the cuts mandated by the Sequestration enforcement mechanism in the Budget Control Act of 2011; and
Whereas, it is estimated that the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marine Corps will need to pink slip 225,000 soldiers, resulting in the smallest ground force since 1940; and
Whereas, 80,000-100,000 of these end strength reductions could come from the National Guard, potentially crippling states’ ability to respond to emergencies; and
Whereas, it is estimated that these cuts would leave us with the smallest Navy since 1915 and the smallest Air Force in history; and
Whereas, Defense Sequestration could potentially have a devastating impact on troop morale at a time when we are asking so much of our armed services; and
Whereas, research and development will suffer disproportionately from Defense Sequestration cuts, America’s technological cutting edge could be compromised; and
Whereas, there is also widespread consensus that Defense Sequestration will have a devastating impact on the U.S. economy with an economic impact to be felt by many states; and
Whereas, according to a July 2012 George Mason University study, the mandatory federal budget cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011 will result in the loss of up to 2.14 million U.S. jobs; and
Whereas, it is estimated that the Defense portion of Sequestration will result in the loss of over 1 million jobs, many of them high-paying and high-skilled; and
Whereas, the aerospace industry, our nation’s largest export sector with export sales of $89.6 billion annually and overall sales totaling $324 billion annually, will be disproportionately affected by Defense Sequestration; and
Whereas, Defense Sequestration has the potential to erode our defense manufacturing base causing long-term harm to U.S. national security and the U.S. economy;
Therefore be it resolved that the state of [INSERT STATE] calls on the U.S. Congress to take all prudent actions to protect U.S. military strength by recognizing the primacy of (promoting the common defense) as a guiding budgetary priority.
Approved by the ALEC Board of Directors on October 16, 2012.