Six Articles on the Defense Sequester

Today in The Hill, they have put together a six article package on the looming automatic cuts to the defense budget found in the sequester. These cuts, about $500 billion in total, represent half of the sequester, with the other half coming mainly from domestic discretionary cuts, but also certain mandatory cuts (most entitlements are partially or fully example).

The six articles include pieces from:

  1. Winslow Wheeler, from the Center for Defense Information, who writes about the politics of the defense sequester.
  2. Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) who writes about the job loss implications of the defense sequester and its national security effects, which he argues would make "[T]he United States will no longer be able to maintain the leadership position that has maintained our national security force for the past 70 years."
  3. Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) who writes that the defense sequester is bad policy because it is not targeted, but that defense cuts are possible, even more than the sequester creates. She also points out that the sequester hits non-defense programs as well, although it is not commonly discussed.
  4. Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL) who writes about how the defense sequester would severely harm our military and Congress should address the sequester now.
  5. Gordon Adams of American University who writes that there is currently overhyped "hysteria" surrounding the defense sequester and that drawdowns from previous wars had been much larger than what would happen even with the sequester.
  6. Jeremy Herb, defense reporter for The Hill, who writes about the election year politics of the sequester.

Regardless of your view on defense cuts, there is no question that we are better off strategizing and planning for them than letting them happen across-the-board and all at once. The abrupt fiscal cliff at year's end should be replaced with a more targeted approach which achieves sufficient deficit reduction to put the debt on a downward path but in a thoughtful and gradual way.

Allowing the country to fall off the fiscal cliff would be quite dangerous, but continuing on our current fiscal path would be downright disastrous.

For more information about the sequester, here and here are two reports on the jobs implications, here is our paper on the Fiscal Cliff and here is our blog detailing how the House Republican Budget would deal with the sequester.