Friday, February 8, 2013

Note from AFA: Sequestration

As we get closer to March 1st, we approach our #1 enemy – namely ourselves. Without Congressional and Presidential action, automatic budget cuts – called sequestration – of $1.2 Trillion will kick in. The amount of the reduction in the defense budget will be about $55B a year until 2021 with 42.7B in the remaining seven months of this year. This cut will be on top of the $50B per year reduction that has already occurred. The Air Force share of this hit is $12.4B over the seven months remaining in the Fiscal Year.

The short-term effects are devastating. Up to 800,000 DOD employees could be put on a four-day work week starting in April resulting in reduced pay for each person. Flight hours will have to be reduced by a third, weapon system sustainment by as much as 18% and aircraft availability and mission capable rates will fall significantly. The impact nationally according to a 2012 study by Dr. Stephen Fuller at George Mason University is 2 million jobs lost. I cannot find one example where we cut defense to this degree while, at the same time, fighting a war. I frequently remind people the Preamble to the Constitution says “ … provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare …” And, in reality, the verbs (at least here in Washington) seem to be swapped. We need to have our voices heard on the effects of sequestration and the ongoing continuing resolution on our national defense and military readiness. Secretary Panetta stated as a result of sequestration, “instead of being a first rate power in the world, we’d turn into a second rate power.” It is irresponsible to let this happen after so much sacrifice.

So, we ask of you all to please let your voices be heard. We need to help let the American people known the negative effects on sequestration on national security and the hardships this will cause.

We have included a link to the Air Force briefing slides on the short and long term effects of sequestration. (See:

Also here are Talking Points on the Effects of Sequestration. (See:

The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) conducted a study showing aerospace’s state-by-state impact. The study, completed by Deloitte and commissioned by the AIA, found that the industry accounts for 2.23 percent of the U.S.’s gross domestic product (GDP), resulting in $7.2 billion in direct corporate and sales taxes in 2010 and a total of $37.8 billion in tax revenue if personal income taxes from the estimated 3.53 million associated employees nationwide are included. It is also responsible for about $50B in positive trade balance for the US. The study can be found here:

Finally, I want to tell you that the Service chiefs are schedule to testify to the SACS about sequestration next Tuesday at 0930.

Air Force Chief of Staff General Mark Welsh delved into these points at a recent press conference: “Strategic agility and responsiveness requires a high state of readiness for airmen, equipment—and that’s based on training. And sacrificing that readiness really sacrifices the strategic advantage of airpower.”

For your consideration.

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