Yesterday evening I was sitting in a meeting with some folks. Everything was going great towards meeting our objectives till at the end when somebody dropped the Barney bomb.
“Barney Frank wants to cut Defense spending by 25%”..
Liberals, moderates, conservatives alike in that room, all knew what it meant..significant job losses in the defense and aerospace industry, the last surviving, yet flourishing bastion of American manufacturing. I was taken aback..when back at home later in the night, searched for Rep. Frank’s brilliant revelation..looks like the news spread like wildfire in the conservative blogs and media. So it did, sending a cold shriver in the military, defense and aerospace World…
In a meeting with the editorial board of The Standard-Times, Rep. Frank, D-Mass., also called for a 25 percent cut in military spending, saying the Pentagon has to start choosing from its many weapons programs, and that upper-income taxpayers are going to see an increase in what they are asked to pay.
The military cuts also mean getting out of Iraq sooner, he said.
“The people of Iraq want us out, and we want to stay over their objection,” he said. “It’s extraordinary.” The Maliki government in Iraq “can’t sell (the withdrawal deal with the U.S.) because it sounds like we’re going to stay too long.”
“I was teasing (U.S. Rep.) Jack Murtha (a key supporter of military budgets) and I said to him, ‘For the first time, somebody else has got a bill that’s almost as big as yours.’ We don’t need all these fancy new weapons. I think there needs to be additional review.”
Although he also talked about the cost reduction from getting out of Iraq but the cat is out of the bag and Republicans were already coming out of the woodwork…
Just the suggestion brought a prompt response from two Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee, which is focused on equipping troops who are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Rep. John McHugh of New York and Rep. Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland are the two lawmakers in line to replace the retiring Rep. Duncan Hunter of California as the committee’s Republican.
“Talking about a 25 percent spending reduction in the defense budget with troops on the ground is reckless and, if enacted, could have immediate and long-term consequences for America and those individuals who risk their lives daily to defend our nation,” McHugh said. “Rather than talking about dramatic spending reductions, we instead need to ensure that our baseline defense spending provides the necessary equipment, materiel, and force protection for our armed forces.”
Bartlett called Frank’s statement “grossly irresponsible.”
“A 25 percent cut in defense spending will endanger our troops deployed in harm’s way and America’s national security for years to come,” Bartlett said. “It’s even more astonishing considering that congressional Democratic leaders want to increase the deficit by spending twice as much, $300 billion, for a second stimulus package of domestic spending.”
I know it is great news for some, as for them defense industry is the favorite evil bogeyman that is the root cause of everything from Iraq war to proverty in inner cities. On the flip side, things from Internet development to advanced aircraft materials owe their existence primarily to the defense spending.
American military currently is fighting in two war theaters. Both Obama and McCain agree on the fact that the military needs to expand with more warfighters. The logistical needs also include large scale replenishment of equipment, aircraft, rotorcraft, carriers et al which are suffering huge wear and tear, and losses from the two Wars. A 25% budget cut would have devastating effects in military readiness in the next years. Pentagon budget from 2010 is under scrutiny right now, and Frank’s statement doesn’t bore well for its future.
I cannot fathom why Barney Frank ten days before the election will make this great revelation. I know this diary will not be popular here, but I can tell you his statement fit squarely right with the anti military stereotype of the Democratic party. This will not go well in several corners of America.
Sorry didn’t mean to have this as my first diary at MM. But this had hit pretty close…