Saturday, June 16, 2012

"Poor confused military contractors"

Did you see the nation's top military office in front of Congress this week spouting nonsense about how cutting defense spending would destroy the country? Yeah, here's what's really going on:


And they call the unions thuggish. Get a load of this:

Facing economic uncertainty, defense contractors are plotting to spur Congress to nix the automatic budget cuts set to begin next year.

The plan? Threaten to send out layoff notices — hundreds of thousands of them, right before Election Day.

Congress, industry leaders contend, has left them few options. Federal law, they say, requires employers to give notice of 60 days to workers facing layoffs.


“I’ve been told by some of our major employers that layoff notices are going to come before the election,” said Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), a member of the Armed Services Committee and a vocal critic of the automatic cuts. “It’s dangerous and irresponsible for Congress to play with this.”

“Negotiations in Congress can’t wait for the lame-duck session because there’s going to be a devastating impact to our defense industrial base before then,” she told POLITICO.

Right. It's dangerous and irresponsible for the congress to play with this. But playing chicken with the debt ceiling, domestic programs and massive tax cuts every few months.

“Kicking the can has become such an acceptable policy that it wouldn’t surprise anybody,” he said.

Every day that goes by without a Grand Bargain struck by foolish politicians and their billionaire owners is a good day for America. It would be a better day for America if we could get some relief for homeowners and a real fiscal stimulus but I'm trying to stay in the real world here. The best we can hope for is that the partisan desire of the GOP to destroy their enemies will allow us to live to fight another day. It ain't much.

Digby follows up:

I wrote earlier about how the MIC is threatening to destroy the country if the congress follows through on its earlier deal to cut defense. The Senators are all in a dither because the economy will be destroyed if the MIC has to lay off all those workers.(And here I thought the government couldn't create jobs ...)

Guess what? Aside from the issue of all the useless killing machines they produce, defense contracts are the costliest way to create jobs. The PERI institue of UMass issued a report showing that for every $1 billion spent by the Pentagon, roughly 11k jobs are created while that same money on domestic priorities (or even tax cuts) would create far more jobs:

Also too, they are making record profits at the moment and Lockheed's CEO took home $25.4 million (twice what Goldman's CEO made) in 2011. Maybe they could hold off on the panic for just a little while.

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