When Barack Obama visited Virginia on his propaganda tour this week, Mitt Romney and other Republicans rightly pounded Obama for his massive defense cuts, including sequestration. However, they did not appear to do so effectively enough, because Obama retains a lead over Romney in Virginia.
Yet, it will hit the military, the defense industry, and the entire Nation hard on January 2nd, 2013, if it is not cancelled. Over 103 bn dollars will be cut out of the base defense budget if it isn’t. The consequences for Virginia would be, inter alia, the following:
1) Every shipbuilding program would have to be cut deeply by the same percentage. And, as Secretary Panetta says, since you can’t buy 3/4s of a ship, that means no warships could be bought at all.
2) At least one, and perhaps more than one, carrier group would have to be eliminated.
3) The Virginia-based Northrop Grumman can forget about the opportunity to build a next-generation long-range-bomber for the Air Force.
4) The Navy can forget about adding the Virginia Payload Module to its submarines or modifying any further cruisers or DDGs with BMD capability. In fact, the Navy would have to be cut to below 230 ships – thus becoming smaller than the Russian Navy – down from today’s already-inadequate fleet of 285 ships. No prizes for guessing where most of these decommisioned ships would have to come from – NS Norfolk, VA, the Navy’s largest base.
5) At least one CAW, probably two, would have to be eliminated. Again, no prizes for guessing where that CAW would come from – most likely NAS Oceana, VA.
6) Hundreds of thousands of troops, including thousands of those based in Virginia, would have to be laid off immediately.
7) Massive layoffs would occur in the US defense industry, with up to 1 million jobs on the line. Virginia would be hit harder than any other state except California.
And that’s just for starters, and just the consequences for Virginia.
Barack Obama and his propaganda team falsely claim that these cuts are part of some sacred agreement that Republicans agreed to, and that they’ve not presented any serious solution to sequestration.
But that’s not true. Republicans HAVE presented serious solutions: the Sequester Reconciliation Act (authored by Rep. Paul Ryan and passed by the House), the Ryan Budget Plan (also passed by the House), and the Down Payment to Protect National Security Act (H.R. 3662, which would replace only 1 out of every 3 retiring government workers).
Yet, Obama has threatened to veto both Acts (he can’t veto a budget resolution) and any other legislation that does not raise taxes on the most productive Americans (those who earn more than 250,000 dollars a year), even though his own SECDEF says that sequestration would be an utter disaster.
It is also not true that Republicans created this problem. Obama demanded massive defense cuts – on top of all the cuts Secretary Gates had administered and scheduled before April 2011 – long before the need to raise the debt ceiling even arose. He demanded them in a GWU speech on April 13th, 2011. Then, in negotiations on the debt ceiling deal and the spending cuts that accompanied it, it was Obama and his Congressional Democrat chums who demanded deep defense cuts as a part of any deal, with Obama saying he wanted to deeply cut defense to protect welfare programs. The eventual deal contained 487 bn in immediate defense budget cuts and a sequester threatening to cut another 550 bn out of defense, starting in FY2013, if the Super Committee could not agree to any savings (which it couldn’t, so now the sequester has kicked in). Both of these tranches of defense cuts were included at the Democrats’ and Obama’s insistence.
The sequester itself was created by them specifically to force Republicans to choose between massive defense cuts and massive tax hikes, because Obama and the Dems know that Republicans hate both. It was a purely partisan tool to start with.
And yet, Obama, along with the Democrat-controlled, do-nothing-Senate, still uses the sequester as a political tool to extract massive tax hikes from Republicans. He continues to threaten to veto any legislation that does not raise taxes on the most productive Americans.
Republicans, including Mitt Romney, need to call Obama out on this in stronger words than those used so far.
To hold the US military, national security, and industrial base at risk for the sake of a political agenda (of raising taxes) is the most despicable thing a President can do. It completely disqualifies Obama from being President and even dog catcher. By doing so, Obama has proven that not only is he unfit to be President, he’s unfit to be a toilet cleaner.
Romney needs to wage a no-holds-barred offensive against Obama for that reason – in Virginia and beyond.