Congressman Lamborn Warns C-SPAN Audience of Threats to Defense Spending
Congressman Doug Lamborn (CO-05) today told a C-SPAN audience on Washington Journal that massive cuts to our defense budget could harm our national security and leave us with a "hollow" force. During a 45-minute call-in program this morning, Lamborn also called for lower taxes for our nation's job creators as a way to spur the economy and create jobs.
Highlights of Lamborn's comments on C-SPAN.
Possible defense spending from the bipartisan Super Committee charged with cutting spending by $1.2 trillion:
* I'm really concerned if we have to sequester money, we are going to take an already-stretched thin defense budget and stretch it even thinner. In the last two years, President Barack Obama has cut defense by $408 billion and that was while the rest of the domestic budget increased by 20 percent. So, I think defense has already been cut too much to date.
* We are a prosperous nation. We are spending less than 4 percent of our Gross Domestic Product on defense, and I think we can afford to have a strong national defense.
* We can always be more efficient. The way procurement is done in the Pentagon, there is some bureaucracy involved, there is no doubt about it. So, we can be more efficient, maybe even force more competition among vendors. We can look for savings in the a way that wouldn't sacrifice our cabability.
* We have a way of life worth defending, worth paying some money for. Four percent of your Gross Domestic Product is not too much money, and it is going down to 3 percent, to protect the best country in the world.
* Twenty years ago, since the end of the Cold War, we have cut the number of Navy ships, which was at 546, down to 288, about half of what it was. The Air Force has gone from 82 fighter squadrons to 39. We've gone from Army brigades of 76 down to 45. And strategic bombers from 360 to 154. We have half the inventory of just 20 years ago. And it is older, by and large.
Threats to Our Security
* No one really knows what is around the corner. The last four Presidents have had an unexepected war break out. We live in a dangerous world, and we don't know what the potential threats are that can materialize. Donald Rumsfeld said there are unknown unknowns and we have to be ready for them. I agree with Ronald Reagan, no one has ever been attacked because they were too strong. And as a corollary, weakness invites aggression.
Mission in Afghanistan
* I hope that the future drawdown is based on what the military commanders in the field are saying and advising, not just an election timetable-driven thing. We all want Afghanistan to be able to support and stabilize itself without American soldiers. I hope that we can reach that point. I still hold out hope they can be a stable country, not be the kind of failed state they were 10 years ago when the Taliban was running things and al Qaeda had free rein to plan attacks on our country.
Obama Jobs Bill
* I think we can find common ground in some of the employee incentives to hire people. I think it can be structured better to make a long-term effect. When you get a temporary tax [break], it is hard to plan on it.
* We could find common ground in some of these tax cuts that the President has proposed. So I certainly see how the House could support some, but not all of the American Jobs Act.
When it comes to taxing defense companies or Fortune 500 companies, right now America has the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world, of the top 30 countries.