On Monday, I appeared on Bloomberg TV 's "Street Smart," to discuss how further defense cuts would not only affect our national security, but also have a negative impact on our economy.
As the December 31st fiscal cliff deadline looms, we are facing the threat of devastating defense cuts that could gut our military and destroy an industry that is integral to jobs in Southern California.
If we do not resolve sequestration, the results will be catastrophic. We have already cut $487 billion in defense spending, which means $50 billion in cuts every year over the next 10 years. Now, under sequestration, more than $500 billion in new cuts will be imposed on top of the $487 billion in cuts previously made. Sequestration mandates $1.2 trillion in automatic, across the board spending cuts. 50% of these cuts will be forced on the backs of our service men and women, even though defense spending only accounts for under 20% percent of our overall budget.
This really impacts us in California, because we have one of the largest defense and aerospace sectors in the country. It is right here in our district where companies are creating the tools needed for our troops to have a definitive advantage in our national security interests. If these mandated automatic spending cuts are to take place, it is estimated that here in California alone we are set to lose 126,000 private sector jobs, 20,000 active duty military jobs and over 15,000 civilian DOD jobs. We are set to see an $11 billion decrease in our state's GDP and our small businesses would lose more than $400 million in revenue. (http://www.aia-aerospace.org/)
I have been a leader in working to solve sequestration. I do not take the threat of sequestration lightly and neither should any lawmaker in Washington.
Sequestration is only one of the many outstanding dilemma's involved in resolving the fiscal cliff, however it is imperative that it remains a top priority. It's time to work together to provide a balanced solution to our fiscal problems. Our troops deserve better, our taxpayers deserve better, the American people deserve better.