With the sequester looming, many progressive economists have made the argument that these across-the-board cuts would be damaging to the economy and that there should instead be more targeted cuts focused on defense, corporate welfare, Big Agribusiness, and other wasteful areas.
But with half of the sequester’s cuts set to fall upon the Pentagon, the defense industry is making a self-interested argument against the sequester, claiming that it would hurt military readiness (a false claim, as military experts recommend twice the level of defense cuts as are in the sequester).
Here’s one example: Defense giant Northrup Grumman has set up StopSequestration.com. This website asks you to petition your lawmakers to demand that they stop the sequestration, which it says would cost jobs and hurt U.S. security.
But while asking that the government not enact the sequester and sizeable cuts to defense spending, the site also fearmongers about the U.S. debt:
Government spending continues to exceed government revenues, which means that the national debt keeps growing. Without a change in spending and taxation plans, the national debt will soon reach unprecedented levels. Such debt levels risk triggering a financial crisis.
There is no evidence that the levels of U.S. debt is anywhere near close to “triggering a financial crisis.” As economist Paul Krugman points out, as “long as the economy recovers, which is an assumption built into….projections, the debt ratio will more or less stabilize soon.”
The message this defense contractor is therefore positing is this: there should be major budget cuts for Americans, but not for waste-riddled defense contractors.