By Amy Lazenby || Today I find myself in the unlikely position of agreeing with Tea Party darling Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC). In a piece by James Rosen for McClatchy Newspapers, Mulvaney discusses his position on defense spending cuts – and he makes sense. I have previously made my position clear on the need to cut defense spending here: Congress must cut military spending, and the U.S. must stop nation building, because America can’t afford either.
Mulvaney is one of the 11 Republican and 11 Democratic lawmakers who sent a letter last month to President Barack Obama and congressional leaders asking that Defense Department spending be put on the table in the upcoming debt reduction debates.
“We believe that substantial defense savings can be achieved over the long term without compromising national security, through strategic reductions in the Pentagon’s budget,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter.
Mulvaney, who champions small government and fiscal conservatism, said it was intellectually dishonest for his party to protect the Pentagon while slashing the budgets of other large federal agencies.
“It undermines Republicans’ credibility on spending issues if we’re not willing to also look at the defense budget for possible savings,” he sad. “It’s hard to go home and say that we want to cut everything but not cut a penny on defense. People don’t believe that. More and more Republicans are willing to talk about this openly now.”
In addition to those who want to keep the Pentagon’s budget for national security reasons, an issue I addressed here, there are those who are afraid to cut military spending because of the the jobs it supposedly creates. Defense contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers operate in virtually every state, and legislators are concerned that angry constituents will blame them for job cuts in tough economic times if military spending is reduced.
But studies have indicated that Pentagon funding of weapons systems has diminishing returns when it comes to job creation. In fact, a 2009 University of Massachusetts study on the economics of federal spending found that more jobs are created from each federal dollar spent on education, health care, and clean energy compared to the number of jobs created from each federal dollar spent on defense.
Additionally, according to a report last year by the Project on Government Oversight, a nonpartisan independent watchdog group that champions government reform, total federal money to the five largest defense contractors – Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon – increased by 10 percent from 2006 to 2011. But their combined number of employees dropped by 3 percent during the same time period.
So all that military spending doesn’t appear to worth it for job creation after all…
To be sure, Mulvaney would not support spending on education, health care, or clean energy in the name of government job creation – I would – but at least he’s not being a hypocrite when it comes to military spending to create jobs.
“It is a problem for Republicans who think that defense spending creates jobs but other government spending doesn’t create jobs,” Mulvaney said. “That opens us up to charges of hypocrisy, and rightly so.”
Amy Lazenby is an occasional commentator for FITSNews. Follow/ contact her on Twitter @Mrs_Laz, and check out her blog – Polistew.
……. read and initialed
Your UofM study link isn’t working.
Do you have another link?
Never mind, it just came through.
I had a chance to skim the study you used to bolster your argument.
I always find the methodolgy of such studies interesting in the assumptions made to arrive at their conclusions.
Sometimes though, you can take information on a very surface level without even getting into the numbers and draw conclusions.
For instance, some backgroud on the two primary’s in the “study”; sponsored via tax payer money in a very blue state:
“Robert Pollin is Co-Director of PERI and Professor of Econom-ics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His recent books include A Measure of Fairness: The Economics of Living Wages and Minimum Wage in the United States (co-authored), An Employment-Targeted Economic Program for South Africa (co-authored) and Contours of Descent: U.S. Economic Fractures and the Landscape of Global Austerity.”
“Heidi Garrett-Peltier is a Research Fellow at PERI. She is a co-author of “Green Prosperity: How Clean-Energy Policies Can Fight Poverty and Raise Living Standards in the United States,” “The Economic Benefits of Investing in Clean Energy,” and “Green Recovery: A Program to Create Good Jobs and Start Building a Low-Carbon Economy.”
So here we have two very “progressive” leaning people, generating a “study” funded with taxpayers dollars, one of which is heavily tied to “green industries” and the other of which is anti “austerity”.
Pardon my skepticism if you will.
That being said, I will provide you a link on the faltering/failing “green energy” companies that this study heavily touts as a pillar to it’s “spending your way to success” philosophy:
Is Heritage partisan? Most definitely.
Are the facts presented in the link accurate as to the faltering and bankrupt “green energy” programs listed? Yes.
Figures lie and liars figure. Combine that with the lack of knowledge displayed by Lazenby and little mulvaney and you greatly magnify the BS quotient.
“In fact, a 2009 University of Massachusetts study on the economics of federal spending found that more jobs are created from each federal dollar spent on education, health care, and clean energy compared to the number of jobs created from each federal dollar spent on defense.” Compares apples to oranges. The number of jobs may increase but I will bet you dollars to dog turds the aggregate salaries are a lot lower that the highly skilled defense jobs.
“Additionally, according to a report last year by the Project on Government Oversight, a nonpartisan independent watchdog group that champions government reform, total federal money to the five largest defense contractors – Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon – increased by 10 percent from 2006 to 2011. But their combined number of employees dropped by 3 percent during the same time period.” More apples and oranges. Weapons system are increasingly more complex requiring larger outlays for worker expertise and raw materials. One way the cost has been held down is by increased efficiency thus reducing the numbers of workers.
cut military spending , put picture ID’s on snap cards, make peeps that get disabilty work from home, reinstate nut houses like bull street for the super nuts,put politicians in the same boat with everyone else when it cames to benefits/insurance etc, institute term limits,
and put some checks and balances on them being able to give themselves raises
id vote that legislative/executive/judicial branches of all levels of govt cannot give themselves a payraise without giving the govt employees on the same level a raise as well.
When was the last time your check actually got bigger? i got a raise last year, BUT after some benefit rate hikes and taxes im going to be making less, but our “leaders” at every level just seem to be getting paid more and more to figure out why people are making less and less
…… you both are on the right path—but it takes action to accomplish those ideas
I’m confused, isn’t she a Libertarian?
I agree with Mick on this one. Why does the U.S. need to spend more on national defense than the next sixteen nations in the world combined?
“We are America!
Isnt thst enough?
I know Joe thinks so and he is a very smart man!
All that military spending does not create jobs. Maybe, perhaps all that military spending preserves our territorial integrity. Perhaps all that military keeps the all 1300 distinct Federal Agencies open to employ some 8 million federal workers and allow pension payouts to another couple of million.
You behave as if you have a clue
We know better
Your logic and political immaturity could not hit a bull in the ass with a bass fiddle.
BTW, I think Rep Mulvaney is correct in that all federal agencies must downsize including military spending.
We did that with base closures. Remember?
How can our government raise taxes before exhausting all avenues in downsizing all 1300 federal agencies first?
Why not write a 500 word essay on how Democrats are putting this nation in great peril with their inability to act pragmatically on government spending and compromise for realistic approaches to bring down the debt in lieu of saving their own pension plans, political power, and self aggrandizement?
Thomas, as usual you are out to lunch. Ride thru what is left of Charleston Naval Shipyard after it was closed while your father was asleep at the switch. What do you see in the drydocks? Navy ships. So the work didn’t go away, just the navy workers. What advantages does the nation have when using navy workers vs private shipyard workers? Navy workers are prohibited by law from striking against the government. What other plus was it for the shipyard to be in Navy hands? The Navy did maintenance on the buildings and drydocks. Is any being done now? Ride by and draw your own conclusions.
Great more hot air by Man-d lesbian mother
Huge problem with this editorial. She agrees with Mick about spending cuts for defense, which I do as well. DoD is like any bureaucracy and will always have waste, fat and outdated operations.
However, one glaring omission from this faux-thoughtful piece. Not one mention about spending cuts elsewhere. So are we to cut DoD, but no entitlement programs? Are they the only agency with excess?
That’s the real take away from this piece. Head in the sand…