By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Representative Mo Brooks (R) from Huntsville appeared on the FOX News Live show DEFCON-3 with host and national security analyst KT McFarland to discuss sequestration.
Congressman Brooks said, “You’re talking about America having the smallest Army since World War II, the smallest Navy since World War I, and the smallest Air Force in the history of our country. Those are big impacts on our ability to project power and influence as we try to preserve peace around the world. One analogy is to look at the capabilities of the United States in our defense. Estimates are that this sequestration will reduce America’s national defense capabilities by roughly 25 percent. That’s a big hit.”
Rep. Brooks said, “The House Armed Services Committee has estimated that one of the options under sequestration is strictly personnel cuts. Under that scenario you’re talking about 700,000 uniformed personnel, DOD civilian support workers, and private sector support workers losing their jobs…. Then you add into that the multiplier effect with the National Association of Manufacturers talking about over a million private sector jobs that will be lost…. Yet, we have a White House and United States Senate that readily want to put our national security at risk and cost America in excess of a million jobs.”
The Huntsville Congressman told the Fox News Audience, “Unfortunately, this sequestration that has been foisted upon us by Harry Reid and the Senate Democrats, along with the President of the United States, [is] very counterproductive, it puts us at risk, and it enables our foes to do what you’re seeing now with China.”
Dr. Steven Bucci and Alison Acosta Frazer with the Heritage Foundation agree with Rep. Brooks. In a statement Thursday they said, “The defense cuts are too big and have no rationale. At stake are nearly $500 billion in cuts from the defense portion of the sequestration (automatic cuts over 10 years from the Budget Control Act [BCA] that will hit in January 2013). These cuts are alarmingly disproportionate: 43 percent of the sequestration cuts would come from defense, though it is only 11 percent of total spending. This would mean a cut of nearly 10 percent of the already reduced defense budget. On the other hand, entitlements, which comprise over half of all federal spending and are the fastest growing part of the budget, would remain essentially untouched, receiving only 15 percent of the cuts. But this would be a reduction of less than 1 percent of all entitlement spending.”
More than just jobs are at stake. Rep. Brooks said, “If sequestration does in fact take place, you’re looking at the cancellation or mothballing of one, maybe two, carrier battle groups. Not just the aircraft carrier, but all the supporting vessels. When you lose those kinds of capabilities, you also lose the capability, or have a diminished capacity of protecting the sea lanes in places like the Persian Gulf that supply so much oil that is vital to the world’s economy. I don’t know what’s going to happen after sequestration if the United States no longer has the capability of influencing Persian Gulf events and keeping that supply of oil available to everyone that consumes it around the globe.”
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) found that more than 1 million private sector jobs could be lost by 2014 due to fiscal constraints. Those proposed job cuts would increase the national unemployment rate by 0.7 % and decrease Gross Domestic Product by nearly 1% according to the NAM report. The NAM study said that the economy will take a $600 billion hit in January if the country is allowed to fall off that fiscal cliff.
Congressman Mo Brooks represents Alabama’s fifth Congressional District. Rep. Brooks is seeking a second term in the U.S. Congress. His Democratic opponent in the November 6th General Election is minister Charlie Hollie.