By REP. ALLEN WEST | 9/20/12 6:08 AM EDT
Our nation has a defining choice to make, and time is short. The Pentagon is bracing for devastating cuts through sequestration. For the sake of national security, jobs and the next generation, we must stop this in its tracks. There is still time to fix it — if we show leadership and make tough choices.
The House has presented alternative plans to replace sequestration with thoughtful spending cuts. President Barack Obama has already missed his deadline, and failed to offer Congress even the most meager outline to prevent these cuts. This deep bite could have far-reaching consequences to military planning and the struggling economy.
The House Small Business Committee is set to hold a hearing Thursday to examine how these cuts will affect many small firms. The threatened haphazard slashing of programs already has contractors scrambling, with more jobs at risk. Economic progress is still far too weak and our nation’s security too important to sustain new job losses in military manufacturing, supply, research, development, testing and more.
Small businesses need a measure of certainty to survive and create the jobs our economy needs. “Small companies like mine,” Perry Casto of Allied Associates International, already told the committee, “however, do not have the fiscal resources to stay in business while the government sorts out the issues surrounding sequestration.”
The damage will likely be exacerbated because of the sequester’s arbitrary design. Cuts are not based on logic or military tactics. What calls for a scalpel will instead be subject to a cleaver, smiting even the most essential programs.
Americans unapologetically value a strong defense. Our nation exists because some had the courage to take up arms and defend their homes and their neighbors. History, along with events around the globe, justifies the need for a powerful force to ensure peace and prosperity. Americans will be rightly incensed as they learn more about this so-called “plan” to gut the military.
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- More Evidence Defense Sequestration Originated in White House (commentarymagazine.com)