The headline of the New York Times Feb. 3 editorial, “A Million Jobs at Stake,” caught the attention of Manufacturers who’ve been warning Congress and the Administration of the potential job-killing impact of the sequestration now set to kick in on March 1st. Indeed, we agree with the Times that the sequester was never supposed to happen and that allowing it to kick in will hurt our struggling economy. But we strongly disagree that the solution to avoid sequestration is tax increases, particularly those directed a specific industries or tax payers. Yes we need to cut federal spending, but imposing new tax increases or arbitrarily lopping off some spending is not the way to go.
Rather, we believe strongly that the solution is thoughtful reductions in federal spending—particularly entitlement spending. As NAM Board member Della Williams so aptly told the House Armed Services Committee last summer, “sequestration is cosmetic surgery with a chainsaw.” There’s no way to avoid it: policy makers need to take a hard look at all federal spending—including entitlement spending with an eye to avoiding unintended and damaging impacts. Clearly our nation’s fiscal challenges are of critical importance not only to the future of American manufacturers but to the future of all Americans. Any plan to address these our fiscal problems will have a long-lasting and significant impact on our economy. We urge policy makers not to take the “easy way out” and let the sequester “happen” but to use this opportunity to tackle our real fiscal challenges.