Manufacturers supported the Budget Control Act of 2011 that, among other things, included some $917 billion in spending cuts and set up a “Super Committee” to find an additional $1.2 trillion to $1.5 trillion of deficit reduction. If the Super Committee failed, as it did, the penalty was a “sequester,” $1.2 trillion in across-the-board spending cuts divided between defense and nondefense spending. NAM members feel strongly that we need to get our nation’s fiscal house in order and get government spending under control but we oppose the “chain saw” approach of the sequester. Arbitrarily cutting federal programs, particularly in the defense area, threatens jobs, national security and the economy.
As a result, we’ve urged lawmakers to abandon the “across-the-board” approach and instead take a critical and deliberative look at cutting government spending with a focus on entitlement reforms and potential cuts in discretionary spending, keeping in mind the impact spending cuts will have on our economic and national security. In short, we have a spending problem and the focus should be on spending cuts.
So we’re surprised at recent proposals from Congressional Democrats and today, President Obama, who want to replace the sequester with a mix of spending cuts and tax increases. As the NAM and many other groups have pointed out, the sequester will cost U.S. jobs and economic growth. And tax increases will do the same.
Replacing the sequester with tax hikes is substituting one bad idea for another. Rather, let’s use this opportunity to begin a much needed and very important debate on actually cutting federal spending.