U.S. Defense budget slammed

Feb. 14, 2012 at 2:20 PM
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ARLINGTON, Va., Feb. 14 (UPI) -- The proposed U.S. budget, with its envisaged $487 billion defense spending cuts over 10 years, is seen as a "direct hit" on the aerospace and defense industry.

Marion C. Blakey, president and chief executive officer of the Aerospace Industries Association, said the reductions would negatively affect on the military's ability to procure technology and lead to job losses in the aerospace and defense sector.

"The budget released by the administration … is not a shot over the bow of the American aerospace and defense worker, it's a direct hit," she said.

"The American warfighter and our national security are not the only victims of this first, drastic result of the 2011 Budget Control Act. The budget released (Monday) takes direct aim at the first wave of 350,000 aerospace and defense workers who will be out of work if Congress does not find a solution to the sequestration trigger being pulled in 321 days.

"The solution to our country's budget crisis does not lie in further indiscriminate cuts to defense that put our country at risk and will throw hundreds of thousands of skilled workers out of their jobs. The solution does not lie in reversing progress toward safer, more efficient air travel made through investments to date in the FAA's NextGen air traffic management system. And renting Russian rockets to take American astronauts into space sends American space jobs offshore and poses an immediate threat to our country's goal of maintaining a space program that is second to none in the world."

Blakely said the solution to the U.S. budget crisis lies in reform of entitlement programs and tax policies.

"The notion that adequate spending on our country's defense, infrastructure and future in space is in any way 'discretionary' is, simply put, dangerous," she said.

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