The proposal from the bipartisan, so-called “gang of six” would – according to a Chambliss “dear friends” posting on Wednesday – “combine necessary and significant spending cuts with serious reforms to entitlement programs and an overhaul of the tax code.”
Chambliss stressed that the approach also would “preserve military readiness without enacting gratuitous cuts that put our national security at risk.”
The senior Georgia senator will be at Middle Georgia Technical College in Warner Robins Aug. 21 for an 8:30 a.m. presentation on defense impacts from sequestration. Later that same day, he will join Reps. Sanford Bishop and Austin Scott in Macon for the annual congressional luncheon sponsored by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.
As the law currently stands, the Budget Control Act of 2011 will exact or sequester $1.2 trillion from the federal budget over the next ten years beginning in January unless Congress comes up with alternative savings or amends the law. At least $500 billion would be drawn from the defense budget. The cuts would come on top of $487 billion in defense reductions already programmed by the Obama administration.
Chambliss said the sequestration plan would have the following impacts on the Defense Department and defense industry:
• Result in the smallest American ground forces since 1940
• The smallest fleet of ships since 1915
• The smallest Air Force tactical fighter force in history
• Hinder the readiness and responsiveness of factories, assembly lines and companies that make military equipment
• Result in loss of talent, knowledge and erode quality in the defense industry
“One reason the United States has not been attacked on our own soil since 1941 is that other countries are deterred by our military’s capabilities and our willingness to use them,” Chambliss noted in his Wednesday message. “But this ability to deter – which sequester would weaken – should never be taken for granted.”
Chambliss said all Georgians – not just those directly connected with the state’s military installations – need to understand the effects of sequestration.
“With defense-related spending playing a large role in Georgia’s economy,” he noted, “sequester will affect everyone …The time is short and the need is great. I encourage you to get involved, to raise the issue of defense sequester with your local elected officials and within your community.”
The “gang of six” plan promises to reduce federal deficits by $3.7 trillion over the next ten years. It introduces various reforms to the tax code and calls for repeal of the Alternate Minimum Tax. It includes $80 billion in cuts to the Defense Department and asks lawmakers to reform Social Security.