Defense

September 21, 2012

Carter: Sequestration would have effect of ‘hidden tax’

Because it would lead to inefficiencies, the sequestration mechanism built into the Budget Control Act would amount to a hidden tax, Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said Sept. 20.

“If sequestration happens, it is not only disruptive in many ways I’d love to describe, but it’s a hidden tax all by itself,” Carter said during an interview at the Newseum with Politico Pro Defense’s Phil Ewing. “It forces us to be uneconomical, and our industry partners to be uneconomical, in the conduct of our affairs. That’s not good.”

Sequestration refers to a mechanism in last year’s law that raised the debt ceiling that would trigger an additional $500 billion across-the-board defense spending cut over the next decade, in addition to $487 billion in cuts already programmed, unless Congress identifies equivalent savings by January.

Along with Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, Carter said, he is urging Congress to find a solution.

“We fervently hope that something can be done to avert sequestration,” Carter said. “I don’t know how many months Secretary Panetta and I have been railing about what sequestration will do to national defense,” he said. “I think people didn’t know what the word meant, but he did, and we did, and the word he used is ‘devastating.'”

The deputy defense secretary said he cannot say anything good about sequestration, and he called its size and the manner in which it was applied “senseless.”

“And makes the jobs of people like us who are trying to manage your security to a reasonable result … impossible,” he added.

As Defense Department managers work to “get our programs just so,” including all the things they must do for service members and their families, Carter said, the impending cuts are prohibitive. “In comes something like this that makes orderly disposition of the public’s business impossible,” he added. “So I very much hope some way can be found over the next few months to stop it.”

Carter said he’d be open to Congress enacting a delay in the January deadline to allow more time for a solution. “A delay’s better than having it,” he said, “and if a delay leads to ultimately dispelling this cloud, that’s all the better.”

The potential for government shutdowns and the prospect of the government operating on a series of continuing resolutions in place of a budget also affect defense industry partners trying to do their jobs, Carter said.

“You’re working on contingencies at the same time you’re trying to do the bedrock business that we’re supposed to do, which is to support the warfighter and deliver value for the taxpayer,” he said. “So it’s annoying, it’s frustrating and it’s counterproductive.”

Carter said people may be aware of the “extremely disruptive, uneconomical and wasteful” effects on defense programs such as aircraft and vehicle acquisition, but they may not appreciate potential effects on operating accounts.

Under sequestration, he explained, warfighting costs could require tapping into Army operations and maintenance funding, which in turn would affect training, which then would affect readiness.

“The force will not be as ready to do things elsewhere in the world. … It really has an effect on security,” he said.

Sequestration also affects people, Carter said – not only service members, civilian employees and their families, but also industry partners.

“They are the ones who build the things that make our military the greatest in the world,” Carter said. “It affects them, [and] it affects their employees. So across the board, it deserves the word ‘devastating.'”

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

President proclaims Memorial Day as ‘Day of Prayer’

President Barack Obama May 22 saluted the service and sacrifices of America’s military members–past and present–and proclaimed Memorial Day, May 25, 2015, “as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11 a.m. of that day as a time during which people may unite in prayer....
 
 

Air Force leaders’ Memorial Day message

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III send the following Memorial Day message to the Airmen of the Air Force and their families: To the Airmen of the United States Air Force and their Families: On Memorial Day, Americans pause in solemn remembrance...
 
 

Headlines May 22, 2015

News: Second Marine killed in Hawaii Osprey crash identified - Marine Corps officials have identified the second Marine to die as a result of the May 17 MV-22B Osprey crash as Lance Cpl. Matthew J. Determan of Maricopa, Ariz.   Business: Israel defense exports plunge to seven-year low - Israeli defense sales last year plunged to their...
 

 

News Briefs May 22, 2015

Ukrainian officer hit with third charge in Russia A third charge has been filed against a Ukrainian military officer who has been behind bars in Moscow for nearly a year over the deaths of two Russian journalists in Ukraine. Nadezhda Savchenko, who worked as a spotter for Ukrainian troops fighting separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine,...
 
 
Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

Smart-mortar will help Soldiers more effectively hit targets

Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez Nick Baldwin and Evan Young, researchers with the Armament Research Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal, Pennsylvania, discuss the 120mm Guided Enhanced Fragmentation Mortar ...
 
 

Air Force assigns new chief scientist

The Air Force announced the service’s new chief scientist to serve as a science and technology adviser to the secretary of the Air Force and the chief of staff of the Air Force, May 21. Dr. Greg Zacharias will be the 35th chief scientist and is ready to “dive in” to his new role. “I...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>