Monday, February 11, 2013

Manufactures Say "Sequester" Is "Self-Inflicted" Economic "Body Blow"

Feb 11: the Task Force on American Innovation, chaired by National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and Texas Instruments, sent a letter to the President and Congressional leaders calling for a halt to the "sequester" -- major domestic and defense budget cuts that go into effect March 1, unless Congress acts with an alternative plan. Signed by the heads of leading business and technology associations, the letter represents thousands of businesses, educational institutions and other interested parties. The sequester is set to make across the board budget cuts to discretionary spending, with much of those cuts to the defense sector.

    NAM has led the opposition to the sequester basically since its inception. Manufacturers released a study detailing the serious damage that these cuts will have on our economy -- we took that message around the country and have used every tool at our disposal to make sure that policymakers are well aware of the damage that will be inflicted. Unfortunately, in the 18 months since the Budget Control Act was passed, Washington hasn't found a way to avoid the sequester and the numbers haven't changed. NAM indicated in a blog posting, " If the planned defense cuts go into effect we'll see a body blow to our efforts at economic recovery -- over 1 million jobs lost; a loss of 1% of GDP; and an 0.7% increase in the unemployment rate."

    Additionally, NAM said, "we would see a drain on innovation and scientific advancement that manufacturers rely on to drive their business in such a competitive global economy. Continued economic growth is the true solution to our fiscal issues and if Washington allows the sequester to become a reality, we will have eliminated one of the most critical elements for success. The cuts undermine our economic growth in a shortsighted fashion that will hurt America for generations to come."

    NAM indicated that the businesses and other organizations that signed the letter to the President and Congressional leaders "are not crying wolf -- it's a very real threat to our ability to grow and lead the world economy and it's entirely self-inflicted. It's beyond time to solve this problem and get focused on growing the economy."

    In their letter the organizations state, "We concur with you that it is absolutely necessary that our nation make the difficult decisions required to control annual deficits and stabilize the national debt. However, as Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has indicated, sequestration's 'meat axe' approach to budget cutting would have a detrimental impact on our country. Scientific research would be chopped right alongside other programs, and discoveries and innovations that would create jobs and grow the economy would be delayed or lost entirely.

    "Funding science and research is a necessary and important investment for a country that seeks to expand its economy. Pulling back on those investments, especially when other nations are ramping up theirs, is short-sighted and will leave our nation less able to sustain the economic growth it needs to help eliminate budget deficits in future years. Moreover, the indiscriminate cuts of sequestration would have a devastating effect on our national security and military readiness, and would also hamper other vital government activities, including FAA operations of the national air transportation system, FBI law enforcement, FDA food inspections, NIH medical research, NASA's space exploration program and NOAA's development of new weather satellites."

    Access NAM blog posting and link to the letter, the study and NAM early opposition (click here). [#All]


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