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WaPo: Obama Era Defense Cuts Have Wrecked Virginia’s Defense-Reliant Economy

- September 20, 2016

DOES TIM KAINE STILL THINK SEQUESTRATION WAS "THE RIGHT THING TO DO" GIVEN THE IMPACTS IT HAS HAD IN HIS HOME STATE?

In 2012, Kaine Called Devastating Sequestration Defense Cuts "The Right Thing To Do"

In A July 2012 Debate, Kaine Called The Obama-Era Defense Cuts "The Right Thing To Do." "There's no doubt Kaine backed the debt-limit agreement at the time and does not second-guess his support. He said, during a debate this summer, 'the deal was the right thing to do.' So Kaine cannot divorce himself from the consequences of the deal. The consequences -- $1 trillion in cuts to split evenly between defense and domestic programs was set up as a bitter pill so unpalatable to Republicans and Democrats that it would spur a compromise in slicing the deficit." (Sean Gorman, "George Allen Says Tim Kaine Has 'Doubled Down' In His Support Of Defense Cuts," Politifact, 9/20/12)

  • Politifact: "There's No Doubt Kaine Backed The Debt-Limit Agreement" And As A Result "Cannot Divorce Himself From The Consequences Of The Deal." (Sean Gorman, "George Allen Says Tim Kaine Has 'Doubled Down' In His Support Of Defense Cuts," Politifact, 9/20/1

Yesterday, The Washington Post Published A Damning Analysis Of The Impact Obama's Crippling Defense Spending Cuts Have Had On Employment In Northern Virginia

President Obama's Defense Cuts Have "Pushed Thousands Of Blue-Collar Workers Out Of Good-Paying Jobs" In Northern Virginia And Civic Leaders Are Forced To Consider "How To Survive If The Military Spigot Never Opens Again." "For three-quarters of a century, the Hampton Roads area rose and fell with the federal defense budget, always confident that any cutbacks would prove temporary. Under President Obama, a new reality has sunk in. Spending cuts have stalled growth in the region, pushed thousands of blue-collar workers out of good-paying jobs and forced civic leaders to contend with a once-unmentionable question: how to survive if the military spigot never opens again." (Jim Tankersley, "Hampton Roads Relied On Military Spending For Decades. Now It Must Shift Its Economy," The Washington Post , 9/19/16)

  • Defense Spending Went From Making Up More Than Half Of Hampton Roads' Economy To Less Than 40 Percent. "Defense spending has fallen quickly from making up more than half of the Hampton Roads economy to less than 40 percent." (Jim Tankersley, "Hampton Roads Relied On Military Spending For Decades. Now It Must Shift Its Economy," The Washington Post , 9/19/16)

Over 4,000 Manufacturing Workers, Including 700 Members Of The Boilermakers Union, Have Lost Their Jobs In The Region Due To The Obama Administration's Defense Cuts. "Over the past two years, nearly 4,000 manufacturing workers in the region have lost their jobs, according to the Labor Department. Layoffs from defense contractors, including 700 members of the Boilermakers union who were given pink slips less than a month before Christmas, came as the Navy reduced spending on ship building and maintenance." (Jim Tankersley, "Hampton Roads Relied On Military Spending For Decades. Now It Must Shift Its Economy," The Washington Post , 9/19/16)

  • Dwain Burnham, An International Representative For The Boilermakers, Asserted That The Layoffs Were "Unprecedented." "'It's just unprecedented,' said Dwain Burnham, an international representative for the Boilermakers." (Jim Tankersley, "Hampton Roads Relied On Military Spending For Decades. Now It Must Shift Its Economy," The Washington Post , 9/19/16)

There Are "30,000 Fewer Military Jobs In The Region Today Than A Decade Ago" And Remaining Military Personal Have Had Their Pay Slashed. "The cuts have drained buying power from the local economy. Compounding the problem, there are nearly 30,000 fewer military jobs in the region today than a decade ago, and the remaining members of the military stationed here have seen their pay curbed in recent years." (Jim Tankersley, "Hampton Roads Relied On Military Spending For Decades. Now It Must Shift Its Economy," The Washington Post , 9/19/16)

Federal Defense Contract Spending In The Region Fell By 1.5 Billion In Just A Single Year, With Total Federal Defense Contract Spending "Lower Than 2009 Levels." "Federal defense contract spending in the region was $9.4 billion in 2015, a $1.5 billion drop from the previous year - and lower than 2009 levels, even before adjusting for inflation." (Jim Tankersley, "Hampton Roads Relied On Military Spending For Decades. Now It Must Shift Its Economy," The Washington Post , 9/19/16)

  • As Defense Spending Cuts Sink In, Economic Growth In The Region Lags Substantially Behind The Rest Of The State Or The Nation. "Since the end of the Great Recession, economic growth in the region has averaged about 1 percent, less than half the rate for the nation as a whole. Job growth is up just 0.5 percent over the past year, compared with 2.5 percent for Northern Virginia and the state as a whole." (Jim Tankersley, "Hampton Roads Relied On Military Spending For Decades. Now It Must Shift Its Economy," The Washington Post , 9/19/16)
  • "Norfolk Lost More Businesses In The Economic Recovery Than Any Other Major City In The Nation." "Norfolk lost more businesses in the economic recovery than any other major city in the nation, according to census data compiled by the Economic Innovation Group." (Jim Tankersley, "Hampton Roads Relied On Military Spending For Decades. Now It Must Shift Its Economy," The Washington Post , 9/19/16)

Hundreds Of Newport News Workers Are Set To Be Laid Off This Year As Ship Building Slows Under Obama

Newport News Shipbuilding Is Expecting To Layoff Some 1,500 Workers By The End Of 2016 Due To A Slow Down In Military Ship Building. "More than 700 employees - all but a handful of them hourly workers - are scheduled to be laid off Wednesday at Huntington Ingalls Industries' Newport News Shipbuilding. The impending cuts - a total of 738 - will follow the layoff of 480 salaried workers early last fall, part of a wave of workforce reductions in Newport News that could total 1,500 by the end of the year." (Robert McCabe, "More Than 700 Layoffs Set For Wednesday At Newport News Shipbuilding," The Virginian Pilot , 2/1/16)

  • Roughly Half Of The Layoffs Have Already Occurred. "More than 700 employees - all but a handful of them hourly workers - are scheduled to be laid off Wednesday at Huntington Ingalls Industries' Newport News Shipbuilding. The impending cuts - a total of 738 - will follow the layoff of 480 salaried workers early last fall, part of a wave of workforce reductions in Newport News that could total 1,500 by the end of the year. The cuts are being driven by the completion of work on three carriers over a roughly 18-month period: construction of the Gerald R. Ford, the midlife overhaul of the Abraham Lincoln and the inactivation of the Enterprise." (Robert McCabe, "More Than 700 Layoffs Set For Wednesday At Newport News Shipbuilding," The Virginian-Pilot , 2/1/16)

Virginia Is The Most Reliant State In The Country On Defense Contracts, With Roughly 5,000 Defense-Related Companies In The State

Virginia Leads The Nation In Federal Defense Contracts, And Acts As A Home To Roughly 5,000 Defense-Related Companies. "Virginia leads the nation in federal defense contracts and is home to about 5,000 defense-related companies." ("State Program Helping Defense Contractors To Be Continued," Virginia Business, 8/24/15)

Virginia Is The "Most Dependent" State In The Country On Federal Contracting, With Such Spending Representing 11.8 Percent Of The State's Economy. "Of all the states, Virginia is the most dependent on federal contracting. In 2014 (the most recent year for which figures were available), the U.S. Department of Defense spent $54.7 billion in the commonwealth - including $38 billion in contracts. That represented 11.8 percent of the state's gross domestic product. A formidable figure, to be sure, but less than what the DOD once spent." (M.J. McAteer, "'Not For The Faint Of Heart,'" Virginia Business, 3/30/16)

VIRGINIA CANNOT AFFORD FURTHER DEFENSE CUTS POSED BY CLINTON'S CANDIDACY

Clinton's Rhetoric And Support Of Obama's Policies Indicates A Defense Budget Similar To That Proposed By The Obama Administration. "Clinton has not taken a position on the size of the defense budget other than to say there should be a debate. However, her tough rhetoric and her support of many current policies imply a defense budget at least as large as the Obama administration has proposed: that is, above the level prescribed by the Budget Control Act, although below what some Republicans have proposed." (Mark Cancian, "Clinton's Defense Spending: Vague But More Hawkish Than Obama," Breaking Defense, 5/12/16)

  • However, Clinton's Proposed Expansions Of Domestic Programs "Will Put A Limit On What She Can Spend On Defense." "However, the many expansions of domestic programs that Clinton has proposed (for example, college tuition, energy, early childhood education, health care, education, etc., etc.) and budget deficits that will increase in the future just to fund existing programs will put a limit on what she can spend on defense." (Mark Cancian, "Clinton's Defense Spending: Vague But More Hawkish Than Obama," Breaking Defense, 5/12/16)

Under Obama, Defense Spending In Virginia Has Dropped $2.2 Billion

Under Obama, Defense Spending In Virginia Dropped $2.2 Billion, Falling From $56.9 Billion In 2009 To $54.7 Billion In 2014. ("Defense Spending By State, Fiscal Year 2014," U.S. Department Of Defense Office Of Economic Adjustment , Accessed 5/18/16; Robert Levinson, Sopen Shah, And Paige K. Connor, "Impact Of Defense Spending: A State-By-State Analysis," Bloomberg Government, 11/17/11)

Obama's Cuts To Defense Spending Have Altered Virginia's Economy

Defense Spending In Virginia Was 11.8 Percent Of State GDP In 2014, A 2.1 Percent Decrease From 2009 Levels. ("Defense Spending By State, Fiscal Year 2014," U.S. Department Of Defense Office Of Economic Adjustment , Accessed 5/18/16; Robert Levinson, Sopen Shah, And Paige K. Connor, "Impact Of Defense Spending: A State-By-State Analysis," Bloomberg Government, 11/17/11)


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