A plan to cut the military civilian workforce is putting national security and the dreams of many Americans at risk, according to a union video released Wednesday.
The video was released by the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE). It warns a plan to cut the military budget will have a profoundly negative impact on many Americans and national security. The proposed cuts are being mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011.
“The army under full sequestration would have to reduce its civilian workforce by about 23,000 by the end of 2019,” AFGE Assistant Legislative Director John Threlkeld says in the video. “In addition to the terrible toll inflicted on civilian employees and their families and the communities in which they live, these arbitrary cuts will have similarly adverse impacts on war fighters and taxpayers.”
The Budget Control Act established limits on discretionary spending for fiscal years 2016 through 2021. To align with the requirements, the Army plans to cut its civilian workforce by 30 percent at dozens of bases by 2020. AFGE represents many government workers including those likely to be impacted by the budget cuts. Supporters of the budget cuts, however, argue they are critically needed.
“The Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA) has shrunk the size of government more effectively than any budget tool in a generation,” Economist Stephen Moore wrote for The Heritage Foundation. “Total federal outlays have fallen from $3.603 trillion in 2011 to $3.506 trillion in 2014. The economy and jobs have picked up steam as the government has shrunk, refuting the Keynesian gospel of the left.”
Some budget cuts have already be enacted. As the video highlights, Fort Huachuca alone has lost 1,100 civilian positions in the last 18 months. The U.S. Office of Management and Budget reports that already $103 billion in defense spending and $82 billion in nondefense spending has been cut between 2012 to 2014.
“If sequestration continues and we start to plan for the 2020 budget cuts, there won’t be anything left here,” AFGE Local 1662 President Katie Rasdall also noted in the video. “This is a real eyeopener for people to try fight back.”
Its not just public sector unions, though, that are opposed. Some in the military have also come out against the the measure. Air Force Chief of Staff General Mark A. Welsh III warned at a defense hearing Jan 28. that the cuts put the military and Americans at risk.
“The impacts on readiness and modernization outlined above would result in an Air Force that, at sequestered levels of funding, cannot successfully execute all Defense Strategic Guidance requirements,” Welsh declared. “We will not have sufficient force structure to meet the fundamental requirement to simultaneously Defeat an adversary, Deny a second adversary, and Defend the Homeland.”
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