Battleland

Stake This (Defense) Job and Love It

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B-24 Liberators roll down a Michigan assembly line in 1943

Patriotism may be the last refuge of a scoundrel, as Samuel Johnson famously declared in 1775, but it beats banging the drums for defense spending because of the jobs it creates. Yes, jobs are critical in these tough economic times – and the nation should spend every penny it needs to spend to defend the country – but it shouldn’t spend money it doesn’t have simply to keep well-paid defense contractors humming. But that is a refrain increasingly heard from those who benefit from continued defense gravy train, and who shudder at the prospect of cutting military spending all the way back…to 2007 levels.

First to sound the clarion call was the Aerospace Industries Association with its prediction that 1,006,315 – talk about precision-guided! – jobs could be lost if the next round of defense cuts happens. Now the Center for Security Policy, a hawkish D.C. think tank, is running the jobs banner up the flagpole. “We are mindful that such spending is invested to secure the United States, its people and vital interests, and not as an employment measure,” CSP’s Frank Gaffney says. “That said, the reality is that there will be real and, as this product illustrates, in some cases draconian impacts on both jobs in and the economies of states, counties and cities across the country…” Check out how your state might be affected here. Battleland looked in vain for the charts detailing how many more jobs would be created if the funds were used for education, health care, car repair or journalism.

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