The next round of federal budget cuts will take effect October 1st and Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says sequestration will hit the defense budget particularly hard. A top Pentagon official warns it would mean deep, dangerous cuts of many thousands of military and civilian jobs. Grassley, a Republican, says the mandatory budget cuts have been good for the nation — at least in some ways.
Grassley says, “The principle of sequester that was agreed to, that the president proposed on August the 2nd of 2011, ought to stay in place because it’s what really ended the fiscal crisis we had then and has brought some stability.” The credit rating agency, Standard and Poor’s, downgraded America’s rating in August of 2011 from triple-A — for outstanding — to double-a-plus, for excellent.
Grassley says he’d like to see the Department of Defense spared some of the extreme cuts, as long as federal spending doesn’t get completely out of hand again. “I do think the sequester took too much out of defense,” Grassley says. “I believe though that the $1.2-trillion overall, or that’d be $120-billion a year, ought to be kept in place in order to rebuild our credit rating.”
The deputy defense secretary said Monday the looming cuts would force the Pentagon to slice its budget by 52-billion dollars, bringing the potential firing of as many as 185,000 soldiers and Marines and untold numbers of civilian workers. Critics of the plan say it would create a serious threat to national security.