Scranton Times Tribune
George Landrith

Editor: Your Nov. 22 (“Defense industry heads to the chopping block”) article on the coming defense cuts, if anything, understates the danger.  Expert studies show these cuts will put over 35,000 Pennsylvanians out of work, over a million nationwide.   American aerospace manufacturing is the crown jewel of our economy – cutting it now and shipping more jobs overseas simply makes no sense.

The impact on our national security will be even worse – Secretary Panetta has told Congress these cuts will mean the end of the kind of stealth fighters, drones, satellites, submarines, tankers and cargo planes that demonstrated inLibyahow overwhelmingU.S.airpower makes any mission possible. Congress seems determined to give this advantage away.

Defense has already been cut – it’s just 16% of the budget, less than half the 40% we spent during our last extended period of war inVietnam.   Investment in R&D and replacing depleted stockpiles has been cut even further, down to 1.3% of GDP, not nearly enough to upgrade our technology and restore our forces.

Some don’t believe these cuts will come to pass, but President Obama has said he’ll veto any bill that overturns them.

Americawants to reduce the deficit, but not by selling out our military and ceding our leadership in the world.