Written by admin on Wednesday, October 30th, 2013
Two weeks ago, President Barack Obama and Congress agreed to raise the debt ceiling once again to give leadership another two months to postpone setting a budget that will set the course for America on the path of financial stability instead of one of fiscal indecision. Government shutdowns and government furloughs are becoming almost commonplace nowadays as Congress and the President use the budget and ultimately, the jobs of hundreds of thousands of government workers as leverage for passing their respective budgets.
The impact on the defense industry is very significant. With a budget that is anything but clear, it’s entirely difficult for Pentagon defense planners to exercise any long term cost expenditures and long lead development projects with an “on and off budget strategy” currently being used by Congress. Developing clear targets and spending strategies allows for contractors to build their workforce strategies, purchase materials and gain efficiencies in a production line that is not in constant fear of being off-line due to budget streams that suddenly dry up. In most cases the stoppage in work and inability to purchase long lead items forces industry to produce less and increases costs which are passed along to the government, in effect costing the government more and receiving less.
The inability to resolve political differences and produce a budget has ripple effects that are often unseen by politicians. The effects to military industry do not have a direct impact on the warfighters today but the long term effects of financial indecision will have an impact on military operations as military hardware is delayed and increased costs create less material for the end-user. It was a noble gesture to keep all funding for military personnel intact but the far reaching effects will impact military personnel well into the future.
While the Pentagon scrambles to adjust budgets based upon every political development and roadblock, it’s clear that all they want is enough certainty and stability so they can plan wisely for the next conflict. It’s time for the public to exert pressure on politicians that are “playing chicken” with the nation’s finances and resolve to complete the budget once and for all.
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