Last year, I asked for your help to stop sequestration – more than a trillion dollars in automated and indiscriminate cuts to defense and discretionary government spending originally slated to occur on January 1. You rose to the occasion. You held rallies. You contacted your elected representatives. And we were able to raise awareness regarding this ticking policy time bomb.
Unfortunately, our efforts didn’t change much. The elections came and went, largely unaffected by the sequestration debate. Our elected leaders avoided the fiscal cliff, choosing largely to delay the problem by postponing sequestration for two months. They said, “We’ll try again later.” Well, “later” is quickly approaching.
If lawmakers on Capitol Hill are not able to agree upon an alternate path, our government will be forced to enact the first round of sequestration-related cuts on March 1. It’s estimated that over the next 18 months, sequestration could put at risk as many as two million jobs. It will affect our defense readiness. It will threaten a defense industrial base already facing challenges. And it could have a devastating effect on an economy already struggling to rebound.
Defense won’t be the only victim. Cuts will hit every government agency from the FAA to the FDA to the FBI. Services will be cut. Civilian military employees will likely be furloughed, further affecting our ability to do business with our government customer.
That’s why I’m asking for your help once again. The March 1 sequestration deadline is rapidly approaching. The good news is that we’ve seen rays of hope that politicians can work together across partisan lines. Recent discussions about immigration legislation are proof of that. But it’s time that our elected officials focus and disarm the so-called doomsday device they set in motion.
Yes, budget cuts must play a major role in righting the United States’ financial ship, but those cuts should be strategic and not whimsical or arbitrary. Sequestration must be stopped, and you can help.
Think of the impact we could have if just one out of every 10 BAE Systems employees sent a letter to his or her elected representative today. I urge you all to visit the new and updated Second to None website and do just that. Send a letter to your elected official and let your voice be heard – before it’s too late. Thanks once again for your time and for your attention to this important issue.