By Anna Meier and Suzanne Dershowitz
Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte hit the road this week in Florida, New Hampshire, Virginia and North Carolina to preach against looming Pentagon spending cuts. Call it the “Misinformation Road Show” brought to you by defense industry contractors.
The trio of Republican senators are throwing out words like “devastating” and “draconian” to describe the potential across-the-board spending cuts, known as “sequestration.” Graham even warned people in Fayetteville that “Y’all are about to get screwed if this thing happens.”
Ah, nothing like a little fear and loathing to rile up swing state voters. Too bad, their message mostly parrots the talking points of the major defense industry contractors.
What McCain, Graham and Ayotte aren’t mentioning are the record earnings by large Pentagon contractors, the exorbitant executive salaries paid at these firms, the billions of dollars lost to waste and mismanagement and the fact that several politically-diverse national security experts say even if the deepest Pentagon cuts occur (and that scenario is unlikely) it will have a negligible effect on industry profits.
The threats of mass layoffs are simply political scare tactics by an industry that can afford to spend tens of millions of dollars on lobbying and campaign contributions while crying that the “sky is falling.”