Defense primes gives suppliers marching orders to lobby Congress to preserve aerospace and defense jobs
Posted by John Keller
SAN FRANCISCO -- Interesting tidbit overheard yesterday at the SPIE Photonics West conference in San Francisco. It seems one of the nation's prime defense contractors, in a recent Webcast for its suppliers, is strongly urging its military subcontractors to urge their senators and congressional representatives to preserve current levels of defense spending in the interest of creating and preserving jobs.
Job creation is not a bad message, certainly, yet does this revelation, if true, indicate that defense primes are enlisting their suppliers to lobby their senators and congressmen on the prime contractors' behalf? If so, the driving message certainly is the issue of jobs, which promises to be a cornerstone of the upcoming 2012 presidential and congressional elections.
Conventional wisdom says the U.S. Department of Defense budget is on its way down. Yet could the notion of sustained defense spending in federal fiscal year 2012 and beyond become a political device for trumpeting job creation and preservation? I think it just could.
For its political opponents, the defense budget is an icon of wasteful spending, in terms of dollars and human lives. Yet with defense primes and their suppliers beating the drum for jobs, many of the negative connotations of military spending just might be turned around.
After all, there are defense suppliers in virtually every state and congressional district. If every congressman and senator is lobbied hard and heavy for sustaining defense spending in the interest of creating and preserving jobs, the DOD budget in 2012 might be turned into a political winner.
Let's watch for the DOD's 2012 budget request coming up soon to see if act-one of this strategy plays out. Federal fiscal year 2012 begins next October 1.