Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee released an evocative new web video today warning against the consequences of the automatic defense cuts that will be triggered (unless Congress takes action) as a result of the supercommittee’s failure to reach an agreement. Those cuts, totaling about $500 billion, would not go into effect until 2013, but would come on top of the $500 billion in defense cuts already agreed to in the August debt-ceiling compromise. The video features testimony from top military officials painting a grim picture of how the cuts would effect the country’s ability to maintain a superior fighting force, interspersed with quotes from FDR and Ronald Reagan.
Rep. Buck McKeon (R., Calif.), the committee chairman, is already on record saying he would rather raise taxes than see the automatic cuts go into effect. President Obama, for his part, has threatened to veto any effort by Congress to undo the $1.2 trillion in total cuts triggered by the supercommittee’s failure. Of course, Republicans aren’t advocating doing away with the cuts altogether, but rather changing the configuration so that defense is not so disproportionately effected.