Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
In this new series, "Questions for Martha McSally," we pose questions to the McSally campaign about her positions on current hot topics — I am not going to give her a free pass until after the GOP primary like our local media did in 2012.
Patrick McNamara of the Arizona Daily Star reported this week on Congressman Ron Barber signing "a letter along with 32 other members of Congress imploring Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to preserve the A-10 program, which has a large presence at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base." Barber backs A-10 retention at D-M. "The letter was written in an effort to head off any threat from impending federal budget cuts in the coming fiscal year, which almost certainly will include defense-spending reductions."
This would be the automatic GOP Sequester budget cuts in the event a budget agreement is not reached before January.
McNamara got himself a quote from Martha McSally, who is running for Barber's seat, presumably because she used to fly the A-10 (hopefully not because he is treating McSally as the GOP "presumptive nominee;" she has two primary opponents, Ed Martin and Shelley Kais).
Naturally, McSally went for snark over substance, suggesting that it seems the congressman has only now realized the threat of impending elimination of the A-10 program. This is in reference to her own reckless and irresponsible fear mongering over Davis-Monthan AFB possibly being closed if the A-10 is phased out. Questions for Martha McSally: On what basis do you assert that Davis-Monthan AFB will close?
Let's be clear: The only immediate threat to the A-10 at Davis-Monthan AFB is the automatic GOP Sequester budget cuts. While McNamara's report in regards to Congressman Ron Barber was about the federal budget and defense cuts, oddly enough he does not report whether he asked Martha McSally about her support for the automatic GOP Sequester budget cuts to the defense department budget (if he did, he failed to report any response). Instead, he framed McSally's responses based upon her previous reckless and irresponsbile fear mongering over the A-10.
Here is what acting Air Force Secretary Eric Fanning said about the federal budget and defense cuts this week. Defense.gov News Article: Top Air Force Official Stresses Need for Modernization:
The biggest threat to the service today is budget uncertainty, the acting secretary said, adding that Air Force budget planners have no idea what the service budget topline will be for fiscal year 2015.
Sequestration spending cuts, as they stand, will take an extra $20 billion from the Defense Department’s budget across all accounts in January. What is even more damaging, Fanning said, is that the law mandating the cuts does not give the services the flexibility needed to make them in a smart manner. Last year, Congress did give the military this flexibility, and DOD officials expect the Congress will probably do that again, but this is not a given, he added.
* * *
Under sequester, the Air Force will reduce by about 25,000 people and 550 aircraft, Fanning said. “Even before sequestration, Air Force readiness was not vectored in the right direction,” he said. “[Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III] and I think we were not building a sustainable Air Force for 10 years down the road.”
Personnel costs take up 40 percent of the Air Force budget, and this is an area that needs attention, Fanning said, emphasizing that the service is not looking to cut pay and benefits, but rather to slow the growth. The Air Force simply cannot afford to maintain the current growth rate, he said.
* * *
“If we allow it to continue to grow, we’re going to have a force that has aging platforms, and that is going to have an effect on morale more than anything,” he continued. “People don’t join the Air Force to fly old planes or look at old planes on the ramp from the ready room.”
So, on to this current hot topic:
Does Martha McSally support the automatic GOP Sequester budget cuts?
What does McSally say to the Air Force Secretary's concern that the automatic GOP Sequester budget cuts are affecting Air Force readiness, and leaving the service with "aging platforms" — such as the 40 year old A-10 that McSally romanticizes because she used to fly one — and the service's need to maintain modernization programs?
Is anyone seriously to believe that McSally would not vote with her GOP caucus for the automatic GOP Sequester budget cuts? After all, in April 2012 she said she would have voted for the GOP's 2013 budget by the GOP's alleged boy genius and Ayn Rand fanboy, Paul Ryan. She also said she supported "many elements" of the Ryan 2012 budget. "We have not taken this debt seriously and paul Ryan's plan is a good step to get us going." That does not sound like a brave no vote against her GOP caucus.
Is anyone seriously to believe that McSally would not vote with the Arizona GOP caucus for the automatic GOP Sequester budget cuts? Arizona congressional Republicans' support for the automatic GOP Sequester budget cuts resulted this week in Lockheed-Martin closing Goodyear plant in 2015 due to federal budget cuts. Nice job.
If Martha McSally were to serve in Congress and vote in support of the automatic GOP Sequester budget cuts, she would be directly responsible for threatening the mission of the A-10, and possibly Davis-Monthan AFB, that she has been recklessly and irresponsbily fear mongering over. (Have any media villagers even considered this?)
Voters in Congressional District 2 have the right to know your positions on current hot topics, Ms. McSally. Feel free to answer these questions by posting a comment. More questions to follow.