Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have repeatedly warned that the threatened defense cuts, amounting to about $50 billion this budget year, would hurt national security. Carter said he feared that the message has not been heard widely enough in Congress and across the country.
If the cuts take effect in March, hundreds of thousands of Pentagon civilian employees will face furloughs and reduced paychecks by April, Carter said. They would lose one day of work per week for the remainder of the budget year, which ends in September, he said.
“This is painful to use,” Carter said.
How many of these positions could be cut before anyone, anywhere would notice even a slight reduction in combat effectiveness? And as for the staff? They can go on SSDI, right? That’s how it is done today.