Essential to understanding the large economic loss from defense contracting changes that appear to be headed Louisiana’s way is that it is not the fault of corporate allocation decisions nor of insufficient political clout, but that it is an inevitability caused by the conscious decision by those presently in charge in Washington to de-emphasize and weaken U.S. defense capabilities.
Former policy-makers can debate all they want about whether the losses of government contracts may idle a Louisiana builder and have another shift operations away from the state, but the reason this debate even can happen is because the Pres. Barack Obama Administration has deemphasized defense expenditures at the expense of American security. In his first two years in office, backed by a compliant Democrat-led Congress, Obama has proposed historic lows in defense expenditures relative to Gross Domestic Product. His budgets also have concentrated on much lower increases in expenditures relative to domestic areas, his trillions of dollars contained in spending bills have hardly been for the military, and costs continue to escalate as a result of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Unfortunately, this fiscal policy ignores reality, given these two wars plus the necessity to catch up after neglect during the 1990s that only begun to get addressed in the first decade of the 21st century. Obama has made wishful thinking a prime part of his defense policy, such as putting together “strategic partnerships” that have allowed Russia to increase its influence and Iran to come within two years obtaining nuclear weapons that can be delivered to the U.S. These are no substitute for U.S. ability to manage its own affairs to meet its own interests.
This destructive thinking emanates from Obama and liberal Democrat’s fundamental belief that the U.S. is a force for evil in the world, at least as currently constituted. They consider the pursuit of U.S. interests independent of the desire of other states (many of whom do actually act in their own interests when helping facilitate or helped by facilitating a decline in U.S. power) as illegitimate, because the U.S. historically has spread a belief system of individualism and free enterprise above and beyond government command and control of society, and has acted to further these and export these ideas to other states.
The New Leftists and their ideological children that control, for now, levers of power in Washington dislike these aspects of our political culture and think that one method to begin their removal from it is by weakening the U.S., which would make it less able to act unilaterally. If achieving this, America would have to meld its interests more to satisfy those that believe in larger, more powerful state apparatuses if not those hostile to freedom and democracy, which in turn would alter the country’s internal system to grant the state more power and privilege over people’s lives (and allow those who control it like themselves to exercise it).
Thereby we see reductions in military spending that trickle down to the situation here in Louisiana. State policy-makers can harangue corporations, court them, or plead to the federal government, but it will make little difference regarding defense jobs in the state until those who blame America first and see its strength in the world as a problem no longer remain in power.