Published On: Feb 28 2012
Morning Brew: 600 state jobs on line as Pentagon budget ax falls
Michigan loses even though its bases are less expensive
Guy Gordon, Local 4 News
Detroit – Michigan’s Air National Guard bases stand to lose 600 jobs under proposed changes in President Obama’s new budget.
Selfridge Air National Guard base would lose 24 A-10 Warthog fighter planes as their mission is transferred to active duty Air Force bases elsewhere.
Governor Snyder’s office says it will cost the Macomb Co. economy 198 full-time and 359 part-time jobs. An additional 116 jobs will be lost at Battle Creek’s Air National Guard Base.The Governor and congressional leaders from both parties have insisted the cuts are penny-wise and pound-stupid. The cost of supporting the A-10 fighter group at state facilities is half what the Air Force would spend : $26 Million at the state’s Air National Guard bases, compared to $52 Million for active duty oversight.
Snyder told the Detroit News: “I’m not sure we are getting treated fairly by the Air Force. Let’s do it in an open, transparent basis — based on capabilities and economics — not just the politics of the military.”
Snyder, along with Rep. Candice Miller and Rep. Tim Walberg of Michigan have appealed to the Secretary of the Air Force asking for reconsideration in the wake of cuts they claim, “causes Michigan to absorb the most severe loss of National Guard jobs of any state in the country.”
Senator Carl Levin, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee has made a similar appeal.
In spite of Michigan’s clout on the Senate side, Michigan is dead last in the nation when it comes to getting a share of military spending.
The Michigan National Guard has presented a study showing Michigan is 50th in Defense Department employment adjusted for population and 43rd in per capita defense spending.