Weekly feed: Defense spending

Meg Martin
Associate editor
Public Insight Network

On Jan. 2, 2013, massive cuts to the U.S. Department of Defense budget  — $492 billion, spread out over nine years — are scheduled to take effect. The immediate impact will be across-the-board cuts of roughly 10 percent to all Defense programs and projects.

This sequestration, as it’s called, was a move by Congress to impose limits on federal spending after last year’s so-called “Super Committee” failed to reach a deficit reduction deal. There is a chance Congress will reverse itself, or soften the cuts, between now and the end of the year. But defense contractors are nervous.

In Minnesota, defense contracts signed in the 2011 fiscal year were worth $1.7 billion for work done all across the state by more than a thousand businesses. As Jeff Severns Guntzel reports, the potential cuts would not just hit big defense contractors; they would reach deep into communities and small businesses that depend on those dollars.


Aug. 17, 2012

AUDIO | Looming defense cuts: Small businesses watch and wait
Reporter: Jeff Severns Guntzel, senior reporter
Audio file, transcripts and cues available at Dropbox* (preview the audio above)

ONLINE | Defense spending, state by state
The looming cuts could leave deep scars on communities and small businesses that depend on defense dollars. Browse an interactive map of Defense Department spending across the U.S.
Producers: Jeff Severns Guntzel, senior reporter and Drew Geraets, web producer
Link: Looming defense cuts: Small businesses watch and wait
Embed: Grab the code (from Dropbox)

Chip Laingen (U.S. Navy, Ret.), Todd Harrison (Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments) and Kevin Brancato (Bloomberg Government)
EditorJeff Severns Guntzel, senior reporter
Contact information available at Dropbox*



All media files (.wav, .doc, etc.) and expert contact information available at DropBox.


– How much of your business depends on defense contracting?
– What challenges are unique to doing business with the Defense Department?
– Please describe the services or products you provide under contract with the Defense Department.
– Is there a statistic or piece of information you can share that demonstrates the need for the service or product you provide?
– Are you concerned about the possible sequestration cuts? How are you preparing, if at all?
– If you read or listened to my story on defense contractors and sequestration, what about your experience is missing?


Please credit American Public Media’s Public Insight Network (publicinsightnetwork.org) when using this feed.

Additional crediting materials (links, images and an Insight button) are available in our Dropbox folder.


This package was produced by these members of the Public Insight Network’s national editorial team:

Jeff Severns Guntzel, senior reporter (651-290-1226)
Jeff Jones, engagement editor (651-290-1274)
Meg Martin, copy editor (651-290-1055)
Kate Moos, executive producer (651-290-1318)

Meg Martin Associate editor
Public Insight Network
Meg Martin is PublicInsightNetwork.org's associate editor. She joined the PIN crew in St. Paul, Minn., after five years in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Roanoke, Va., where she led the online/multimedia team at the Roanoke Times newspaper. She spent two years before that in St. Petersburg, Fla., at The Poynter Institute - first as a summer writing fellow and later as a fellow and editor at Poynter Online - but she'll always be a Pittsburgher at heart.