Political Animal


March 01, 2013 4:43 PM Defense Contractor Blues

By Ed Kilgore

There’s been a lot of varying numbers cascading around the chattering classes aimed at making the potential impact of the sequester more tangible. One of the hazier areas has been the effect on defense contractors, and in turn, their importance in the economies of different places (other than the obvious example of Northern Virginia, where you cannot stir defense contractors with a stick).

Today Stateline’s Jake Grovum offers an analysis of the likely defense cuts, and in passing mentions the six states where defense contracts account for more than 5% of GDP. Aside from Virginia, these include Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Mississippi and Missouri. Don’t believe I could have guessed all of those even for big bucks on Jeopardy.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • gab on March 01, 2013 5:05 PM:

    Arizona and Missouri wouldn't have come to my mind.

  • Sgt. Gym Bunny on March 01, 2013 5:45 PM:

    Arizona. No wonder the gov is squawking like a wet hen.

  • Citizen Alan on March 01, 2013 6:10 PM:

    Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of fascist morons. And I say that as someone in Mississippi which is probably about to get hammered by the sequester and the local Repukes are too stupid to even notice.

  • Equal Opportunity Cynic on March 01, 2013 7:52 PM:

    In north Alabama it might be 50% of the GDP -- throw in NASA and it will be even more. Huntsville is truly an impressive center for "small-government conservatives" who somehow believe their government job or government contractor job don't count as government spending.

  • Aidian on March 02, 2013 8:58 AM:

    Missouri still has a lot of aerospace manufacturing around Saint Louis -- explains the 5% there. But what's up with Arizona?

  • Northzax on March 03, 2013 12:56 AM:

    Aidian: Raytheon builds missiles in Tucson, that's probably 10k people. Boeing makes helicopters (or at least the Apache) in Mesa.

  • zandru on March 03, 2013 6:50 PM:

    What, New Mexico got left out again? Los Alamos Labs (yes, that Los Alamos) is the economic engine that drives northern New Mexico. The other large-to-largish cities either have a military base or a national lab as their economic hub.

    New Mexico's Republican governor is grumpy that so much of the state's economy depends on work from the feds, so she has done nothing to ensure the missions and bucks keep flowing in; instead, she's toured the state complaining that we accept so much money from the gummint.

    Well, problem solved!!!