Dawne Hickton, chief executive of RTI International Metals Inc, said she would support an increase in the personal income tax rate for the wealthiest Americans if it would help avoid across-the-board cuts, which she said would be particularly hard on small and medium-sized businesses.
RTI, which makes titanium for fighter jets and other weapons systems, has already diversified into energy and medical devices, Hickton said. Military sales now account for 20 percent of revenues versus 40 percent three years ago, she said.
She said uncertainty about the budget outlook had prompted the company to scale back its investment in a new manufacturing plant in Virginia, reducing the projected number of jobs there to just 25 from 200 to 300 spots initially expected.
Ben Freeman, national security researcher at the non-profit Project on Government Oversight, told reporters in a teleconference that $487 billion in cuts already planned were from projected levels, not actual budget levels enacted.
“Calling them savings is like saying you can cut your credit card debt by a quarter million dollars by just not buying a Lamborghini. Unfortunately, you can’t balance your checkbook like that, and neither can our government,” Freeman said.