Sequester: Job Losses, Spending Freezes May Hit Florida
As the deadline looms for the $85 billion in federal spending cuts set to take place without further action, here's a look at what the impacts could mean closer to home.
While politicians in Washington, D.C., continue a blame game over who is responsible for the $85 billion in federal spending cuts that automatically kick in Friday, March 1, if action isn’t taken, politicians are sounding off about the cuts and what they could mean to local citizens.
Gov. Rick Scott fears the sequester will compromise Florida’s safety while causing many Floridians to lose their jobs.
“The impacts on Florida’s military installations and defense industries will be severe under the meat hammer of sequestration,” Scott said in a statement. “Our immediate concerns include dramatic reductions to our National Guard, which threatens our ability to respond to wildfires this spring and hurricanes this summer.”
Scott went on to say the job losses could be staggering — especially in regard to military-related jobs in the state.
“Estimated defense industry impacts from industry and academic sources include jobs losses from 40,000 to 80,000, and defense spending reductions approaching $1 billion across Florida,” he said. “The Florida National Guard estimates an annual impact of $27.2 million, which includes 986 Florida National Guard employees furloughed for 20% of the remaining year ($7.3 million in lost wages).”
Democrat U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson agrees the cuts will have negative impacts on Florida, its residents and its economy.
Sequestration — or, across-the-board budget cuts — "were never intended to happen,” Nelson said.
“And the main reason we don’t have a solution yet is because some in Washington are doing a Kabuki dance," he added. "I think the Senate should pass the $110 billion plan we put on the table last week to avert these impending mandatory budget cuts. Then we can use that to work out a compromise with the House.”
Tampa Bay area residents are sounding off about the possible spending cuts. Here's a sampling of reader comments noted at Bloomingdale-Riverview Patch:
From Steve — The only thing NOT cut by this mess are the tax breaks STILL going to the top 1% in the country, the $`1.1 Trillion each and every year for tax breaks on capital gains, carry interest income, subsidies to sugar producers, ethanol producers, wheat farmers, corn farmers, big oil, big coal, big gas producers, write-offs for corporate jets and a continuation of tax rewards for domestic firms who hide their income in post office boxes in the Caymans and Bermuda. No cuts there!
From Mark DaSilva — The deficit went through the roof because of out of control spending by the democrat controlled congress. NOT the tax cuts. Later, he made a deal with the Dems. that he would agree to raise taxes (a marginal increase) for future spending cuts, which the Dems. later reneged on.
Want to learn more about the sequester? Be sure to read What is the Sequester Anyway? Interested in learning more about what funding cuts are likely in Florida? Check out this story: Funding Cuts are Coming Florida’s Way.
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