By: Dr. Lynn Reaser
As the deadline quickly approaches for sequestration or automatic federal spending cuts of $85 billion to take effect, fears are mounting that Congress will not act in time to find an alternative. For San Diego, the consequences would be serious.
Organizations, especially defense contractors and research facilities, have prepared budgets for a worse case scenario. Sequestration would put those plans into effect, which could quickly change job warnings into actual layoffs. Although uniformed military personnel would not see payroll cuts, they could see the further impact of reduced support spending on operations and maintenance. Civilian workers would see announcements of furloughs coming by April on top of the hiring freeze already in effect. Ship repairers could send out more layoff warnings. The ripple effects of spending cuts would hurt already fragile consumer and business confidence.
Sequestration would deal a swift and significant blow to the San Diego region. At this point, one can only hope that Congress might find a way to approve a modest deficit reduction plan and then give itself more time to pass a deficit reduction plan that is more thoughtful and rational.