Federal Sequestration Could Hurt Defense Jobs in Macomb County
Automatic federal spending cuts to everything from education to the military will occur March 1 if Congress does not reach an agreement.
Federal funding for the military, public schools and other programs in Macomb County and beyond could see major cuts should Congress fail to halt $85 billion in "sequestration" spending cuts scheduled to take hold March 1, according to a statement released Sunday by the White House.
In Michigan, the cuts would mean approximately 10,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed which would reduce gross pay by around $67.7 million, according to the White House.
If sequestration is triggered on March 1, the furloughs for civilian employees would begin in late April, according to an article by Jim Garamone of the Armed Forces Press Service.
This could have a big impact on Macomb County, which is home to the U.S. Army's TACOM in Warren, Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Harrison Township and a U.S. Coast Guard station in St. Clair Shores.
There is also a question of how the cuts would affect the more than 600 companies, who have had about 10,000 contracts over the past decade worth about $26 billion.
“There’s no question it will have an impact on our economy and on jobs,” Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel told the Macomb Daily. “To what extent? It all depends on if they (Congress) go through with these big cuts for the rest of the fiscal year or if they reconsider at some point.”
The White House on Sunday released a state-by-state breakdown of the impacts of impending spending cuts, urging Congress to consider tax hikes for the nation's wealthiest citizens in order to balance out spending cuts.
"Unfortunately, many Republicans in Congress refuse to ask the wealthy to pay a little more by closing tax loopholes so that we can protect investments that are helping grow our economy and keep our country safe," the White House statement reads. "By not asking the wealthy to pay a little more, Republicans are forcing our children, seniors, troops, military families and the entire middle class to bear the burden of deficit reduction."
Republicans have accused the president of using the impending cuts for political gain.