Posted: 12:00 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012
By Barrie Barber
Potential impact of sequestration:
Estimates vary widely on how many jobs could be lost if budget sequestration occurs in January. The Aerospace Industries Association estimates 2 million jobs in the defense and civilian sectors, including 40,000 in Ohio, could be eliminated. The Brookings Institution, however, has called that estimate “deeply flawed.”
U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Centerville, has estimated the cuts could mean a loss of 4,000 to 5,000 civilian jobs in the Dayton region and a $1.5 billion hit to Ohio’s economy.
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE
One of the Air Force’s key installations, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is home to the Air Force Materiel Command, an acquisition headquarters, and the Air Force Research Laboratory, among other major units.
Air Force officials have said they cannot predict with specificity how the cuts might impact the base without knowing more budget details.
MILITARY PERSONNEL AND WEAPON SYSTEMS
President Obama has said he would avoid cuts to military personnel. Military leaders have said that could mean more cuts to civilian workers and other programs.
Major defense contractors have warned they could layoff thousands of workers if budget sequestration happens. The U.S. Department of Labor has determined, however, the contractors are not required to send out layoff notices 60 days before the cuts would take effect Jan. 2. A federal law, known as the WARN Act, requires the notice if plant closings or mass layoffs are expected, with some exceptions.
Some defense contractors might not be impacted for years, but others could feel the effects more immeidately, such as base security, maintenance services and commissary activities, according to Loren B. Thompson, a defense analyst with the Lexington Institute in Arlington, Va.
HOW DID THIS HAPPEN
A bipartisan congressional deficit reduction committee failed to reach agreement on a $1.2 trillion deficit reduction plan which put into motion automatic cuts in both defense and domestic spending programs beginning Jan. 2. If the reductions happen, they are in addition to $487 billion the Defense Department will absorb over a decade.