Sequester: The military girds for a blow

Washington's latest game of financial chicken threatens to trigger huge cuts for the Pentagon. Here are the top 10 states on the hit list.

By Bruce Kennedy Feb 25, 2013 9:27AM

Image: The Pentagon © Digital Vision., Photodisc, Getty ImagesAre you ready for the sequester? This latest post-fiscal cliff, political game of chicken over the federal budget could go into effect on March 1, unless some sort of congressional compromise is reached.

As Caitlin Dickson at the Daily Beast puts it, the sequester "is the trade-off for the tax hikes the cliff deal avoided: a collection of across-the-board budget cuts adding up to about $1.2 trillion dollars over 10 years. It’s a manufactured political crisis, basically, and everyone shares some blame for it."

If the sequester happens -- and that's still a pretty large "if" -- about half of those cuts will come from the U.S. military. The Pentagon could find its budget slashed by $500 billion, which would not only have direct and a relatively immediate impact on the war in Afghanistan but also on defense industry contractors and, of course, jobs directly and indirectly linked to the Department of Defense.

"Cuts to spending for the acquisition of military equipment alone would lead the loss of over 1,000,000 private sector jobs," warns the U.S. House Armed Services Committee website. "These cuts could push unemployment back up to 9%."

The website adds that more than 350,000 of the Pentagon's active-duty military and civilian personnel could also find themselves out of work.

The U.S. Army recently released a document forecasting how cuts to its branch alone would affect more than 302,000 jobs across the nation -- with an economic impact of $15.35 billion.

The Washington Business Journal went through the Army's data and tallied up what each state potentially stands to lose in terms of economic impact and job cuts. Here's the top 10 list:

Alabama -- Economic loss: $1.9 billion, jobs affected: 25,177.

Arizona -- Economic loss: $262 million, jobs affected: 5,063.

California -- Economic loss: $615 million, jobs affected: 11,432.

Georgia  -- Economic loss: $931 million, jobs affected: 17,163.

Hawaii -- Economic loss: $287 million, jobs affected: 8,499.

Kentucky -- Economic loss: $606 million, jobs affected: 15,016.

Maryland -- Economic loss: $527 million, jobs affected: 23,243.

Texas -- Economic loss: $2.4 billion, jobs affected: 34,734.

Virginia -- Economic loss: $1 billion, jobs affected: 25,360.

Washington -- Economic loss: $461 million, jobs affected: 11,047.

The Army says it's preparing for any near-future budget reductions by cutting its contracted workforce, using attrition to lower the number of temporary and short-term employees, implementing a hiring freeze, "diverting" funds for facility restoration and modernization, and by reducing base operation support levels.

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Feb 25, 2013 5:47PM
The agenda of BO has become very clear. He wants more revenue and doesn't want to cut anything, anywhere. How could he possibly be asking for the "Grand Deal" when a lowly cut of 85 billion a year is more then he can handle? If you're going through all this for such a lowly cut, God forbid you have to find a couple hundred billion a year to cut? He just got a 600 billion dollar increase in revenue on the fiscal cliff deal. He doesn't know what "balanced" is. His definition of it is an 80% increase in revenue and a 20% cut in spending. A trillion plus deficit every year he's been there and he can't find 85 billion a year to cut-----anywhere. It was his idea. Congress passed it and he signed it. Anyway you want to cut it, he signed it. 
Feb 25, 2013 5:43PM

Read down the list -how many of the states most affected by "the sequester" are Republican states, who have no industry other than Military bases - where they bleed soldiers dry. Their industry is based on busting soldier, selling liquor to soldiers, prostitution, crime, drugs, substandard housing, flyby-night car dealers and repair shops who fleece young soldiers and "charities" funded by military personnel. Then you have ordnance industries, refurbishment depots, tank manufacturing, ship building....


Most of them were situated situated in the midwest or the deep south during wwI and WWII for cheap wages and the difficulty of enemy attack.

If the bases close or are moved, combined with other bases - the services Cities and towns near by would dry up and blow away. Back in the 70's and 80's when Conservatives were on the war wagon about cutting the budget they were asleep at the wheel. Fort Ord was closed and nearly all the counties in the region went broke in less than 3 to 5 years. the bottom fell out of real estate, retiree's found they had to drive hundreds of miles to get Veterans hospital care.


They can't afford to do that again. even worse if DC is hit. What will all those lobbyist do for a living?

Feb 25, 2013 5:38PM
How much of a drain on the budget is the retirement pay of colonels on up to generals--the ones who doubledip the most?  Maybe I should include the level of 'major', too?.  What percentage of these guys (and a very few gals) end up as lobbyists for oil companies and nuclear engineering firms?  I'm including equivalent levels in the Navy and Air Force?
Feb 25, 2013 5:29PM
This is a hot mess!!!! How in the world can Congress even attempt to sleep at night knowing that they are okay but the taxpayers in these states are not okay? In these times we cannot afford politics as usual! Get over it and pay the needed additional tax on the wealthy. The middle class and the poor can no longer shoulder the responsibility of balancing our budget. After all, there are not too many middle class and poor lawmakers at the national level.
Feb 25, 2013 5:18PM
Sure, half the world hates the United States and they are wondering whether or not to cut the defense budget. They need to cut the congress, senate, house payroll.
Feb 25, 2013 5:14PM
Utah's six-term senator Hatch (R) has always voted for spending increases.  Budget cuts?  You won't see Hatch recommending budget cuts that impact him or his corporate campaign contributors.
Feb 25, 2013 4:46PM
Slash the military!  And all other programs till the budget balances.

Man, these big government scum just endlessly stretch out any effort to get the budget under control.  5 years of trillion dollar deficits.   Every one of them should be put up against a wall and shot.

Feb 25, 2013 4:29PM
Military cuts could not have come at a worse time.  The sequester is nothing compared to our country running out of money come April 1st.  Look for the dollar to crash and a one month government shutdown.
Feb 25, 2013 4:12PM
Sarge,,,TAKE me to the ATM,,,,& then to the Club !
Feb 25, 2013 4:12PM
Feb 25, 2013 4:04PM
This country is so long oversue for a top down cut in millitary spending that what happens will be but a trickle  down cut and i mean a trickle. The business of killing has been woven into evey state and community in this country. Last year America spent almost 800 billion that we know of and what do we have to show for it? That is more than the next ten countries combined.  We are better off to dismantle haalf of our millitary and use tha tmoney to rebuild the sschools roads and briges in the United States of America. Before the United States is no more.
Feb 25, 2013 3:54PM
i dated a woman who had an uncle that had two houses in san diego, he was a defense contractor. one was 1.5 million and the other was 2.5 million. that was in 1997. why not cut the fat in the defense, instead of talking about how cutting budget will cost jobs?
Feb 25, 2013 3:53PM
MISSISSIPPI:  Coastally, several branches of the military employ thousands, probably close to 10,000 civilians.  There's really nothing else holding up the area's economy but casinos, and they do little to re-invest.  The economy from Slidell, Louisiana, west to Alabama (I-10 corridor) will belly flop.  The trickle-up, -down, -sideways effects are just as bad the 10 mentioned.
Feb 25, 2013 3:51PM

It appears Obama is trying to be Queen Antoinette...."Let them eat cake"...


When the feds spend 9 Bil a day of which 5.5 bil is borrowed, the 85 bil sequestration is quite literally 9 days of spending.....go team Obama your the greatest....

Feb 25, 2013 3:23PM
The sequestration will cause many of us to loose 20% of our paycheck for 11 paydays.  I don't know about you, but I don't make that much.  This is really going to hurt.  I bet congress doesn't have to give up 20% of their pay.
Feb 25, 2013 3:17PM

We need to trim the fat from ALL goverment projects. funding for studies that are not health related. there are 11 to 20 million illegal immigrants living in the US. Jobs are getting out sourced to other countries. 250,000 soldiers are getting chaptered out of the Army, Where are they going to work? Buisnesses are cutting hours so they don't have to pay for health care. Banks getting bailouts from the goverment. Unemployement at an all time high...







Feb 25, 2013 3:01PM
It looks like mostly affecting the red states, and 401K invested in the defense stocks.  Republicans that do not want the riches to pay more tax, you deserve it.  All these government programs make the country strong which the riches reap the most benefits without sacrifice their lives in the front line.  Why don't you republicans let them pay a little more?
Feb 25, 2013 2:57PM
Good Now follow through. Start at the top and lets cut some fat, redundancy, fraud, waste, and abuse.
Feb 25, 2013 2:54PM
Why cut our military spending, when we keep funding other governments?   It is ridiculous to me to cut the US military while we give money to foreign country every day without ever hoping to be repaid?   We borrow from China and then turn around and "Give" the money to other countries.  We need to quit paying other people to cover our feeling guilty because they live in poverty regions, or they need to hype up their military to protect them from their neighbors.   We need to worry about America, forget the rest of the world.  If US businesses want to do business with other countries, let them use their money, no more govt subsidies to buy abroad!   Build things in America, Buy American and live like Americans!   If we quit giving away money to help other countries (that don't want out help)  we could pay off our own debts in record time!
Feb 25, 2013 2:46PM
Why is it the first 2 things that the government ALWAYS targets when they decide to "cut spending" is our children's education and our defense budget???? The first thing they should cut is lining their own pockets with pay raises and anything that has to do with the socialistic/dictatorship direction that our country is heading!
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