Skip to comments.Defense ‘sequester’ cuts could damage Macomb defense corridor
Posted on 02/27/2013 2:29:19 AM PST by equaviator
At the same time that County Executive Mark Hackel is promoting Macomb County as the Defense Capital of the Midwest, Congress appears ready to allow an $85 billion cut in the Defense Department that Pentagon officials warn could prove devastating.
Facing a March 1 deadline to avoid the start of $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts, the House and Senate are passively watching the clock tick rather than attempting to forge a compromise and avoid the across-the-board approach of the so-called sequester cuts.
Theres no question it will have an impact on our economy and on jobs, Hackel said. 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.
According to a study by George Mason University, Michigan could lose 31,000 jobs in the first six months of the sequestration of federal funds. That estimate is an overall look, with half the cuts impacting defense and the other half impacting a wide array of discretionary programs. The Army has put the figure at 7,800 jobs affected among their civilian workers in the state. Active duty personnel are exempt.
In Macomb County, home of 600 defense contractors, the Armys Tank-Automotive complex in Warren, and the states largest military installation, Selfridge Air National Guard Base, officials are worried.
But while the Pentagons Joint Chiefs of Staff warn that the sequester process could hollow out the military and substantially damage troop readiness, local elected officials, Army brass and Defense Department suppliers seem at a loss to specify the impact that will be felt in Macomb County.
At the General Dynamics Land Systems headquarters in the Sterling Heights, no estimates or projections of cutbacks, layoffs or unpaid furlough days have been completed. Down the road, at the Armys TACOM facilities, also known as the Detroit Arsenal, the story is the same. No details, no pre-planning.
At both sites, officials are playing a waiting game, anticipating details from the Defense Department.
So far, the Pentagon has announced that about 800,000 civilian employees would face an unpaid furlough day the equivalent of a 20 percent weekly pay cut for each of approximately 22 weeks.
Macomb Community College President Jim Jacobs said that Macombs defense contractors will probably feel less pain than those in other sections of the country.
Fortunately, were not building aircraft carriers or sophisticated fighter jets. We build and design the equipment needed for land wars, said Jacobs, a veteran economist.
U.S. Rep. Sander Levin agreed, saying that he believes Selfridge will avoid cuts and the Abrams battle tank program at General Dynamics should prevail, unless the sequestration of funds becomes a long-term endeavor.
I think most are assuming it will be short term with Congress making adjustments that dont hit defense so hard after the deadline passes and reductions begin, said Levin, a Royal Oak Democrat who represents most of Macomb County.
Rep. Candice Miller initially warned in May 2010 that efforts to expand Macomb Countys defense corridor along Van Dyke and Mound could be stopped dead in its tracks if the sequester process proceeded.
Now, Miller is more temperate in her assumptions, in part based on figures that show Macomb County may land about two-thirds of Michigans $4.6 billion in defense contracts, but Michigan still remains near the bottom of the list of states that are economically reliant on the Pentagon.
I think Ive digested the fact that its going to happen, said the Harrison Township Republican, who also hopes for changes to the cuts once the economic ripple effect starts to take effect. We need to pursue spending cuts but we dont need a meat axe approach. Its unfortunate that its gotten to this point.
The Center for Security Policy, a Washington-based research group, has compiled details about $2.2 billion worth of Macomb County defense contracts. Those figures show that the local contractors and subcontractors are far more diverse than simply various forms of industrial plants.
The center found that those who benefit from Pentagon contracts include hotels, caterers, and companies that sell draperies, leather, foam, wood products, biomedical equipment, wire and epoxy.
Local defense work, such as the assembly of prototype Army vehicles at the Detroit Arsenal in Warren, could be affected if federal budget cuts kick in on March 1.
This is not a cut. They’ll still get more next year than this year~!
“General Dwight Eisenhower warns us of the military industrial complex. “
Are we there yet?
In the 50’s I had a chance for a hop (82nd ABN) from Pope to Selfridge in the back seat of a T-33 but turned it down too far out of my way. In the years when you used to be able get hops from the airforce without too much problem.
But I digress....The great equivocator who made the defence cut warning speech at Portsmouth was the same guy who who made the uneqivical cuts at Selfridge and Portsmouth .How about equating that to Colliers and the Demo-Coms .
Regardless, it’s politics like those of the Obama administration that has the Michigan Air Guard on a slippery slope towards base realignment and closure (BRAC) at Selfridge Air National Guard Base...again.
Just more BS from Odumbo’s camp. All it means is there will be LESS money spent than was originally planned. These are NOT “CUTS”.
For when you’re done shoveling