Rep. Martha Roby speaks out against continued cuts to the military budget at a Capitol Hill news conference on Friday. Pictured behind Rep. Roby from Left to Right are Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT), Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA), Rep. Howard P. 'Buck' McKeon (R-CA), Rep. Michael Turner (R-OH), Rep. Rob Whittman (R-VA), Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) and Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC).
Rep. Martha Roby speaks out against continued cuts to the military budget at a Capitol Hill news conference on Friday. Pictured behind Rep. Roby from Left to Right are Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT), Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA), Rep. Howard P. 'Buck' McKeon (R-CA), Rep. Michael Turner (R-OH), Rep. Rob Whittman (R-VA), Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) and Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC).

Archived Story

Sequester cuts could affect Troy workforce

Published 11:00pm Friday, March 1, 2013

The day that many elected officials said would never happen, has come and passed. Across-the-board mandatory federal spending cuts, knows as Sequestration, went in to full effect as of 11:59 p.m. Friday.

The cuts are split evenly by dollar amounts between the defense and non-defense categories. Some major programs like Social Security, Medicaid, and federal pay, including military pay and pensions, and veterans’ benefits are exempt. Medicare spending will be reduced by 2 percent per year versus the planned levels.

Two military contractors, Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin, are located in Troy and reports say that cutbacks are possible for all defense subsidiaries.

Paul Jackson, communications director for Sikorsky, said that is too early to tell what, if any, repercussions the local branch will face.

“We don’t really know what is going to happen yet,” said Jackson. “We might have some cutbacks or whatnot, but we want know for sure until all the small pieces fall in to place.”

Over the 2013–2021 period, the sequester would reduce planned spending by $1.0 trillion with interest savings of approximately $170 billion, for a total of nearly $1.2 trillion in debt reduction or avoidance. The blunt nature of the cuts has been criticized; with some favoring more tailored cuts and others arguing for postponement while the economy improves.

Scott Beaulier, the Executive Director of Troy University’s Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy, said that the cuts may not affect many common citizens that much.

“I believe that is a little overblown,” said Beaulier. “If you really look at it, it is $85 billion which is a drop in the bucket. I think that the whole sequester drama is demonstrating how dysfunctional Washington really is. There are a lot of other ways to cut that very small amount if they were truly serious.”

Beaulier said that defense makes up a small amount of the budget, and that much more of the budget consists of funds for Medicare, Medicaid and welfare programs.

The cuts have drawn fire from many Republican congressmen, including Rep. Martha Roby and Sen. Jeff Sessions.

At a Capitol Hill news conference, Roby blasted President Obama for using the threat of military sequestration cuts to campaign for another tax increase.

“We can’t tax our way out of the sequester, and we can’t tax our way out of debt,” Rep. Roby said. “There’s a mom down near Fort Rucker, Alabama right now wondering why Washington can’t fix its spending problem without threatening her ability to put food on the table. And it is unconscionable that President Obama is using military families as pawns in his crusade for higher taxes.”

Shelby was unavailable for comment on Friday. In a phone interview on Friday, an aide from Sen. Shelby’s office said that the senator is firmly against the sequester, and questions why the president has not submitted a plan other than the sequestration.

 

  1. dtwelloh

    Does not really seem fair to cut Medicare and not Medicade. Most people receiving Medicare have paid into to it their entire working lives. Then pay $100.00 or more per month and then Medicare only pays 80% of the bill. While most people on Medicade never pay a penny and all medical bills are paid in full and there is no monthly charge.

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  2. johngalt781

    The cuts are to small . They need to be 14 times as big as they are just to balance the budget. I’m looking forward to cuts in food stamps, welfare, medicaid , public housing and hundreds of other entitlement programs. It’s past time for the welfare queens and kings to go hungry.

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  3. drabbit77

    Sad to see that the commie press influence has made it to the Messenger. Note to the low info crowd, there are NO CUTS, all this bullcrap amounts to a smaller increase in spending for bammie claus to piss away

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  4. OldSchoolPike3Worker

    Here is the Medicare “cut” explained a bit more thoroughly.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_Sequestration

    scroll down about mid way and you see this:

    Medicare

    CBO estimated in September 2011 that “most” Medicare spending would be reduced by approximately 2% per year versus planned levels, for total savings of $123 billion over the 2013-2022 period.[2] CBO projects that Medicare spending will rise from $551 billion in 2012 to $1,079 billion in 2023, despite the sequester. This is an annual growth rate of 6.3%.[4]

    (source was wikipedia.org) It was the first thing that comes up in google.

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  5. Curly

    Government does create jobs. Or something like that.

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