Frank Torres, Orlando Freelance Reporter

Why the possibility of Sequestration should scare Floridians

In Uncategorized on January 22, 2013 at 8:00 pm

You’ve heard the word “Sequestration” used during the budget talks in Washington. In that discussion the term is referring to the massive cuts, that would largely effect the defense industry in this country.

“Why should I care? Aren’t we winding down two wars?”

That’s very common thinking. Especially in states that don’t lean on defense employers as much as we do.

Here in Florida, even the remote possibility of Sequestration should terrify us. Why? Let me explain.

The defense cuts involved in sequestration, that were laid out in the budget deal that averted the fiscal cliff in 2011, doesn’t include military personnel. Makes sense, right? Our brothers and sisters fighting overseas shouldn’t suffer when D.C gridlock stops progress.

It does involve military contractors. I’m talking about Northrop Grummond and Lockheed Martin, two of the biggest defense contractors that employ tens of thousands of talented Floridians. We’re talking about roughly, %20 percent of their income disappearing instantly.

They’re accounting department would react and their decision makers would decide to preserve the bottom line. That means layoffs to adjust for the reduced demands of their product.

Thousands of quality STEM jobs. Gone. In Tampa. In Orlando. In St. Augustine. Instantly.

These companies have already been laying off workers gradually for the last few years. They adjust, consolidate, and re-organize. The industry has seen a reduction of business coming for a long time but, having this much income disappear this quickly would be disastrous.

This morning there was an economic forecasting panel, I was lucky to be a part of. I mentioned sequestration as a challenge to adapting to Washington policy. Two other members of the panel, both Economists with outstanding reputations included it in their presentations as well.

Luckily, Washington knows this and will hopefully reach an agreement before the deadline.

Floridians can’t afford to have them to fail.

The defense industry employs thousands of Floridians

The defense industry employs thousands of Floridians

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