700,000 Defense Jobs At Risk: What About Your State?

...cuts broad and deep, officials warn

700,000 defense jobs to be furloughed
Paul Brandus (Feb. 19, 2013)

The Pentagon will tell Congress Wednesday that up to 700,000 civilian jobs will be furloghed when massive spending cuts begin March 1. It's the beginning of the so-called "sequester," which would cut $1.2 trillion in federal spending over a decade, with half coming from defense and the other half from domestic programs. Some things like entitlements are exempt from the cuts. 

The Army Tuesday outlined its portions of the defense cuts, which would occur in all 50 states. It estimates $15.35 billion in wage salary and spending reductions would mean furloughs or layoffs for 302,626 people nationwide. 

Hardest hit states, the Army says? 

  • Texas: $2.4 billion in cuts, 34,734 jobs
  • Virginia: $1.0 billion in cuts, 25,360 jobs
  • Maryland: $527 million in cuts, 23,243 jobs
  • Alabama: $1.9 billion in cuts, 25,177 jobs
  • California: $615 million in cuts, 11,432 jobs

Why would Texas be so hard hit? The Lone Star state is home to two of the Army's largest bases: Fort Hood and Fort Bliss.

As for the least hit states: 

  • Rhode Island: $4 million in cuts, 11 jobs
  • Wyoming: $4 million in cuts, 18 jobs
  • Delaware: $6 million in cuts, 8 jobs

The Pentagon thinks it'll need to cut $46 billion by the end of the fiscal year (Sept. 30); Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warns the cuts could jeopardize national security.

President Obama, meantime, stepped up pressure on Republicans to avoid the cuts by focusing on other deficit-reduction means, such as closing tax loopholes that he says benefit businesses and the wealthy.

-Paul Brandus

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