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Riverside County Economy Facing Uncertain Future if Sequester Shrinks Budgets

Federal agencies will have fewer funds beginning Friday if Republicans and Democrats can’t avoid the sequester deadline.

A political deal struck in the summer of 2011 will begin to affect the economy in late winter 2013, unless feuding lawmakers in Washington can agree on a compromise by Friday.

The sequester will mandate significant cuts to the federal budget, with few if any government agencies immune to reductions in funding. Defense and domestic spending will be evenly slashed, and the impacts on local economies are far from clear.

Riverside County has around 16,500 federal employees and retirees, according to Eye on Washington, and their fate could include furloughs or worse. Media reports include warnings on delays in air travel and tax refunds.   

Locally, companies that hold federal contracts could also be affected. Companies in Murrieta and Temecula that held defense contracts as recently as fiscal year 2011 include USAC Aerospace Group, Exotic Electro-Optics, Tactical Linguist Concepts, Temecula Motorsports, Advantage West Enterprises, The Crew Contracting, SFM Constructors and others, according to a Defense Breakdown Economic Impact report generated by Forthecommondefense.org.

Civilians employed by the Department of Defense face the possibility of furloughs.

“The possibility exists for a 22-day furlough of Federal employees,” said Brian O’Rourke, spokesman for Navy Region Southwest.

The Obama administration released on Sunday a report for each state detailing the impacts of the sequester’s budget cuts, and Republicans have accused the president of using scare tactics for political gain.

The seven-page report for California paints a grim picture for education, environmental protections, the military, law enforcement, child care, public health and government services. The report is attached to this article in the PDF section.

The nation has been through this drill before. The sequester was set to begin on Jan. 1, 2013, if lawmakers weren’t able to reduce the budget deficit. That deadline came and went, but they were able to agree on postponing the sequester for two months. That time is running out.

Make Sense February 28, 2013 at 06:49 PM
Waaaaaaa. We only get to waste 12% more taxpayer money than last year, instead of 14%. If taxpayer income is falling shouldn't government budget drop at the same rate? The government budget is a percentage of taxpayer incomes, is it not? In this time where anti bullying is popular, how about our own government quits forcefully taking our lunch money.
TVOR March 01, 2013 at 02:30 AM
We the people have to live within our means or we go without. Its time for the federal government to do the same.
American Right March 01, 2013 at 03:33 AM
Amen
Rob March 01, 2013 at 04:30 PM
I stand with those fellow Americans who have posted above this comment! WE, THE PEOPLE must stand together and STOp the Federal (and State) Growth. This is not about political party, but our life style and this Country's very survival. EVERY penny of the federal spend is extracted from the private sector via taxes and fees. I would much prefer GOVERNMENT rightsize than for the people of the community/country to pay more in taxes. We all do not need to stand tall but we do all need to stand up!
Stewart March 02, 2013 at 05:07 PM
Ignorance is bliss. The general publics misunderstanding of how our nations economic structure is so deeply interconnected to every sector private or public astounds me.

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