At today’s Board meeting, Supervisor Don Knabe called on the Obama Administration and the County’s congressional delegation to develop a long-term budget compromise that would avoid $1.2 trillion in across-the-board cuts that could cripple local businesses and social services. These budget cuts, called sequestration, are scheduled to occur on January 2, 2013, after a deficit-reduction committee could not reach consensus on the federal budget. Knabe said:
“Our leaders at the Federal level need to set aside partisan bickering and find a balanced, sensible budget compromise that avoids the draconian cuts that are scheduled to automatically occur January 2, 2013. While the whole country would suffer, California would be most directly and severely affected by the cuts, with a potential of losing over 225,000 jobs and $22 billion in gross state product.
At a time when we are desperate to create jobs, the uncertainty about these budget cuts is already leading many companies to prepare for the worst by not hiring and, in some cases, issuing layoff notices. As the heart of the nation’s aerospace and defense-related industries, we could lose more than $2.4 billion in tax revenue to state and local government, which would have a huge impact on the safety-net services we provide.
And it’s not just defense cuts that are in play. Education, health care and social services, which have already taken a huge hit in these tough economic times, would once again be on the chopping block. We don’t need more rhetoric and politics – we need compromise and thoughtful solutions that preserve jobs and services, and bring confidence back to our economy.