Reporting Derek Valcourt
WASHINGTON (WJZ)—Massive across the board government spending cuts are set to go into effect in just three days.
Derek Valcourt explains how Maryland will be impacted if the cuts happen.
President Barack Obama visited a Navy shipyard as he travels across the country warning about the impact of the $85 billion in budget cuts set to take effect Friday.
“These cuts are wrong. They’re not smart. They’re not fair. They’re a self-inflicted wound that doesn’t have to happen,” Obama said.
The main sticking point between the White House and congressional Republicans is taxes.
Republicans agreed to raise taxes in the fiscal cliff deal last month, and they say that’s enough.
They’re also criticizing the president for taking his message on the road.
“He’s traveled over 5,000 miles the past two weeks and we challenge him, Mr. President, travel a mile and half up here to Capitol Hill,” said Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Washington.
While the last-minute wrangling continues, many worry about the impact cuts will have here in Maryland.
According to data from the White House, Maryland’s military would take a tough hit.
Funding for the state’s Army bases would be slashed by $95 million.
And 46,000 of Maryland’s civilian defense employees would face furloughs–that could cost them as much as 20 percent of their annual pay.
“A number of my clients are military, and yes, they are looking at taking a day a week off,” said Fran Korweck, CPA.
In shops near Anne Arundel County’s Fort Meade, the sequester cuts are all the buzz.
“It would limit the amount of haircuts that come in the door because people don’t have the money to get a haircut. They have to put their money toward other things,” said Scott Sanders, barber.
And with the apparent standstill in Washington, it’s unclear how long those cuts could stay in place.
The sequester could also affect some of Maryland’s education programs, and spur reductions in public safety and public health spending.