At some point before Friday at midnight, the President is expected to order across-the-board budget cuts to save $1.2 trillion dollars over the next ten years. Jared Brumbaugh spoke with Congressman G.K. Butterfield about how sequestration could impact eastern North Carolina.
“It appears it’s too late, that it’s definitely going to happen.”
If the sequestration goes forward, most of the effects could be felt in our area immediately. Butterfield says military readiness and middle class families would be hit the hardest.
“Approximately 22,000 civilian Department of Defense employees will be furloughed, which will reduce their pay by 117 million dollars. And that’s in North Carolina.”
Butterfield says base operation funding in the state would be cut by 136 million dollars. Funding for the Air Force would be reduced by 5 million dollars. Butterfield even speculates the Navy may cease operating the aircraft depot base at Cherry Point. According to the White House, up to 13-hundred disadvantaged and vulnerable North Carolina families could lose access to childcare and about 15 hundred kids could be eliminated from Head Start and other early education programs. Butterfield says cuts of 25 million dollars are projected for primary and secondary education in North Carolina.
”That would result in about 350 teachers and teacher aide jobs being at risk, not to mention the 38 thousand fewer students that would be served.”
Some essential programs like Medicaid, Food stamps and Social Security would not be affected by sequestration; however Medicare will be cut by an estimated 2 percent. Jared Brumbaugh, Public Radio East.