Editorial: President, Congress need to get their act together on sequestration
BY World's Editorials Writers
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
2/19/13 at 8:10 AM
If the so-called sequester - automatic deep cuts in defense department and other federal spending - takes place March 1 as it now appears, it will hammer the three U.S. Air Force bases in Oklahoma, causing thousands of civilian workers to be furloughed.
Air Force officials say that 16,000 civilian employees at Tinker AFB in Midwest City, Vance AFB in Enid and Altus AFB would face furloughs, by far the most at Tinker, the state's largest single employer.
According to an Oklahoman story that was carried in Monday's Tulsa World, that would mean $125 million in lost pay during the furlough period, April through September. Only Texas, which stands to lose $127 million, would be worse hit.
The defense spending cuts would affect more than Oklahoma's Air Force bases. They also would hit the U.S. Army Ammunition Plant at McAlester and the Army's artillery training post at Fort Sill, near Lawton. Private contractors that do business with the bases also would be affected.
Although none of these military installations is in the immediate area, an economic blow of this magnitude would surely be felt here.
Our nation's elected leaders, including the president and members of Congress, Democrat and Republican alike, need to stop trying to upstage each other, to stop playing the blame game and agree on a plan to avert this latest pending fiscal disaster. Anything that simply pushes a final decision a few weeks down the road will be unacceptable.
Original Print Headline: Spending cuts