WASHINGTON -- Two upcoming military air shows have already fallen victim to the country's looming fiscal crisis and impending sequestration.
The good news, the air shows we have here are still going on as planned--for now. But you have to understand what sequestration is to fully understand how it will impact you.
Sequestration was adopted by Congress in 1985 to deal with the federal budget deficit then. When Congress can't agree on where to make budget cuts, previously agreed upon budgets are thrown out and across-the-board cuts are adopted to help control deficit spending.
As Americans watch the political gridlock at work in our nations capital, the looming impact of sequestration could be very problematic for South Texas.
The cuts will chop almost 10-percent from non-defense programs and 13-percent from defense programs. So, you can imagine what the impact might be with tens of thousands of local jobs reliant on the military, the U. S. Border Patrol and the TSA.
The bottom line is that $85 billion in spending cuts will be felt across the board. And with the major military presence here in San Antonio, there will be no dodging this fiscal bullet.
While it appears military personnel will be exempt, civilian employees of the Department of Defense will not. First off, gone will be the roughly 1500 and 2000 people hired every week by the DOD to fill civilian jobs. Other DOD employees will be furloughed, meaning they will be forced to take one day a week off, essentially a 20-percent pay cut. There will be significant maintenance cut backs as well. And that, the DOD says will impact military readiness.
As for the border patrol, it already faces budget and manpower challenges and that will only get worse.
When it comes to the TSA, budget cuts there will most likely trickle down to less personnel at airports and longer security lines.
There is still time for a deal to be worked out, but the chances of that happening don't look good.
If furloughs do happen, workers must be given 30 days notice. So, it appears the impact won't be felt until at least April.