Dayton-area leaders are breathing sighs of relief as the proposed budget deal in Congress appears to be ending the across-the-board cuts known as sequestration.
“This deal would prevent the sequester for a 2-year period, and it also would give certainty to the Department of Defense,” said Rep. Mike Turner of Ohio’s 10th district. He’s relieved by the outcome after a year of belt-tightening for lots of government bodies, including the Pentagon. With the proposed deal the Pentagon avoids $20 billion in would-be sequestration cuts.
Michael Gessel of the Dayton Development Coalition agrees the deal is positive for the Dayton region, but he says government employees are getting the short end of the stick—many civilians will have to pay more into their retirement funds, and some military employees could see cuts to benefits, too.
“It is an unfortunate way to reach a budget agreement, and it will negatively affect the money flowing into the Dayton economy,” he said.
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base might still see some layoffs as the Air Force trims its costs.
Yet even after cuts, the Pentagon’s discretionary budget for next year is about $75 billion inflation-adjusted dollars more than it was in 2003, the year the U.S. went to war in Iraq.