Yesterday (8-14-12), Elected leaders from Montgomery and Greene Counties joined Congressman Mike Turner for a community forum focusing on the impact that sequestration defense cuts will have on the Dayton region. They heard testimony from local experts and business leaders about possible affects of the defense cuts, which have a growing number of people worried about their communities.
The discretionary spending cuts are part of last year’s compromise on raising the debt ceiling. Congressman Turner and members of the forum agree that if those cuts happen, it will devastate the local economy. Sequestration, unless it can be avoided, is sure to hit Wright-Patt and defense contractors hard.
Deborah Gross is Executive Director of with Dayton Defense, a trade organization representing some 300 companies, and about 15,000 employees in the region. She spoke about sequestration playing out on the world stage and expressed concerns about how this affects our national security.
In front of a small crowd at Sinclair Community College, Gross said, “In these perilous times, sequestration will communicate to the world that the United States is will to compromise, even sacrifice its military strength for what appears to be politics. This should not be, and it is nothing short of outrageous.”
Gross said this is a community of survivors, but also urged contractors to come up with plans to endure sequestration.
Sam Greenwood, board chairman of the Greentree Group in Dayton focused in on a 500 billion dollar cut in defense spending over the next ten years when he said, “We are drowning in a sea of uncertainty.”
He added that, “The result will be national turmoil not even yet imagined. Acquisition programs will be terminated, dropped. Government personnel jobs will be cut; I don’t care what you read, you can’t keep them on. Contracts will be terminated. Many firms such as mine, many firms such as mine in the Miami Valley are already reeling from actions that the pentagon has already stepped into in anticipation of tremendous reductions of their appropriations, and I don’t blame them. I would too.
Congressman Turner rounded out the forum by reiterating the threat sequestration cuts are for the Miami Valley. He said in the coming weeks his office will be ramping up awareness on the issue.