Spending cuts. The term has been circling our heads for years as this country has battled a recession, and again more recently as talks of automatic federal spending cuts have been in the news. The numbers are huge. The proposed cuts total a daunting $85 billion. The most frightening thing of all is that those cuts are going to hit home… and they don’t plan on playing nicely.
Front and center is Puget Sound Naval Shipyard located in Bremerton. Mandatory furloughs will be thrust into action, as $4.6 billion worth of sequestration is targeted at the Navy. Workers have been warned that they will most likely be facing one furlough day each week, beginning in mid-April and ending after September. Once the shipyard is hit, it’s likely that other businesses in Bremerton will be as well. If workers have less to spend, then businesses will have less to make.
In addition to the Naval Shipyard, Joint Base Lewis-McChord is also bracing itself for financial stress. $124 million worth of Army cuts are expected to hit the base, where there are over 25,000 military and civilian workers. 1,200 civilian workers at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station will also be affected by furloughs.
Some State Representatives are saying that Congress is to blame for this crisis. They frown in frustration as word spreads that the sequester cuts will bring about a loss of two million jobs nation-wide.