The mandatory cuts to defense and non-defense spending stem from the "fiscal cliff" deal and are to take place March 1. Every program except for benefits like Social Security and some parts of Medicare will be cut.
The Bipartisan Policy Center, an independent research group, said last week that it expects roughly a million jobs across the country to be immediately lost from the budgetary cuts. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the job losses at 1.4 million.
In a struggling economy — as the unemployment rate inched up last week and economic growth slowed — the impact of the expected job losses would be devastating, said Farrokh Hormozi, a professor of economics at Pace University.
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"There's no way the economy could handle that type of job elimination. We'd likely go into recession," Hormozi said. "For instance, the government contracts for the military would just dry up and people would be out of work or furloughed. Congress must come to some sort of deal on this. We should be creating jobs, not eliminating them. "
"The cuts scheduled are not a way to run a rational government," said Robert Frank, an economics professor at Cornell University. "Cuts of any kind at this time are not a good idea. It's recessionary. It would slow growth for sure and put people out of work."
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"Their earnings last week showed the the impact of the sequestration," said Bell. "They've lowered their estimates this year because of the expected budget cuts. This will ripple down through the sub-contracting community and private businesses that have contracts with the defense department. A lot of people will lose their jobs."
The upcoming sequestration grew out of the last minute deal to avoid the fiscal cliff that would have eliminated the Bush-era tax cuts, while implementing across-the-board cuts, or sequestration, on certain federal programs and defense spending