In exclusive comments to the News-Press, business owners offering services to the Defense Department and Defense contractors are already feeling the effects of $85 billion in automatic federal budget sequestration that went into effect March 1.
These owners are reporting that their clients are already canceling orders for work and are expecting that major downsizing of personnel will begin to hit, based on plans already underway, from the middle of April into May. According to a report in the March 3 New York Times, federal spending on procurement, salaries and wages constitutes fully 19.7 percent of the gross domestic product of the D.C. area, including Northern Virginia suburbs. The article quoted Christine Chmura, an economist in Richmond, saying, “If the sequester occurs as it’s currently stated, I would expect the state of Virginia to go into a recession.”
Expected furloughs for 90,000 civilian employees of the Defense Department, as anticipated by the White House, will represent a 20 percent salary cut for all of them.