The Lowcountry could lose $173 million in military contracts by the 10-year, $500 billion cuts to the nation's defense budget under sequestration, according to a right-wing think tank specializing in national defense.
Sequestration is an automatic, near trillion dollar spending cut triggered in 2013 unless Congress passes a debt reduction measure by Dec. 31.
This means an 18 percent reduction in military spending or about $173 million reduction in economic impact in the tri-county area, according to The Center for Security Policy.
Rep. Tim Scott's S.C. First Congressional District has more than 300 military contracts and could lose $140.8 million in defense contracts, according to the reports.
The Congressional District Reports provide a 2011 baseline to see how congressional districts may be affected by the planned across-the-board sequestration cuts in the 2013 defense budget.
- City of Charleston: $29.3 million
- City of Goose Creek: $1.5 million
- City of North Charleston: $39.6 million
- Town of Mount Pleasant: $8.3 million
- Town of Summerville: $5.6 million
Berkeley County would have the most to lose with $95,447,411 estimated in losses, followed by Charleston County at $71,630,061 and Dorchester County at $5,879,434.
The Washington, D.C.,-based The Center for Security Policy posted new Congressional District Reports to aid in estimation of the potential local economic impacts of sequestration. The reports are free and available online to the public at http://forthecommondefense.org/districts.
To view detailed reports with 2011 data showing the 18 percent sequestration cuts for all U.S. states and territories, counties and cities go to http://forthecommondefense.org/reports.
To see details on military contracts within Scott and Congressman Jim Clyburn's districts, see the attached PDFs.
The data release is not without ties to politics. The Center for Security Policy cites Aerospace Industries Association in its press release, quoting:
“Four out of five likely voters in critical battleground states want our leaders in Washington, DC to find an alternative to 'sequestration' budget cuts before the November elections take place, according to a Harris Interactive online poll.”
According to the think tank, Congressional District Reports are a tool to help local officials and businesses prepare for the possible impact of job losses and harm to local communities from the sequestration budget cuts. These sequestration defense budget cuts will be an estimated total of 18% or more when combined with earlier budget cuts.