Maryland County Execs Fear Sequester Effects

Howard, Prince George's and Montgomery County officials say federal spending cuts would wreak havoc on local economy.

Ranking officials in Howard, Prince George's and Montgomery County are urging Congress to come to a compromise which could avert steep cuts in federal spending–known as the sequester–set to go into effect on March 1. 

Howard County Executive Ken Ulman told the Baltimore Sun that sequestration could have an economic impact in his county. Businesses in Columbia have already said they plan layoffs if sequestration happens, he told the Sun.

According to data released by Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker's office, the effects of sequestration could wreak economic havoc on Prince George's County.

“Sequestration would feel like a cold to most of the nation, but to Prince George's County and the rest of the Washington metropolitan area, it would feel like a bad case of pneumonia," read a statement attributed Baker in a release issued by the county executives of Montgomery, Howard and Prince George's counties. "One-quarter of the federal workforce in this region are residents of Prince George's County, so many of them are eagerly awaiting a positive conclusion to this situation."

Annually, roughly $14 billion in federal spending goes to Prince George's County, including $3 billion for the salaries and wages of federal workers, which make up 10 percent of the jobs in Prince George's County. Roughly 16 percent of the county's civilian population over the age of 16 work for the federal government. 

 “The impact on Montgomery County from the sequestration could undo the economic gains we’ve made as the county and our country have begun to emerge from the financial crisis,” read a statement in the press release attributed to Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett. “Montgomery County has 47,000 federal workers and thousands of businesses that contract with the federal government – all of whom will be directly affected if Congress does not act.  The loss to our county of millions of dollars in revenue could plunge us back into a severe slowdown causing budget shortfalls and a stagnant economy.  We can’t let that happen.”

MG42 February 20, 2013 at 12:54 AM
That $14 billion in federal spending that benefits this region is a giant expense for the rest of the country, places that are much worse off than we are. It's also questionable what benefit the rest of the country gets for that expense. If these federal workers are so smart, I'm sure after this hits they'll be starting lots of private companies doing great things, making just as much as they were before. LOL
JaySmith February 20, 2013 at 12:22 PM
Hey Maryland Democrat County Execs: #1) Don't believe ANYTHING Obama says, #2) at least $50B - $100B must be cut from federal $3.7T/year spending. Or, would you rather the federal govt keep overspending and stealing future income from our children? Look at how much Obama raised spending from '08 to '09......by $500B/year. It's time to move that DOWN !!
JaySmith February 20, 2013 at 12:25 PM
HR: You're exactly right. But it's not even that much......and Obama wants to act like teachers and policemen will be cut from the federal budget. What a lying p.o.s. he is: The federal govt should not be hiring teachers and police in the first place.....and they don't. He can't even lie 'correctly'.
David Maier February 20, 2013 at 02:59 PM
We are talking about 2.2% of the overall Federal Budget. Stop whining and complaining. Make some plans to handle it. You have had more than 1 year to plan for this possibility. This old song is very tiresome. When 10 firefighters and 4 policemen show up for a small kitchen fire - it goes to show we have too many people at the ready. OH NO!!! I just spoke the unspeakable.
D-B February 21, 2013 at 02:47 PM
Question: Can you live on only 80% of your income? Can you take a 20% cut in your income when you have done everything you have ever been expected to do as a Department of Defense employee? That's what many lots of our neighbors are facing. I honestly don't know whose fault this is. All I know is that Congress and the President need to come together, pass a real budget, and fix this. That instead of bringing things to a vote that do nothing to reduce the deficit. If I did my job the way that they are doing theirs, I'd be fired long ago.
Remmy February 23, 2013 at 11:24 PM
D-B, First of all, the typical DOD employee lives on double what the average American in the private sector makes. DOD employees do half the work as the private sector, their job does not depend on their productivity, only to warm a chair in an A/C office. DOD employees in the DC area average 120K per year and in most cases both husband and wife work for DOD, so that is roughly 240K per year per family. This is why the DC housing market barely saw a downturn, unlike many midwestern cities. This area is held together by the American tax dollar. It is time that the common DOD employee live like the rest of us, on a tighter budget, eat rice, oatmeal all week, and wonder what a piece of meat tastes like. I am damn tired of subsidizing DOD workers who have so-called tenure, living high on the hog, drinking the finest wine, eating out 4 nights a week, driving new cars, and living in 3000 plus sq ft homes.
Remmy February 23, 2013 at 11:32 PM
If you go to their offices, you will see Obama photos plastered on walls, and as a screen-saver when they are not playing solitare on their computer. I saw that 2 years ago, and I wanted to scream at the woman who was playing solitare and talking to her mother about dinner out, and where she was going to shop for a new pair of shoes that weekend; when I haven't had a new pair of shoes in 4 years. I left the building and that same woman left work and hopped into a white Mercedes. I drive a 10 year old car. What is wrong with this picture. I do not feel sorry for the DOD civilian employee. Most of these people should have been fired weeks after employment, but they cannot, due to tenure. I think this sequestration is good - a wake up call for the elite within the government. I want them to start thinking like the rest of us, we are all disposable, the government worker believes their job is permanent - WRONG. Wake up - time to live like the taxpayers who pay your outlandish salaries. To: DOD civilian employee on furlough - welcome to my world.
D-B February 24, 2013 at 02:00 AM
Ok, you are making GROSD overgeneralizations here. I am a part O's a DOD family. My wife works for the DOD and I work for a nonprofit. COMBINED we make less than what you quote as the typical salary for a DOD employee. My wife works hard every day and takes her job very seriously. We both drive base model cars that are over 8 years old. All we are asking for is what we signed on for. My wife wants to work her 40 per week. Doesn't want a hand out. Wants for the word that was given to her by the US government to be kept. That's all.
JaySmith February 24, 2013 at 01:00 PM
D-B. Working for the govt should not be more secure than working in the private sector. "Signed on for". Really expect no changes, just pay raises and gold-plated healthcare and pension bfts forever until age 60 for full pension, or whatever age? Your type of thinking about how the govt 'ees should have it, compared to private sector 'ees.......is disrespectful to private sector. Oh, and the fed govt spends $3.7T and tax rev is $2.5T......33% of fed spndg's being printed and borrowed from our kids' future paychecks......33% of fed spndg. You're ok with that?
JaySmith February 24, 2013 at 01:06 PM
Exactly !! But that's another Obama-Lie......the fed govt doesn't pay for fire and policemen.....that's a big 'DUH'......that the Obama-loving media lets him get away with.
JaySmith February 24, 2013 at 01:10 PM
D-B: You've been suckered into the Obama-Lies. The DOD ees don't require a 20% paycut to pay for 85B/year cuts out of the current $3.7T/yr fed spndg. There are SO many depts in the fed govt that have exploded with their spndg increases under Obama.....and are completely useless depts......and yet Obama screams out that DOD needs to cut 20%. D-B, it's time to notice what a freaking liar Obama is. It's utterly sickening, to be honest. You might ask what his goal, then, really is. Well it is to destroy the republican party in the '14 House elections. That's it D-B. That's all he's thinking, scheming and speeching about. Watch him and see.
JaySmith February 24, 2013 at 01:12 PM
Remmy: You're my hero, telling it like it is. Thank you. And you're right because the $70k avg pay is then the start of the pension and healthcare costs.....which take the total gross compensation up to about $120k. It's also true with govt ees in CA, see www.pensiontsunami.com
JaySmith February 24, 2013 at 01:14 PM
Remmy: Again, Way To Go......telling it like it is. Check out my responses to D-B, above and below. By the way, he has trouble typing a sentence.....what does his first sentence below mean?
JaySmith February 24, 2013 at 01:17 PM
D-B: I guess your 2nd sentence means "I am a part of O's DOD family cuz wife works there". Is that what you mean? Do you really think Obama cares about the military? Think again......you really don't know much about him, then, do you? I've read his two books, I know about his favorite (marxist) prof at Occidental cuz I grad'd 4 months in '79 before he started there....I have read the only article he wrote for the Columbia University newspaper......and it's 100% obvious that the military is the LEAST part of federal spending he cares about.
D-B February 24, 2013 at 03:00 PM
No, it was not meant to be Obama's, it was a typo meant to be the word of. And, look, I am not over here saying that I'm thrilled with the economic situation. I would be fired if I was in a position of power over the money in my company and I acted like the congress has. If I bickered and acted like a spoiled child like the President and congress have, I wouldn't have a job anymore. But the fact is that the recently re-elected and newly elected people are what we've got, and they need to fix this (without destroying the economy any further by taking more money out of the federal workers hands that spend the money and keep the private sector going).
Concerned February 24, 2013 at 05:16 PM
The federal government is too bloated and departments need to be reduced. As Federal workers jobs are very secure, perhaps the OPM performance assessment should be overhauled and if your performance is below expectations, you should be fired. At present, no consequences for federal workers lack of performance.
Remmy February 24, 2013 at 10:52 PM
Ditto Jay for your comments, Obama does not care about the military. I am so disgusted at the entitlement D-B exhibits. What she “signed up for”, is an entitlement mentality, does she think she is in the military? NOTE: What did the military personnel “sign-up for” at Fort Hood? The wounded who were unarmed, signed up for medical, and benefits for low pay. They are not receiving what they “signed up for” since Obama has declared the shooting “Work-place violence” instead of combat pay and benefits – currently they are not receiving what they signed up for; and they are military who lay their lives on the line. In fact, those who died at Fort Hood, have not, and probably will not receive the Purple Heart for their service. Does this woman place her life on the line for us every day? I think not. Another good example to weaken our military is the original goal of sequestration – cut more from the Defense and well-being of the military, all to weaken the United States. This president is determined to destroy America, and make us second rate; downgrading us on the global stage.
Remmy February 24, 2013 at 10:55 PM
Woops, vented off topic. Sorry. D-B–Your sentence about taking money out of Federal workers hands–makes me want to vomit. How about allowing the taxpayers to keep the bloated salaries low, so the taxpayer can spend that precious money on food, gas, and maybe a piece of meat. Your attitude is you know how to spend the money better than the people who pay you (your wife) to do a job. How arrogant of you! We the taxpayers are your employer! Remember when you look down on that Salesperson or the cashier, they pay you to assist the Military. The Civilian working for the Government believes they are exempt from what happens to the private sector. A year ago a Government employee said to their brother who lost his job, “I feel for you, I know what you are going through”. No they don’t, you believe you are exempt from losing your job. For once, you will taste what the private sector has been dealing with over the last 4 years. Perhaps you will thank those of us who support your family in the style you currently have. Hopefully that will come to an end, tighten your belt for a change D-B. You may lose your home, you may need to go on food stamps, you may need to borrow money from friends and family, you may need to tap into your 401K until it is empty, you may need utility assistance–this is the world of the private sector. Having a job one day and gone the next. Every individual wants to work a 40 hour week, provide for their family, but there is no guarantee.
D-B February 25, 2013 at 12:38 AM
Entitlement??? First, you don't know me and you are using that word to characterize me? Besides, I don't care what you think of me, as you seem to not care about what I think of you. All I know is that the sequester will hurt Americans. All Americans, either directly or indirectly. Things need to change. And throwing names at people and demonizing the other side when trying to have a rational, adult discussion is what got us into this in the first place. We need to really step back and listen to each other with ears that are not looking to blame. We are where we are and we need to figure out how to fix it. Yes, we all need to tighten our belts. We all need to live within our means. We all need to think before we spend. It's because the government didn't think before spending that we got here. One way not to fix this is for both sides to continue to dig their heels in and not budge on what they want. In the end here, if Congress and the President do not get their act together we all will go down.
JaySmith February 25, 2013 at 02:52 AM
D-B: You seem to not realize that the govt is just plain spending too much money, and 33% of it is being borrowed from our children. And Obama doesn't want to cut spndg ANY. It'd be nice if we had a govt that lived BELOW its means, not above by 33%. Again, I state the facts: fed spndg $3.7T, st, local $1.5.....that's $5.2T/yr, and the private sector income is only $8T. We are FU_KED. Just watch. It would be nice if Obama was not so destructive and delusional.......but he prefers to cut military spending and grow everything else. We're completely FU_KED with him. And our Democrat governors and mayors make it worse.
JaySmith February 25, 2013 at 02:53 AM
D-B: The sequester is necessary. it's just a question of where.....and really it should be everywhere !


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