President Obama, Economists Warns About Sequester - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

President Obama, Economists Warns About Sequester


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) - President Obama sent a warning about the consequences of across-the-board budget cuts scheduled to take affect next week. The president says the $85 billion in cuts known as the sequester are severe and won't help the economy or create jobs.

He's calling on republicans to "back a plan" proposed by Senate democrats that would off-set the sequester through a combination of increased tax revenue and targeted budget cuts. But GOP lawmakers oppose raising taxes, saying the president got the tax increases he wanted during the "fiscal cliff" negotiations.

Economists also warn the sequester could be devastating. It has already cost jobs in Mid-Michigan. Demmer Corporation already laid off 90 employees in fear of the looming sequester.

"This is not somewhere out in the rest of America. It's not somewhere out in the rest of Michigan. It's right here in Lansing. We are going to be in trouble," said Lisa Cook, an MSU economics professor.

Cook points to Demmer as a sample of the larger problem. She says the impact of sequestration on Michigan would mean a $2 billion loss, thousands of jobs gone and possibly a double dip recession.

"We don't want that again, we know what that means. This will mean hurt to American workers, hurt to American families, hurt to American households. We don't need that," said Cook.

Economists say defense cuts will feel the largest impact, but education will also be left out in the cold. The Congressional budget office predicts losing more than a thousand education jobs and almost $14 million from Head Start programs.

"You have to start planning for the impacts and that puts educators off of doing better and anxious about whether they're going to have not only their jobs, but the opportunity for kids to learn," said John Justin, Director of the Michigan Economic Center.

He and other educators hope Congress can avoid the deep cuts to ensure the economic healing can drive forward.

Cook says the best thing you can do to help avoid these deep spending cuts is to contact your state and local representatives. Their information is available on Seen on 6.

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