Budget Cuts

The combined effects of cuts in defense and other programs are expected to slow the momentum that California’s economy has been building over the last year.

By Ricardo Lopez and Richard Simon, Los Angeles Times
February 25, 2013, 5:52 p.m.

California’s defense industry is bracing for a $3.2-billion hit with the federal budget cuts that are expected to take effect Friday.

But myriad other federally funded programs also are threatened, and the combined effect is expected to slow the momentum that California’s economy has been building over the last year.

As the state braces for pain from so-called sequestration, there are warnings of long delays at airport security checkpoints, potential slowdowns in cargo movement at harbors and cutbacks to programs, including meals for seniors and projects to combat neighborhood blight.

Despite the grim scenarios from local and state officials, economists say the cuts’ overall blow to the economy would be modest, felt more acutely in regions such as defense-heavy San Diego and by Californians dependent on federal programs, such as college students who rely on work-study jobs to pay for school.

Critics say the cuts come at an inopportune time because the economic recovery in the U.S. and California is still weak.

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