Broad automatic cuts to federal funding are set to become law today, Friday, unless Congress can come to a compromise on how to curb its deficit spending.
Sequestration would slash $85 billion immediately from 2013 federal budget spending and would cut several key areas of government across the board.
Department of Defense employees who are expected to see a $67.7 million loss in gross pay, primary and secondary schools will lose about $22 million in funding and another $5.9 million would be cut from clean air and water pollution protection programs, as well as $1.5 million in grants for fish and wildlife protection.
Many of the military pay cuts will be spaced out in the form of furloughs -- one day off without pay per week for 22 weeks -- the cuts will not be minor for military employees.
Furloughs will effect 1,200 full-time staff within the Michigan Department of Military & Veterans Affairs alone.
"The full-time staff is made up of Active Guard and Reserve and it is also made up of Army and Air Guard technicians," said Capt. Aaron Jenkins.
The breakdown will impact 302 full-time workers in Lansing, 397 in Selfridge Air National Guard Base, 170 at Fort Custer in Battle Creek, 93 in Grayling, 86 in Grand Ledge, 11 in Grand Rapids.
Another 137 temporary technicians could potentially lose their positions statewide.
"For a (general schedule 6 pay grade) person, imagine a young soldier or airman, you are looking at about $137 per day of work lost and about $3,018 overall," Capt. Jenkins said. "For someone who is making a small living wage and living paycheck to paycheck, that's going to make some dramatic changes to their lifestyle."
Gov. Rick Snyder's administration has ordered all its departments to conduct a review of what federal funding they receive to evaluate what the potential losses in the 2013 budget might be.
"We really are waiting for the feds to give us some more guidance," said Kurt Weiss, spokesman for the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget.
Weiss said the exact cuts are still unknown, but exempt programs will be Medicaid, temporary aid to needy families and workforce development programs.
"Stay tuned," Weiss said.
Despite the cuts, most people connected to business are not expecting the drastic consumer confidence hit that accompanied the debt ceiling gridlock in 2012.
"Recently we have been through so many manufactured crises, business people are starting to get used to the federal government lurching from one artificial deadline to another to another," said Rich Studley, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce director.
Studley said he is getting a lot of feedback from the contrast between the Capitol and Lansing where budgets are being passed on time and without major general tax increases.
"Business people are expressing a tremendous amount of disappointment and frustration with both Congress and the president," Studley said.
The potential secondary impact on industries such as tourism that depend on surplus income are not expected to feel a major hit from the cuts.
"We are already heavily invested in our marketing plan for the season," said Peter Fitzsimons, director for the Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau.
Though, Fitzsimons -- who says it's time for the government to address its $16 trillion deficit -- believes the biggest variable could be consumer confidence.
The political blame game started Thursday afternoon with phone calls from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee connecting Republicans, including Congressman Dan Benishek, with the sequestration, the Detroit Free Press reported.
In response Friday morning, Benishek's office issued a statement placing the burden of the sequester on the president and Senate.
"Frankly, it's very frustrating to see Washington once again fail to do anything about the problems our nation is facing," said Benishek, R-Crystal Falls.
"In the House, we have passed two different common sense bills last year that would have replaced the president's sequester with smarter spending reductions, but the Senate never acted on them. They knew this mess was coming for over a year now and they have done nothing."
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