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      Sequestration could hurt Southwest Georgia

      Congress remains in a standoff on how to cut $85 billion dollars from the federal budget, should they not be able to reach a compromise by March 1st they face mandatory sequestration which will cut spending to federal programs across the board."If it does occur it will have an impact on a wide array of federal programs including defense," said Ted Clem President of the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission.With the Marine Corp Logistics Base Albany playing a vital roll in the Southwest Georgia TMs economy, cuts and or even closure to the base could deal a crippling blow to the area.However with equipment repair being one of the bases primary responsibilities one expert thinks we may be fine, "What I think is going to happen is they are going to be doing less purchases of new equipment, and missile defense systems so what we would see from the pentagon probably is they're going to try to extend the life of what they already have," said Darton College economics professor Aaron Johnson.However locally, we will be can be affected by a lot more then cuts to the base."We rely a lot on assistance, housing assistance meals on wheels various domestic programs, federal government programs that will be cut, so there can be a cut in services to the most vulnerable," said Johnson.Since there is no way of telling for sure how sequestration will effect southwest Georgia, the Albany Dougherty Economic Development Commission says the only thing they can do to prepare is to continue to build up the area.Clem says, "That's all we can do is follow our plan, do the things we do, and try to diversify our local economy in every way possible."Should that March deadline pass with no solution spending cuts won TMt stop at $85 billion, as over $1 trillion will have to be cut over the next 10 years.

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