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Sequester hits painful but not immediate according to ISU scholar

Tue, 26 Feb 2013 16:50:01 CST
By: Charlie Schlenker

An Illinois State University Political Scientist says the across the board budget cuts involved in the sequester will take a toll on the economy if Congress allows them to stand. Professor Carl Palmer says the hit will not be immediate but will end up very noticeable. He says letting air out of the balloon is an apt image.

"That is a slow sort of bleeding in terms of the economic impact. There will be those who are directly affected, those that are working in the defense industry, those that are working at airports that are furloughed or laid off. But, as far as the state, I think it's going to be much more gradual."

For every dollar not spent by those whose jobs are directly affected by the cuts, Palmer says there are spinoff reductions for restaurants, dry cleaners, and other businesses in society. There was an economic hiccup at the end of the year caused by fiscal cliff uncertainty. Palmer says that experiece shows as cuts phase in during a tenuous economic recovery, the reductions will propagate to the rest of the economy quickly. Meanwhile, the Central Illinois Regional Airport says it is very concerned and is monitoring the situation closely. Airport Director Carl Olson says in a statement he does not yet know if the proposed plan for closing facilities and furloughing air traffic personnel has the Bloomington Facility in it, and whether or when the plan would go into effect. CIRA officials do say the airport operations are above one of the thresholds for cutoff identified by the Federal Aviation Administration, so they hope to be spared in the event of the cuts. Olson says if the control tower does close, it's also unclear what the operational impact might be.

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