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Aerospace group: Sequestration could cost Mississippi 11,000 jobs

The list of potential damage estimates attached to sequestration continues to grow.

Friday, the Aerospace Industries Association said that if the automatic spending cuts set to trigger March 1 actually happen, it could cost Mississippi 11,000 jobs and almost $1.2 billion in gross state product.

Spending cuts have been pegged at $1.2 trillion over a decade, a lot of it coming out of the defense budget that funds aerospace initiatives like Hancock County’s Stennis Space Center.

AIA president and CEO Marion Blakey said in a press release that this weekend’s meeting of the National Governors Association in Washington serves as a good opportunity for state chief executives to illustrate the effects sequestration will have on state economies.

“With little time to act, this weekend provides states the opportunity to make their voices heard at the White House and in Congress, where leaders have yet to begin serious negotiations about avoiding an economic nightmare that will have a negative impact nationwide.”

The AIA issued a report last summer that said sequestration would result in more than 2 million overall jobs being lost in defense, construction, education, healthcare and manufacturing sectors.

The AIA’s alarmism isn’t shared by former Gov. Haley Barbour.

Barbour, who left office in 2012, told a cable news channel earlier this week that he hoped congressional Republicans would allow sequestration to go through, saying it was the only way to “start down a path of trying to get control of spending and reduce the deficit.”

The automatic spending cuts were part of the 2011 debt ceiling compromise the White House and Congress brokered. The cuts were designed to be so severe that it would force lawmakers – specifically, the GOP-controlled House – to work out a deal with President Obama and his allies in the Democratic-led Senate.

The two sides haven’t gotten far in negotiations, and others are starting to share Barbour’s belief that it’s likely the cuts will go into effect.

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