SAN DIEGO – Time is running out for Congress to come up with a plan to avoid automatic spending cuts and it could hit two of San Diego’s largest industries – defense and science.
“San Diego will probably be more affected by these cuts than most cities,” said Congressman Scott Peters, who represents the 52nd District of California. “Sequestration threatens 30,000 military jobs in San Diego County.”
If President Obama and Congress can’t come up with a deal to reduce the deficit $1.2 trillion in cuts will go into effect March 1.
When it comes to the science industry, the figure is smaller but still alarming.
Dr. Geoffrey Wahl with the Salk Institute for Cancer Research said the layoffs wouldn’t just hurt the economy; it will harm progress in science research.
“In San Diego, 4,500 science jobs are in jeopardy if these cuts go into effect,” said Wahl. “These scholars will go to countries that are funding science like China, like Israel.”
“It’s something I would consider, the United States has always been a leader in science, but things like sequestration are changing that,” said Cancer researcher, Claire Johns.
The effects however could be broader and affect many other San Diegans.
“Every science job creates another job here in San Diego,” said Mark Cafferty, President and CEO of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation.