San Diego's sequestration fears with deadline Friday - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

San Diego's sequestration fears with deadline Friday

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The automatic spending cuts could have a huge impact on San Diego, which has a large military presence.

City Council President Todd Gloria sent out a news release on Thursday stating "sequestration would cause San Diego to suffer." The nonprofit group SDMAC agrees.

"We are seeing a lot of politics that don't need to be there I think," Frank Hewitt of SDMAC said.

Hewitt says if you're if you're looking for a fiscal cliff, look no further than San Diego.

"This is so uncertain you can't make any plan," Hewitt said.

Citing a George Mason University study, Hewitt says sequestration will cost California 225,000 jobs, the most in the nation. And San Diego will be the hardest hit because of its close ties to the military.

"It's a very, I use the word 'interesting' time, and I have never seen it before and I've been in the industry for 25 years," Hewitt said.

According to city leaders, ship builders with Nassco have notified hundreds of employees that layoffs could be coming. It's also estimated one out of every four local jobs is connected to defense spending. Severe budget cuts could trickle down on just about every consumer.

"They won't spend as much, and when they don't spend as much, people like plumbers and electricians and fast food restaurants, restaurants in general -- everything takes the impact as that flows through the economy in our region," Hewitt said.

The San Diego Military Advisory Council is a nonprofit group that promotes the interests of the military with elected officials. Hewitt, who works for a defense contractor, feels government spending can be reeled in sensibly but says drastic cuts won't work for the country, just like it wouldn't work for your own family's budget.

"You could equate it to a family doing a budget, and you're told OK, take eight percent out of every line item in your family budget. Say you take eight percent out of your vacations, eight percent out of your car loan, eight percent out of your mortgage, eight percent out of your phone bill, just go down the list. Well, how long will you have a house if you only pay 92 percent of your mortgage every month? That's the situation we're in," he said.

Frank Hewitt is also the executive vice president of a local defense contractor called IntelliSolutions.

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