Defense Cuts Come Home to Roost -- In Virginia

Virginia state capitol in Richmond. Virginia state capitol in Richmond. Flickr user Matt' Johnson

Untangling a state's economy from the capricious nature of federal spending has been many a governor's goal. For Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, that quest has found new urgency. He told lawmakers in Richmond Friday morning that the state is looking at a $2.4 billion hole in its budget over the next three years. 

According to a Washington Post report, McAuliffe said Defense Department cuts resulting from sequestration were largely responsible for the shortfall: 

“While traditionally Virginia’s economy parallels or outpaces the national economy, we are now seeing that as the national economy begins to grow, our economy is suffering disproportionately due to federal government spending cuts.” 

The Defense Department furloughed nearly 90,000 employees in Virginia alone -- 2.4 percent of jobs in the state, according to a 2013 report in the New York Times. Federal spending on procurement, salaries and wages accounted for nearly 20 percent of the state's gross domestic product.

According to the Post, McAuliffe pledged to develop a "new Virginia economy" that could withstand the whims of federal spending.   

(Image via Flickr user Matt' Johnson)


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