Monday, May 9, 2011
San Diego could be hit hard if the federal government can't agree to lift the debt ceiling.
A study of who would suffer if the federal government failed to raise the federal debt limit suggests San Diego stands to lose up to $17 billion per year
The analysis, by National University System’s Institute for Policy Research, shows 21 percent of the region’s gross domestic product comes from federal spending.
Erik Bruvald of NUSIPR said $36 billion in federal money flowed into San Diego in 2009, the latest available figures. The biggest chunk, 42 percent, goes to defense and military related spending. He said 33 percent goes to entitlement programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
“And then if people think if you just end welfare and some of the social safety net programs – well, in San Diego County, that only accounts for 2.1 percent of all federal spending," he said.
Bruvald believes if the government can not agree to raise the debt limit, some San Diegans are more at risk than others.
“Should wiser heads not prevail,” he said, “it would be the procurement contracts that would be the first put at risk, and then probably the second one would be Medicare reimbursement.”
Bruvald said San Diego’s defense contractors and the Post Office are probably most vulnerable to painful cuts, as the federal government approaches its debt ceiling.