Monday, February 25, 2013
SAN DIEGO The region's travel and tourism industry could have a rough landing if federal lawmakers fail to avoid the deep budget cuts linked to the sequester.
The San Diego region's military will suffer the most from federal budget cuts looming at the end of the week, but other economic sectors will suffer as well, including tourism.
The Federal Aviation Administration will be forced to cut $600 million out of its budget if the sequester isn't avoided. Employees will be furloughed, some air traffic control towers will close or cut their hours and air travelers will feel the pinch.
San Diego attracts 32 million visitors a year and the visitor industry employs 160,000 people. That could shrink if federal cutbacks make it too difficult to fly here.
Federal budget cuts will cut a much wider swath through the San Diego economy.
"Now is not the time to cut back on spending in a radical fashion with the recovery still being slow and fragile. And, that the spending cuts that are slotted to occur this year are probably not good for our economic growth," said Eric Bruvold, president of the National University System Institute for Policy Research.
The sequester is just the first budget deadline coming up in March. Federal lawmakers also have to vote on a continuing resolution at the end of the month.