DATE: December 4, 2012
TO: Board of Supervisors
SUBJECT: OPPOSING FEDERAL SEQUESTRATION (DISTRICTS: ALL)
San Diego County is fortunate to have a diverse economy supported in large part by the military, tourism, healthcare, the technology sector and our tremendous academic institutions. We are also fortunate to have a county government that approaches governance responsibly, providing critical programs and services while respecting the taxpayers of this region by keeping taxes low, maintaining a balanced budget and holding adequate reserves. Despite our greatest efforts to be self-sufficient, we recognize that local government and our regional economy relies heavily on the politics in Washington, D.C. Unfortunately, this Congress has pushed San Diego County and the rest of the country against a fiscal cliff. Congress' only solution for deficit reduction thus far has been to enact across-the-board cuts in domestic discretionary and defense spending, otherwise known as sequestration.
Today's action will put the County of San Diego on record in joining local governments across our region, state and the nation in opposing sequestration. We urge Congress and the President to set aside partisan politics and consider a balanced approach to addressing federal deficit reduction, in order to avoid irresponsible across-the-board sequestration reductions.
CHAIRMAN ROBERTS AND VICE CHAIRMAN COX
Direct the Chief Administrative Officer to draft a letter for the Chairman’s signature to the President of the United States and all members of our local congressional delegation, urging them to set aside partisan politics and consider a balanced approach to addressing federal deficit reduction, in order to avoid irresponsible across-the-board sequestration reductions.
There is no fiscal impact.
Business Impact Statement
Advisory Board Statement
The economic prosperity of our region is threatened by the politics of Washington, D.C. In Fiscal Year 2012, nearly one-third of federal spending is borrowed. The federal debt-ceiling has been raised seven times in the last four years in order to accommodate our growing federal debt, which now stands at nearly $16 trillion. The Budget Control Act of 2011 provided net deficit reductions of $900 billion and set the stage for the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (“Super Committee”) to identify at least $1.5 trillion in extra savings over 10 years, which it did not accomplish. As a result, Congress’ only solution for deficit reduction thus far has been to enact across-the-board cuts in domestic discretionary and defense spending, otherwise known as sequestration, which takes effect January 2, 2013 if no agreement is reached.
Sequestration will enact across-the-board cuts totaling $109.3 billion per year for the next ten years, split evenly between domestic discretionary and defense spending. San Diego County, which is home to the largest concentration of military personnel in the country, benefits from an estimated total of $20.6 billion of direct defense spending. The county services we provide through Health and Human Services, Housing and Community Development and other departments rely heavily on federal funding, which account for $898.1 million, or 18.5% of our County budget. Across-the-board cuts to domestic discretionary and defense spending will have an unknown but significant impact on the regional economy and the government services we provide, and still will not come close to fixing the federal deficit.
I urge your support in sending a message to Congress and the Administration to work in a bipartisan fashion to stop sequestration and consider a balanced approach in addressing deficit reduction. Washington, D.C., must put its fiscal house in order with a sense of balance and fairness, and consider all options for deficit reduction.