Budget cuts to have devastating impact

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- Much of the talk about the fiscal cliff has been about the tax hikes that would affect nearly everyone, but the cuts in the "Budget Control Act" set to begin on January 1 could cut deep into the fabric of Connecticut.

Everyone knows that jet engines for the military is a big part of the Connecticut economy.

Thousands of good paying jobs are supported by jet engine orders and repairs for several sophisticated military aircraft at the Pratt and Whitney plants in East Hartford and Middletown.

And the other major 'United Technologies' defense contractor Sikorsky aircraft in Stratford.

Thousands more Connecticut jobs are connected to the production of nuclear powered submarines at General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton.

But the jobs picture is much bigger than just those three companies. There are over 1,000 smaller subcontractors supporting them for a total of over 101 thousand Connecticut jobs.

According to an analysis by the 'Defense Technology Initiative', the nearly 13 billion federal dollars on all these programs generated over 24 billion dollars to support all those jobs last year.

If the defense department budget cuts go into effect in January, it is estimated the jobs losses in Connecticut would exceed 36,000, income loss over a billion and a half dollars.

Pete Gioia is the top economist with the state's largest business organization.

"Even if it's half as bad as the report suggests, basically we've lost all the jobs that we've created in the last couple of years, so this is a real threat. It could very well de-rail recovery," Gioia of the CT Business & Industry Association said.

The uncertainty about what is going to be decided between the President and Congress about this over the next six weeks is causing Connecticut companies to postpone all decisions.

"They're all on hold because, frankly, everybody's indicated that no one knows whether those production lines are going to be increased or they're going to slow down," Elliot Ginsberg of the CT Center for Advanced Technology said.

Copyright 2014 WTNH TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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Connecticut (change)

Connecticut has 169 cities and towns, which serve as the fundamental local political subdivision of the state. Connecticut is the 5th of the original thirteen United States.
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