60 Minutes Investigates Devastating Impact of Federal Job Cuts on Florida Community; Could Your Community Be Next?
This week, 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley investigated the impact of closing NASA’s space shuttle program on the citizens of Brevard County Florida – home of the Kennedy Space Center. Over several months of reporting, his findings were nothing short of devastating.
Thousands of federal workers, from crane operators to engineers and safety specialists, lost their livelihoods when the time-honored program was shuttered. More devastating, however, has been the ripple effect throughout the wider community. Without thousands of good paying federal jobs contributing to the local economy, scores of local businesses have been forced to close their doors, and send their own workers to the unemployment rolls.
“This is a perfect case study in the impact of federal jobs cuts on communities throughout the United States,” said NFFE National President William R. Dougan, “When members of Congress tout reckless plans to cut hundreds of thousands of federal jobs – as the House Republicans have recently proposed – they are putting more than just government jobs on the line. Budget cuts like these would bring the Brevard County to experience to thousands of communities across America. We cannot allow that to happen.”
The proposal Dougan references is the House Republicans’ Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Resolution, which passed the House of Representatives just over a week ago. Included in the GOP spending plan are federal 200,000 job cuts over three years, a three-year extension of the federal pay freeze, and a severe reduction in employee retirement benefits. Taken together, these cuts would be the last straw for scores of families and communities still reeling from the Great Recession.
“The greatest misunderstanding about federal job cuts is that they don’t impact people working in the private sector or outside of the Washington, D.C. area, but that could not be further from the truth,” said Dougan. “Eighty-five percent of federal workers live and work outside of the Washington metropolitan area, from Florida to Alaska and everywhere in between. When these workers lose their jobs, families suffer, businesses suffer, and communities across America suffer. The ripple effect is enormous.”
We cannot allow our country to enter a race to the bottom. Cutting hundreds of thousands of federal jobs would do just that. If we want save our jobs and our communities, we need to take an active role, and tell Congress where we stand. Call Congress using the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121, and take a stand for your future.