The upcoming deadline for the “fiscal cliff” fast approaches and South Carolina will be directly affected by the military spending cuts imposed by the sequestration. However, a new study shows the dangers it can do to the entire country’s economy should the sequestration of military bases push through.
On a state level, South Carolina’s military activities, namely non-combat ones, contribute at least $15.7 billion yearly into the state’s economy. According to retired Major General William Holland, the executive coordinator of the S.C. Military Base Task force, the sequestration can affect the local communities, the military itself and the state’s economy if it pushes through.
The report from Commerce states that eight major bases create more than 138,000 jobs in South Carolina that generates $7.2 billion in the total yearly payroll. The report was used by the Task Force to show the military’s economic impact in South Carolina and how it affects the entire state’s economy.
Joint Base Charleston generates 38,000 jobs and injects at least $4.35 billion. The Space and Naval Warfare Command Center in Hanahan supports 27,492 jobs and generates $3.378 billion in income. Fort Jackson in Columbia has 19,834 jobs and creates a revenue of $2.012 billion. Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter has 16,445 jobs that generates $1.752 billion. The Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort, The Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, the McEntire Joint National Guard Base and The Naval Hospital Beaufort in Port Royal all generate amounts below $1 billion but not lower than $100 million in income.
The military asks that any base closures , realignments and losses in missions due to the sequestration can directly affect the livelihood in South Carolina. Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom, who is Chairman of the Task Force, states that the bases are less expensive to operate and have low negative impact on their surrounding communities.
Source: The State