JACKSONVILLE - The meaning of "sequestration" may be just as daunting as the word.
In short, if Congress doesn't act by March 1, massive spending cuts could go into effect. That could mean cutbacks for the military. But military officials aboard Camp Lejeune say the 2013 fiscal year budget is financially set, and they don't foresee any immediate impact, should sequestration happen.
Lt. Col. Gary Rotsch says military readiness is the Marine Corps' primary focus. He says in the long term, however, possible military spending cuts could affect equipment readiness.
For example, he says maintenance to equipment Marines use for training may not be done as frequently.
Sequestration hits home with Jacksonville and Onslow County. Assistant City Manager Ron Massey said the community could see the effects of possible spending cuts within a few months.
"From a city standpoint, we will look more closely at our revenues," Massey said. "We will be probably a little more conservative on expending funds that are not time sensitive."
The Department of the Navy says military officials are already trying to save money.
For example, the Navy isn't hiring civilian workers. There's also the possibility of up to 22 civilian furlough days. The Navy may also cut back on the number of ships and aircraft being sent overseas in deployment.
Ret. Marine Matthew Bass said the government must do what's best for the country's safety and economy.
"Are we in a military state now where we can afford to cut the military and have our adversaries looking at us as one of the weaker countries?" Bass asked. "Your military has to stay strong. But at the same time, as being a democracy, you have to take care of our own."
Shaun Reilly said the government should pick and choose where spending cuts are made, instead of cutting spending on all qualifying programs.
"[The government spends] a lot of their money on nonsense, to be honest," Reilly said. "If you look and see what they spend their money on, it's ridiculous."
If you're interested in seeing what local officials have to say about the matter, click on these links below:
Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-NC 3rd District)
Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC)
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