The Department of Defense says failing to prevent the fiscal cliff would mean a slash of $500 billion from future defense spending. It could mean lost jobs, and could cause big problems for cities like DuPont.
“We’re very dependent on the military here,” said John Farrell, owner of Farrelli’s Woodfired Pizza.
If a deal in Washington isn’t reached, defense cuts would fall most heavily on civilian workers and contract employees.
DuPont’s city administrator says those account for a huge part of the people in the city.
If contract workers are cut, businesses say sales will be affected.
“I’m probably going to have to lay off some employees, if sales slow down, we may not have any other choice,” said Farrell.
According to Farrell, profits are already scarce during deployments or breaks when families leave town.
“If I go down, there’s going to be a lot of people going down with me,” he said.
With the future uncertain, Farrell hopes Congress can act fast.
“Quit dragging your heels, just get it done. Use some common sense, do what the people of America elected you to do,” he said.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord is the largest employer in Tacoma-Pierce County, accounting for more than 52,000 jobs. If the country falls over the fiscal cliff, residents worry DuPont may not be the only city devastated.