As a prominent analyst of the local economy, Stephen S. Fuller of George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis attracted plenty of attention when he estimated that the mandatory budget cuts coming in January could cost more than 2 million jobs nationwide, including nearly 450,000 in the District, Maryland and Virginia.
The conservative Cato Institute challenged those estimates — and let Fuller defend himself — at a debate last week.
Jobs have become a key discussion point when it comes to sequestration, or about $1 trillion in federal spending cuts set to take effect in January.
Local political leaders at all levels have worried these cuts will take a toll on the area’s workforce, which is very dependent on federally-funded jobs, whether it be direct government work or contracting.
Fuller’s work, commissioned by the Aerospace Industries Association, has been used by politicians and industry backers eager to get Congress to postpone the cuts.