Gov. Bentley Warns Alabama Will Lose 24,000 Jobs To Sequestration

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DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) - Governor Robert Bentley says Alabama stands to lose some 24,000 jobs if members of Congress fail to reach an agreement on the so-called fiscal cliff. Speaking in Decatur today, Gov. Bentley says North Alabama will be especially hard hit, and warns of another possible recession.

"And they gave us the number of 24-thousand jobs that would be lost in this state if this takes place," Bentley said. He added, "It will certainly hurt the economy in Alabama and I think it will particularily hurt the economy in North Alabama because many of the jobs are tied to federal money."

Midnight, December 31st is when we'll reach this so-called fiscal cliff. Thats when the terms of the Budget Control Act of 2011 go into effect. It will mean:

  • The end of last year's temporary payroll tax cut, which means a 2% tax increase for workers,
  • The end of certain tax breaks for businesses,
  • Shifts in the alternative minimum tax, another increase,
  • The end of the Bush-era tax cuts for individuals, and
  • The beginning of taxation related to President Obama's Health Care Plan.

"Now, will we get over it? Yes, we'll get over it because America is stronger than any administration and any difficulty that we have to go through. However it will hurt us because we are in somewhat of a depressed state right now and we've been that way for the last 4 or 5 years," Gov. Bentley said.

Gov. Bentley says he is not optimistic that Congress might reach an agreement to stave off the tax hikes. He says more than a thousand federal programs, including defense and Medicaid, are in line for deep, automatic cuts.