Brian Reisinger

Nashville Business Journal

You’ve heard the drumbeat about how big of a hit U.S. defense spending would take under “sequestration,” the automatic cuts coming if the U.S. Congress doesn’t reach a budget deal. A new study looks at what those cuts could mean for the Tennessee economy.

A study out today from The Center for Security Policy states that Tennessee businesses enjoyed $3.53 billion in primary defense contracts in 2011. The group warns that sequestration would mean an 18 percent cut to that pie, and reports that Rep. Jim Cooper‘s Nashville district did $123.5 million in such business.

All this deserves context: The group is in favor of protecting defense spending, and Congress is weighing that priority against the safety net for the poor and elderly as well as a range of changes to the tax code. Cooper, a Democrat, is among those searching for a way to broker a bipartisan deal.

The Center for Security Policy, based off of its tabulation of business done in Tennessee and its congressional districts, projects an $809 million cut in the state’s gross domestic product.


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