By: Pacific Business News

U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has released a memo that describes the effects of massive budget cuts in military spending if Congress and President Barack Obama can’t reach a deal to avert the fiscal cliff.09021-N-3610L-243

“If it occurs, sequestration will reduce our budgetary resources for the remainder of the fiscal year,” Panetta wrote. “These cuts, while significant and harmful to our collective mission as an agency, would not necessarily require immediate reductions in spending. Should we have to operate under reduced funding levels for an extended period of time, we may have to consider furloughs or other actions in the future.”

The Department of Defense is already reducing its budget by $487 billion over 10 years, and the additional cuts would mean slashing another $500 billion in defense spending.”

Hawaii and other states that depend so heavily on defense could be impacted severely, a report by the Center for Security Policy indicates.

If Congress and the president don’t come to terms on a deficit reduction plan by Jan. 1, automatic cuts totaling $1.2 trillion during the next 10 years are scheduled to go into effect.

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