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If 'Sequester' Budget Cuts Go Through, White House To Hit New York State Hard

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Just eight days remain before we could go over the next fiscal cliff in Washington, and CBS 2 has learned that in New York alone the job losses would be widespread, and painful.

Teachers axed, emergency workers defunded, fewer customs and Transportation Security Administration agents, which could mean longer lines at the airport, are just some of the doom and gloom cuts the White House is promising if Congress doesn't stop the automatic budget cuts known as "sequester," Marcia Kramer reported on Thursday.

"I don't know why it is in this town that folks wait to do stuff until the last minute. There's no other profession, no other industry, where people wait until the 11th hour to solve these big problems," President Barack Obama said.

The president has been on a shame offensive to get reluctant House Republicans to agree to more tax hikes to offset some of the cuts, but others said no to more taxes and want the size of government slashed.

"Not only should the sequester stand, many pundits say the sequester falls short," said Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).

The $1.2 trillion in cuts include $46 billion from the military budget. one cut, officials said, is that as many as 700,000 civilians could be furloughed one day a week for almost half the year, and that it will affect "local commands and will be felt in the local communities all over the United States and clearly all over the globe," said Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Jessica Wright.

That means New York residents.

Sources told Kramer that in New York State nearly 2,300 civilian military employees could be furloughed, at a loss of $17 million in wages. That includes 190 at the Westhampton Beach Air National Guard Base and 300 at Stewart Air Force Base in Newburgh.

"But we can't keep bouncing from crisis to crisis to crisis. Democrats and Republicans have to meet in the middle and come up with a plan that puts us on a sound footing for the next several years," New York Sen. Charles Schumer said.

In the bi-partisan fight the Democrats argue that the cuts would hurt the already weak economy. Some economists say it would halt economic growth and increase unemployment. Republicans say hiking taxes would hurt the economy, too.

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