Media Coverage

Boston Globe: UMass studies fuel the debate on defense cuts

The Boston Globe profiled two different economic studies released by two separate institutes at UMass, which are fueling opposite sides of the debate on how to bolster the economy in the face of looming budget cuts.

A report on the impact that defense cuts would have on the Massachusetts economy was recently released by the UMass Donahue Institute’s Economic and Public Policy Research group. Partially funded by Waltham-based defense contractor, Raytheon, the Donahue Institute report found that thousands of jobs across the state would be lost if and when the Budget Control Act of 2011, which mandates nearly $1 trillion in defense cuts over the next decade, is enacted in its current form.

Another study, completed by the UMass Amherst Political Economy Research Institute and funded by Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Ben Cohen, found that for every billion dollars spent on defense, between 50 to 140 percent more jobs would be generated if that money were invested in education, clean energy, or the health care industry.

While both studies examined the concept of job creation and loss, they approached very different questions in the broad issue of defense spending. Nevertheless, they are being embraced in Washington as counter-arguments in the debate of how to create a sustainable jobs strategy.

The article quotes Marty Romitti, director of Economic and Public Policy Research at the Donahue Institute. “Like a lot of universities, you end up working with different clientele. Defense has become a recurring theme for us.’’

Read article: UMass studies fuel the debate on defense cuts

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