Despite budget cuts and anti-government rhetoric in Congress, Maryland officials say the two huge federal agencies based in Woodlawn — which have long helped buoy the region's economy — may be better positioned than others to ride out the political turbulence expected over the next several years.
An aging baby boomer generation should insulate the Social Security Administration and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services from looming cuts, economists say. And there will be even more work at the Medicare-Medicaid office, known as CMS, if the nation's new health care law takes effect.
The fate of the two agencies, which have been based in Baltimore County for decades, will have a significant impact on the entire regional economy. Social Security has more than 10,000 workers in the county, making it the fifth-largest employer in the region — bigger than Northrop Grumman or Walmart, for example — state figures show. ...
Though there is not a great deal of development immediately surrounding the campus today, economists say the two agencies have a major impact on the region's economy.
"Many Baltimoreans don't even realize that our region has been very fortunate throughout the downturn," said Anirban Basu, chairman and chief executive officer of the Sage Policy Group. "It's something we take for granted."I don't live there but it is obvious to me that those in the Baltimore region take having Social Security's headquarters in their midst for granted and the Baltimore Sun is itself a huge reason. It's your largest employer, for goodness sake! If you ignored Johns Hopkins the way you ignore Social Security, people would think you were nuts. This is important. Being ignored by local media can only give Social Security headquarters employees the impression that what they do is unimportant. That cannot be good for employee morale.