The Sequester Is In Effect, But There’s Still Hope
Oh well… the sequester happened. Right now, we’re staring down the path towards $85 billion in spending cuts. Yesterday, President Obama emphasized, once again, that these cuts are unnecessary and to the detriment of our ongoing recovery. But with a Congressional commitment to compromise, this money will disappear from the budgets of many government agencies and programs. And with the money, many much-needed jobs will disappear. He signed an order yesterday to put the cuts into effect.
This morning, the President was back at it, asking Congress to get it together. Even though the ball has started rolling, the government can stop it before we actually feel the impact. The impasse is over how to cut the budget deficit and bring down the $16 trillion national debt, which got to that level in part because of the years-long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“The Democratic president wants to close the fiscal gap with spending cuts and tax hikes – what he calls a ‘balanced approach.’ But Republicans do not want to concede again on taxes after doing so in negotiations over the ‘fiscal cliff’ at the New Year,” reports the AP. Obama quoted economists today, saying 750,000 jobs could be in jeopardy. As of right now, there’s no compromise on the horizon.
The article quotes a Reuters/Ipsos study that finds 28 percent of Americans blame the Republicans for this mess, and 18 percent blame Obama.
ABC News breaks down all the ways that the sequester will effect government agencies and our daily lives. Among them: less pay for defense department civilian workers and other federal staff; less investment in preventing cyberattacks; fewer food safety inspections; fewer runways at the airport (therefore fewer flights and longer waits); and cuts of children in Head Start programs.
Solving the problem is more important than placing blame, but who or what do you think is most responsible for this mess?