Report indicates sequester will have heavy impact on DC area
I keep reading that sequestration is greatly exaggerated and that the cuts coming from sequestration are really nothing to worry about. Who is doing all this prediction? Why Republicans of course. The White House is being accused of fear-mongering and creating hype and a sky is falling environment. Why would Republicans say that? Probably because they know what caused this impasse. It all goes back to the brinkmanship of the debt ceiling crisis in July 2011. The sequester was a compromise reached so budge the house Republicans who would not vote to raise the debt ceiling. The alternative was to default on our debts.
The defense cuts are just one side of the sequester. There are also looming cuts that will impact our daily lives.
A state by state report warns of the following if sequestration happens this Friday. According to the Washington Post:
In the Washington region, hub of the federal government, the upcoming automatic spending cuts the Obama administration detailed Sunday would strike a tough blow, with nearly 150,000 civilian Defense Department employees facing furloughs and an estimated average loss of $7,500 in pay.
Under sequestration, which is days away if a deal cannot be reached, funding for elementary and secondary education across the region would be slashed by $29 million, jeopardizing nearly 400 teacher and aide positions. Nearly 6,000 fewer children would be vaccinated for such diseases as measles, mumps and whooping cough. More than 31,000 fewer tests for HIV would be provided, and funds for local meals for seniors would be cut by nearly $2.3 million.
Scientific projects would be delayed at the National Institutes of Health, where research awards would be scaled back and several thousand people could lose their jobs. Across Maryland, Virginia and the District, job-search assistance would be cut, potentially leaving more than 33,000 people without such help.
The cuts in federal spending would affect the Washington economy in multiple ways, including potential job growth, said economist Anirban Basu of Sage Policy Group in Baltimore.
“If this is a big deal nationally, it’s a bigger deal in the Washington metropolitan area,” Basu said, noting that Virginia, Maryland and the District are “among the most reliant communities in the nation on federal spending.
None of the above sounds like anything we want for our region. In fact, it is down-right scary. How will the sequester affect parks and museums? will trash pick up cut back? How about museum guards? Park and Capitol police? What about food inspections? Will TSA and cargo inspection be reduced? What are some of the many things we take for granted that might be impacted?
We might very quickly learn what the rest of nation went through a few years ago during the crash. We might be getting our very own crash, just in case we in the DC area missed hardship.
I am tired of folks who really don’t have the background scoffing at our concerns. Next they will be telling us its all our imagination or that they feel our pain. It’s easy to sound bite “stop spending.” Its a great deal more difficult to start cutting programs and funding when it involves real people and real concerns. The sequester was never supposed to happen. It was a compromise that people thought would never happen.
The President is has told us that he will protect social security and not raise taxes on the middle class. Apparently the Republicans have other ideas.