On March 1, the $85 billion collection of budget cuts known as the sequester could wipe out federal programs at such varied places as national parks, the Pentagon and the FBI. Hidden among those cuts are reductions in services that are crucial to Americans’ everyday lives—education, health care and jobs. The Guardian tells us what to expect.
The cuts are a consequence of the so-called fiscal cliff deal reached by lawmakers led by Republicans John Boehner and Mitch McConnell with President Obama late last year. A majority of the cuts—$47 billion worth—would hit defense programs. But the public would feel the $9.9 billion cut from Medicare and the $27.8 billion reduction in “domestic discretionary programs” most.
A full detailing of those programs can be seen in a “thorough but largely unreadable report” published last summer by the White House. The Guardian’s Heidi Moore writes that “[t]here are so many programs implicated in the sequester that it would take months, and a team of data scientists” to determine which will be hardest hit.
Some facts are known, however. For example, public housing subsidies would be slashed by $1.9 billion, “just as the costs for household items like food and gas rise.” Some estimates say those reductions could hurt about 125,000 poor families. A few details on health care, education and jobs are available as well.
Click through to get the rest of the story at The Guardian.
—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.
Overall, about $1.3bn will be cut from the education budget, which will start hitting schools this fall. According to an analysis last summer by Tom Harkin, educational programs for disadvantaged children are likely to be harder hit, with a loss of $2.7bn.
… In other health concerns, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will see its budget cut by $350m if the sequester goes through. That will reduce a lot of preventative or diagnostic care, like thousands of fewers breast cancer screenings, flu vaccines and HIV tests.
… The sequester may ... end 750,000 jobs, according to the Congressional Budget Office. ThinkProgress, a thinktank, roughly backs that number up with an independent analysis. Macroeconomic Advisers predicts the effect will be to raise the unemployment rate, and since those jobs are not coming back, it predicts, “the higher unemployment would linger for several years.”
James Bowe (CC BY 2.0)