Sequestration: What It Means to You

FlickrEveryone's talking right now about sequestration, a confusing term that essentially means $85 billion in cuts will automatically go into effect at the end of this week if lawmakers can't come to some sort of last-minute compromise.

The problem with sequestration isn't that it cuts spending -- because I think we'd all agree that the government needs to cut spending. It's that no one has any input as to where and how those cuts are made. Sequestration means that every agency loses funding -- period.

And these automatic cuts will affect pretty much all of us in some very frustrating ways.

Sequestration was introduced in 2011 as a way to force lawmakers to come to a compromise. The theory was that sequestration would be so awful, no one on Capitol Hill would want it to happen, and they'd do whatever it took to come to an agreement before the sequestration deadline.

Ha ha. Think again.

In a post on Slate, John Dickerson explains the disagreement between Democrats and Republicans very well:

The two parties need to come to an agreement on how to spur economic growth to spread prosperity and reduce the budget deficit. The president believes growth comes from a balance of tax increases, investment, and spending reductions. Republicans believe growth comes through lower taxes and spending reductions, which in turn will spur companies to hire and invest. The president believes that taxes should increase as a matter of fairness because the system is tilted in favor of the wealthy and well-connected. Republicans believe that the federal government is already taking an unfair amount of taxes from everyone.

Here are just a few of the ways the automatic budget cuts are expected to affect us if they go into effect March 1:

-800,000 civilian Defense Department employees could be forced to go on unpaid leave.

-Funding to national parks will be cut, resulting in fewer hours for public visitors and reduced trash collection. Ew.

-The Federal Aviation Administration would have to furlough 600,000 employees, meaning longer waits in the security line at the airport and more time on the tarmac, with fewer air traffic controllers on staff.

-Benefits under the military's Tricare health insurance program for active military personnel and veterans are expected to be cut.

-600,000 women and children receiving assistance from the federal Women, Infants, and Children program are expected to stop receiving help.

-Obviously, the economy in general is expected to suffer as people react to the cuts and stop spending money.

I'm all for finding smart ways to reduce spending, but this sequestration business is ridiculous. At one point will Congress find a way to work together and start coming up with real solutions?

This is getting ridiculous!

Do you think sequestration will really happen at the end of the week, or do you think another last-minute miracle will occur on Capitol Hill?

Want to discuss this issue in more detail? "Like" our Moms Matter Facebook page and join in the debate over there. It's always VERY passionate!


Image via Keithreifsnyder/Flickr

politics, moms matter

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Melan... MelanieJK

This is what happens if you don't CHOOSE to KEEP your spending under control (i.e. in line with your refenue).    At some point it's no longer your choice,   you just run out of money.    Too bad if it's at that point that you decide to pay attention to what your priorities are.


Every other entity has had to get their spending under control.     Local and state governments,   companies and individuals have all tightened their belts.     Taxing anyone so the Fed can just keep spending recklessly is obscene.  


No one is suggesting that the Feds don't have a lot of critical functions that need to be funded but that's no excuse for out of control spending.    

Ada Luz Vargas Gonzalez

I think that republicans and democrats need to stop acting like children and take their heads out of their asses and start working on a budget! Why do we have to suffer because the people we put in the senate can't comprise on a way to fix this problem, i think they should try living on a salary like the middle class and stop spending so much on stupid things that have no meaning.

the4m... the4mutts

Okay, most wont agree with me here, but I honestly feel this way... I believe the President is spouting compromise, but running interference to keep a deal from being made. He WANTS our economy in the toilet, so he can keep people sucking the government tit, keeping the people under their thumb.

Doomy234 Doomy234

I can think of a few places we could make cuts. How about make the senators and reps take a severe pay cut to the yearly salary of a middle class citizen, then maybe most will see what it takes to earn a damn dollar in this economy? I have a feeling that they'd look for a solution REAL quick...

Emelia Anne King

Honestly??? If they are up against sequestration, it really should start with their own pay! How many of us civilians would continue to get paid for not doing our jobs?

Robin Pardue Sloan

I think they need to cut the salary of those over paid, pompous windbags in Washington!!!! If they had to stick to a budget lust like a normal household has to do then maybe they would learn what it means to keep spending under control and do without something because the extra money just isn't there to pay for it--like normal families have to do. We can't just run to our neighbor with our hand out because we spent more than we made that month so why should they make us pay and do without because they spent too much money on STUPID BS that we the people didn't want to begin with.

Amber Tuschak Vogel

Actually there's a proposal from the GOP that would allow each agency to choose the cuts in order to make them as painless as possible but the Dems are ignoring it. Obama keeps going on & on about these "devestating" cuts but they're less than 3% of the total budget & don't have to be arbitrary, thus certainly shouldn't be anything close to devestating!

Zenia6 Zenia6

Every representative and senator needs to STOP running for reelection and start doing the job they currently hold. Democrats, republicans, independents, libertarians, conservatives & liberals ALL need to quit posturing for the press and figure out where the money is coming from. Once they have a budget in place they can go back to playing the blame game.

belon... belongs2Jesus

 "


the4mutts 

 


on Feb 26, 2013 at 11:11 AM

Okay, most wont agree with me here, but I honestly feel this way... I believe the President is spouting compromise, but running interference to keep a deal from being made. He WANTS our economy in the toilet, so he can keep people sucking the government tit, keeping the people under their thumb.."


 


 


bump

belon... belongs2Jesus

all of this following the governments pay raises. Makes ya think they planned it.

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