5 things the federal sequester won't touch

So far, the Obama administration can't seem to give a concrete example of any changes taking place after March 1.

By Kim Peterson Feb 20, 2013 3:37PM
Image: Social Security Card (Tom Grill/Photographers Choice RF/Getty Images)The Obama administration and Congressional lawmakers are warning of dire consequences when the "sequester" takes effect in eight days. But the reality is that nothing much will happen at first.

March 1 is officially the starting date for some $85 billion in federal budget cuts to kick in unless Democrats and Republicans can negotiate a way out. But talks are stalled, leading the president to plan a cross-country road trip of sorts to try to shame Republicans into action, Politico reports.

Republicans aren't doing much right now, telling reporters that they passed a bill in the House to replace the cuts, Politico reports. But that bill has expired because it was passed last Congress. In fact, some Republicans are quite happy with the sequester as is.

Congress is taking the week off for its Presidents Day recess.

But for all the doom-and-gloom talk about how the country will suffer under the sequester, many of the federal services people are accustomed to will remain in place, Reuters reports. In fact, senior members of the Obama administration couldn't give the news service concrete examples of any changes taking place after March 1.

Here are five government programs that will largely remain untouched:

Social Security. Checks will still arrive on time at the beginning of every month. Disability payments will continue as well.

Medicare. The elderly and the disabled will still see Medicare benefits. There will not be any change to the Part D low-income premium and cost-sharing subsidies, either.

Military readiness. The Defense Department can shift funds around to make sure that combat and military readiness capabilities remain strong. Soldiers will still get paid.

Medicaid and Veterans Affairs compensation.
No change, according to the AARP.

OK, so what could get hit then? Lawmakers say that across-the-board cuts will eventually take place between March 1 and Sept. 30, which is when the federal fiscal year ends. According to Reuters, here are the main areas that could see cuts:

Federal payroll. The government will probably give affected employees 30-day warnings of impending furloughs. But those employees would probably only see a maximum of 22 days in furlough during those seven months.

Government contracts. The sequester could limit the government's ability to green-light new construction and defense contracts.

Medical research. Labs that need federal money to operate may have to cut back on spending.

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Feb 20, 2013 5:34PM

I think Obama is an idiot................. thumb up

I think Obama is a genius,,,,,,,,,,,,,.thumb down

Feb 20, 2013 3:43PM
LOL the idiots are getting just what they deserve for voting him in.
Feb 20, 2013 4:03PM
85 billion in cuts?   We have a 1.2 trillion dollar deficit...  We need to cut  12 times that much!

The imbecile Obama got his tax increases on the 'Rich', notice you must be considered rich if your taxes went up....

Now it is time to CUT SPENDING.... 85 billion is less than 1/10th of what needs to be cut.
Feb 20, 2013 5:14PM
congressional pensions health care and pensions?

With all of the rhetoric from members of Congress . . . it made me go back to my US Government text book to look at the roles of the different branches of government . . . 


Legislative: Headed by Congress, which includes the House of Representatives and the Senate. The main task of these two bodies is to make the laws. Its powers include passing laws, originating spending bills (House), impeaching officials (Senate), and approving treaties (Senate).


The next Congressman who gets on TV to say they are waiting for the Pres to take leadership on any issue should immediately be fired. Are our Congressman not elected "Leaders"? Our President is not a Congressman!!! Dems & Repubs need to Sequester themselves in a room and do their jobs . . . i.e. get laws to the President to sign, not vice versa. If you need to wait on the Pres to to create laws then why on earth are we paying you?

Feb 20, 2013 4:38PM
People who voted for Obama will not be hurt.  They will still get their "entitilements". Welfare, housing, others will not be touched.  Lets cut those benefits 20% also.....The people who will be hurt are workers not moochers....if this flies, I will vote against every current office holder.  Issue is, Obama cannot run again, so what does he care.
Feb 20, 2013 5:49PM
Sure wish they would quit the finger pointing and get things done. What difference does it make if you're Dem or GOP?  Do believe they were elected to do the will of the people and not to have an attitude.
Feb 20, 2013 6:10PM
social security is what i earned and paid for vet benefits i earned  they are not "entitlements" just cut benefits for those folks that take 10 day  break when they should be earning what we as taxpayers pay them to do or fire them when they cut there "entitlements" then maybe just maybe i may think about mine
Feb 20, 2013 5:41PM

Oh no - Not another Obama Blame & Shame tour.


Obama has sunk to a new low now using scare tactics to try to convince voters to allow him to continue his gluttonous spending unchecked. 


Even if the sequester takes place, Obama is on track to spend more this year than last, and will continue to borrow over .60 cents on every dollar spent by the government.  As the article states "In fact, senior members of the Obama administration couldn't give the news service concrete examples of any changes taking place after March 1." 


(Reminder - When voting against the debt ceiling increase in 2006, then Sen. Obama said: “America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership.” On Jul 3, 2008, he further said that another increase in the debt ceiling was “irresponsible and unpatriotic.”)  So.... according to Obama's own analysis, he himself is “irresponsible and unpatriotic.” 


WTF - I seriously can't understand why anyone still believes a word this shameless liar says.

Feb 20, 2013 6:00PM
The "Sequestration" was actually the idea of the Senate Majority Leader ( Reid ) and the POTUS, as an attempt to scare the House into giving in to additional unfunded appropriations.
Feb 20, 2013 5:53PM
impeach washington none of them are worth the damn anyway
Feb 20, 2013 4:48PM
For those here who don't seem to understand the sequester, I suggest, go to your search engine and enter: "Understanding The Sequester — In 4 Great Infographics" in the query box.
Oh, like it is the voter's fault?  Or, like it is the President's fault?  It is partially the fault of a political process that has people in office who do not represent the interests of the people, but, instead, represent the interests of special interest groups, and lobbyists.  It is partially the fault of people who do not know how to think together, and solve problems together, and form consensus together.  It is partially the fault of people who are so enamored with themselves, and their short-sighted views of economics, reality and their fellow man, that they can't, or won't extend themselves beyond their shallow little ruts of (mis) understanding, and try to comprehend that it is possible to co-create a better world where not only the rich prosper and have rights, but so does everybody else.  Ultimately, much of the blame lies in the past, with some real idiocy on the part of past presidents, politicians, and the voters that voted them in, but, ultimately, the blame lies on the idiocy of the population of a country who does not follow its own history, read unbiased news accounts of world and national affairs, and pull its collective shallow, hypnotized mind out of Iphones and IPads long enough to form  intelligent thoughts, and create intelligent sentences to communicate to, and educate,  America's children with.  It is time to tie all Congressional wages and benefits to the middle classes average wage and benefit structure, so these people in the positions of power know, or remember, the nature of the lives of the people that they are supposed to be representing.  As the fortunes of the middle class go up, so goes the Congresses.  As the wages go down, as they are now, so goes Congresses.  When Congress finally passes the socially responsible, and, ultimately, economically responsible tax reforms that are necessary to stimulate our country's economy, such as stopping providing tax breaks for outsourcing labor to foreign countries (how much taxes do the Hindus pay into US coffers?  How much taxes do the Chinese or Malaysians pay into US coffers?).  Congress has betrayed the United States for over 30 years, and it is collective treason against our National interests.  It is only the rich, or the hypnotized, that would tell us otherwise.
Feb 20, 2013 5:32PM
This whole mess is because the ultraliberals and POTUS agreed to cut spending by $900 billion over 10 years if they could have a borrowing increase of $900 billion.  They have now spent the entire $900 billion and not one cent has been cut from spending.  Now it is time to pay the bill and they are talking about the full faith and credit of the USA and first responders being cut.  Malarkey, it is scare tactics for the public.  The vast majority of police and firemen are not employed by the Feds and they can pay the interest on the national debt with no problem.  They just need to waste less on the EPA and green energy to do that.  We are talking about 85 billion in cuts, not well placed cuts, but cuts and over the entire year.  The Fed invents that much money every month.  Putting the withholding back on was more than that, but everyone acts like this 85 billion will be the end of the world.  Baloney!  The cuts need to happen and I hope they do.  Maybe they will be more careful with next years cuts, but I hope they happen too.  They spent the money, now we need the cuts.  A deal is a deal.
Feb 20, 2013 5:50PM
Most are well educated with extreme intelligence, but no common sense.
Feb 20, 2013 7:04PM
The Whitehouse is using scare tactics to avoid the sequester. It's only 85 billion on a 4 trillion dollar budget, a drop in the bucket.. Cut the 150 billion green energy program that's nothing but a complete political hoax. 
Feb 20, 2013 6:27PM

The president is on record stating that there would be no way to wriggle out of it. Speaker Boehner is on record as saying he got "98%" of what he wanted.They all agreed to the Sequestration that the Supercolliding Supercommittee came up with, so BOTH Parties,Congress AND the President, are responsible for it. It's pointless to bicker any more about who OWNS it. We all do. Now DO something.



Feb 20, 2013 6:43PM

Its all a Obama manufacture crisis and I for one hope it happens,you see Obama signed this into action back in 2011 and now hes tyring to blame everyone but his Obama self for this mess!

Cut The Budget, but try making one first,cut the military no wya theres a war on and the gays would lose their jobs, sequester won't effect anyone but the ones with low IQ's aka Obama voters and the media types!

Obama talks and all we hear is blah blah LIE,blah,LIE,Lie,Lie.

Excuse me I have a skeet shooting lesson!

One condom and Obama wouldn't be in office!!

Feb 20, 2013 7:05PM
Frankly, I am growing old on the 'pissing on each other's shoes' rhetoric between the President and the Congress.  Sequestration is doing exactly what was expected when it was placed into law!  I for one want the sequestration cuts to take place - it will clearly highlight the waste in government spending (the media will be on the lookout for every penny misspent), it is the first step in the dismantling of the federal civil service - a service that is in need of reform, and it will serve as a catalyst for industry takeover of many roles and in turn reduce future spending for such work (UPS/Fed-ex vice USPS is a stunning example).  I just hope both sides continue to stick to their guns and don't fold on their position and the cuts to be enacted.  What a rush....
Feb 20, 2013 7:04PM

Seriously? Little or no effect? The defense department has always been the target of Obama-he approved the sequester in the first place remember?  Those 22 days that civil service loses amount to a 20% pay reduction for the rest the year!  How many of you out there would be happy with a 20reduction in your pay? Many many people will go bankrupt and there will be a huge ripple effect as well.

The average worker I know takes home about much less than the 60,000 I so often hear quoted by the media. The effect to DoD is huge so don't downplay it!

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