The sequester hits the poor especially hard
Nearly 4 million unemployed workers will see a cut to their weekly benefits, according to a recent report.
According to organization, about 3.8 million long-term unemployed workers with federally funded benefits will see about an 11% cut in those weekly benefits. The Women, Infants and Children nutrition program will have to turn away as many as 600,000 to 775,000 women and children by the end of the year. More than 100,000 people will lose housing aid.
"There is no way to cut $85 billion in a single year, mainly from discretionary programs -- which include most defense spending as well as medical research, education, help for low-income families, food and water safety, law enforcement, and so on -- and not see real impact," writes Sharon Parrott, on the think tank's blog.
Parrott's views were echoed in Monday's New York Times, which pointed out that Democrats and Republicans are "largely resigned" to accepting sequestration, which was designed to force them to negotiate -- not actually cut the deficit. Some conservatives, though, are accusing President Obama and his supporters of hyping what they see are minor cuts in federal spending that are long overdue.
They argue that government spending hit $3.5 billion in 2012, a 75% increase from 2002, and that the budget is forecast to grow 69% to $6 trillion over the next 10 years.
"The sequester barely taps the brakes on this runaway spending, still allowing a 67% increase over the next 10 years," writes Heritage Foundation President-elect Jim DeMint in a recent blog post. "Too much to ask of Washington?"
Experts counter that the sequester takes a chainsaw approach to slashing government spending when a scalpel is required. They argue that the cuts are being made in a haphazard manner, which makes them less effective. Some government services are already being affected. My colleague Jason Notte noted that airport security lines have gotten longer.
Thomas Mann and Norm Ornstein of the Brookings Institution wrote that the longer the sequester stays in place, the more dramatic impact it will have on the economy.
"Deeper discretionary-spending cuts are counterproductive; immediate cuts, as Europe has made recently, could lead to a recession and bigger deficits," they write.
--Follow Jonathan Berr on Twitter @jdberr.
only thing not being cut are there paychecks while the rest of us are loosing money there gaining
3,700,000,000,000 and you can't find this in savings 86,000,000,000 which makes us wonder are you living in some damn fantasy land like the clown that says there are going to be 170 million lost jobs when we only have 134 million in the whole country. BS!
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