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.

By Jonathan Berr Mar 4, 2013 5:35PM
Image: Man holding out empty pockets. ( Dougal Waters/Photodisc/Getty Images)The $85 billion in federal spending cuts triggered by the sequester will hit low-income Americans dependent on government assistance especially hard, according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, a progressive-leaning think tank.

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.

More on moneyNOW

698Comments
Mar 4, 2013 7:42PM
avatar
I'm a Director for Senior Services in New Jersey...this will affect them and the services they need....yet the Government just sent 60 million to Egypt.....take care of your own Country already....it's so absurd anymore.
Mar 4, 2013 7:39PM
avatar
how about starting the cuts with all politicians get social security as a retirement plan and the can all get Obama care for their medical benefits. then those big defense spending's can be slashed by pulling out of Afghanistan and quit the foreign aid give away . Since when are people from Egypt and other middle eastern countries more deserving of aid than the American people are of our own money? Just what the hell is going on???
Mar 4, 2013 7:31PM
avatar
So why not those "on the hill" cut their wages by 1/3 ? Sure would be better than taking milk from babies.
Mar 4, 2013 5:46PM
avatar
"The sequester hits the poor especially hard."  Umm, isn't this what the president wants?  He's hurting the people who put him in office so he can prove his point, and then he can tell the world that this is the fault of Republicans.  Hahahahahahaha...what a guy!  Instead of a leader for our country, we have a blamer and a divider.
Mar 4, 2013 7:24PM
avatar

only thing not being cut are there paychecks while the rest of us are loosing money there gaining

 

Mar 4, 2013 7:31PM
avatar
Let the white house workers and the president take a pay cut and make no money and see how they manage it with children and a wife/husband. We spend thousands of dollars for stupid sh**. They don't care about us American people they only care about their own dam selves.
Mar 4, 2013 7:33PM
avatar
Sequester foreign aid.  We give 11 billion dollars a year to Pakistan which harbored Osama bin Laden who was slaughtered by Hussein Obama.  Hussein Obama is slaughtering middleclass America.  At least bin Laden had a quick painless finish, but Hussein Obama is inflicting a slow painful death to middle America.
avatar
You are so full of BS. $3.7 Trillion budget and you are so damn efficient that you can't find $86 Billion to eliminate? LIARS AND FRAUDS!


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!

Mar 4, 2013 7:43PM
avatar
When is the government. going to start down sizing?????  Time for early retirement and layoffs, oh wait can't lay off any of our friends, we don't have enough money for their unemployment. Shame on the idiots who run this poor country.
Mar 4, 2013 7:31PM
avatar
I for one dont care.  Most are using our help to subsidize  a better lifestyle for themselves.  I help people that need it all the time.  But I refuse to help someone who just wants more material things than they can afford and somehow think they deserve them.
Mar 4, 2013 7:40PM
avatar
Whoa wait a minute, these fools have not cut the budget, they are still getting the same amount of money as they did last year plus 4 or 5 % increase, so why are all these stories being made up.. Oh wait I know,  Obama doesn't want a good crisis to go to waste so he's generating his own made up hysteria..  check your facts folks...
Mar 4, 2013 7:36PM
avatar
It is just sad that msnbc and most other news agencies only post what Obama wants them to post instead of the total truth. This was Obama's idea even though he denies it. Yes he wants to hurt everyone in the country not just the poor.  Maybe the President should stop taking so many vacations that cost the citizens and give that money back to the government. We don't ever see where he gives and take, only take and take and take.
Mar 4, 2013 7:40PM
avatar
These are the people who should suffer cuts. There is entirely too much free stuff out there and it is breaking the government. There are tons of crappy jobs out there. I started my career with one as did all of my family. Get some kind of job, do it well and get some education then you will move up. You can't plan to live off the government forever. I am not talking about those on Social Security or who are legitimately unable to work.
Mar 4, 2013 8:01PM
avatar
What's amazing about MSN is, on this article they try and stir up this BS, the poor are being hit hard, while on another article 2 inches away in the NEWS section (Making Sense of the Sequester) the story is about what a BS mockery it is to say this sequester is doing much at all. It is only $42 billion this year out of a budget of $3.55 trillion, 1.16%.  And most "entitlements" can't be touched..If they can't find 1.16% of fat, fraud and abuse, absolute waste...there is only one direction to point. And that is at Washington DC.
Mar 4, 2013 7:47PM
avatar
obama figures if he can get his welfare army to whine enough it will help him raise my contribution to the welfare state so they can upgrade their phones this year
Mar 4, 2013 7:34PM
avatar
Redistributing the wealth is working pretty good for the dems! LOL. Eventually they will get what they want. one class of people all poor! MORE VOTES that way!
Mar 4, 2013 8:15PM
avatar
I think ALL GOVERNMENT(any branch) employees (especially elected officials) should have their salaries and all benefits posted for ALL to see,I bet if those figures were ever made public and put to a public vote we the American citizens could cut our debt down considerably without hurting the poor. While we are at it maybe we should do some good old fashioned "house cleaning" too.
Mar 4, 2013 5:53PM
avatar
I love these cuts ! Its across the board and it will hurt the over bloated defense industries way more than the poor. The cuts got to start somewhere . Now all the feds need to do is END QE 3 program of buying bonds and start raising int rates .. Its time for America and wall street to live with there own money .
Mar 4, 2013 7:39PM
avatar
Oh, excuse me, my brother is mooching off the government on Social Security. You see he went to Vietnam and made it without getting injured. But now he has M.S. and can not use but 2 fingers and 1 thumb on both hands. He is staying in subsidized housing. Maybe we can just throw him out on the curb with a cup and a sign. So what would you have him to do? I want to know what state pays unemployment  more than a person made while working  as Itnm says. There is not any state paying that amount.
Mar 4, 2013 7:31PM
avatar
I like the fact checking here.
So in 2012 it was 3.5 Billion, and they are cutting 85 Billion.  Someone owes me approx 81.5 Billion.  Pay up Obama.
Report
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
Categories
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

DATA PROVIDERS

Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

Trending NOW

What’s this?

MARKET UPDATE

[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages punctuated a solid week with a subdued Friday session. The S&P 500 shed 0.2% to narrow its weekly gain to 1.7%, while the Nasdaq Composite (+0.1%) displayed relative strength. The tech-heavy index finished the week in line with the benchmark average.

Market participants went into today's session expecting to hear some new insight from Fed Chair Janet Yellen, who delivered the keynote address at this year's Jackson Hole Symposium. Unfortunately, the ... More

MSN MONEY'S