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Fri Feb 22, 2013, 05:19 PM

The Impact of the Sequester on Communities Across America


The spending cuts, also known as the “sequester,” are a direct result of a long push by conservatives to take the nation’s economy hostage in order to secure massive, harmful spending cuts. In the summer of 2011, in exchange for agreeing to pay America’s bills, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) negotiated the deal that wrote the sequester into law, stating that he had gotten 98 percent of what he wanted. Though there is a concerted effort to blame the president for the sequester, no amount of whitewashing can erase the fact that many conservative members of Congress voted for this plan.

Under the terms of the sequester, federal spending would be cut by $1.2 trillion from March 2013 to March 2021. States stand to lose billions of dollars in critical grants needed to fund everything from schools to new police officers to parks. In fiscal year 2013 alone, states stand to lose an estimated $6.4 billion in federal funding. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that as many as 750,000 jobs could be lost because of the sequester. Taking a meat cleaver to spending in such a blunt, unfocused manner would send a shockwave through our economy and would hurt countless American families. Just months ago, leading Republicans such as Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) agreed, saying that these cuts would “devastate” the country.


By choosing to protect millionaires and special interests instead of asking them to pay their fair share in taxes, intransigent members of Congress are threatening drastic cuts to vital programs, including:
-Public safety
-Public health
-Workforce training
-Women's health and child care


As always, the most vulnerable among us will be impacted the most by the draconian spending cuts. But our whole society is affected negatively by this.

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