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The sequester is now in effect. Some of the key spending cuts will be in areas of air traffic, early childhood education, health, food safety, environmental services, recreation, criminal justice, research, and defense. What area will affect you, your family, community, and/or the country the most and why?
Late Friday evening, President Obama signed an order required by law that set in motion the automatic, government-wide spending cuts known as the sequester. While it won’t lead to across the board tax hikes – as the fiscal cliff threatened to do – it will result in sweeping cuts to government services that millions of Americans rely on.
What is going to happen? More than $85 billion in automatic across-the-board spending cuts to military and domestic programs over the next seven months ($42.7 billion from each). Of course, there is some dispute over the extent of the damage, and a number of conservative groups – particularly those advocating for smaller government – argue that the impacts are grossly exaggerated as a political scare tactic. While seemingly large, they say the cuts are still but a tiny percentage of the federal budget – a mere 2.3 percent.
However, a series of independent analyses have made clear that these cuts will exact a pretty large toll throughout the country. An article in the Texas Tribune illustrates the extent of various cuts in each state, as well as the impact per person. Generally speaking, the sequester is expected to stunt America’s already sluggish economic recovery by reducing our growth (in terms of GDP) and killing approximately one million jobs over the next two years, according to estimates by the Bipartisan Policy Center.