Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Oh Must We? (The Sequester Blues!)

Oh must we always have to go to the brink of disaster?? while most of you (myself included) have had our attention on who was going to take home the Oscar and who made who's dress and whose boobs were showing through their dress...The President and Congress are once again battling and on the brink of what could be some very painful cuts...

It's what's being called -THE SEQUESTER!  And if you don't know exactly what that entails...Read on..I'll do my best to explain it to you.

The $85 billion worth of cuts - known as the sequester (there's that term again!!)- were designed to be painful in a bid to force congress to reach a more palatable compromise to rein in the massive debt.
But  Democrats and rival Republicans have yet to reach a deal and have been trading blame instead.

Here is a detailed breakdown of the impact of the sequester, according to the latest White House report:

DEFENSE: Some 800,000 civilian employees of the Defense Department will go on a mandatory furlough one day per week and see their salaries cut by 20 percent.
The navy will decrease the amount of time its vessels remain at sea by 30-35 percent and the deployment of a second aircraft carrier in the Gulf has already been canceled.
The maintenance budget for bases and equipment will also be reduced, forcing the dismissal of some subcontractors.
The military, however, will not see its salaries cut.
EDUCATION: The federal government will reduce aid to schools by the equivalent of salaries for 10,000 teachers and 7,200 specialists for children with disabilities.
About 70,000 children under the age of five would be cut from the Head Start preschool program, resulting in the elimination of another 14,000 teaching positions.
AIRPORTS: The average wait time for passengers arriving in the United States to pass through immigration at major airports will increase by 30-50 percent and may exceed four hours during peak times at major hubs.
Security lines will grow longer as the Transportation Security Administration enacts a hiring freeze, eliminates overtime and furloughs its 50,000 employees for up to seven days.Temporary layoffs will also be imposed on air traffic controllers and other airport staff, leading to summer travel delays and forcing the closure of more than 200 small airports, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
RESEARCH: The National Institutes of Health and other federally-funded scientists will have to delay or halt research, including into chronic diseases and new treatments.
The Food and Drug Administration will also have to cut back, resulting in a slower approval process for new medicines. Up to 12,000 scientists and students could be affected.
FOOD: The FDA will have to conduct 2,100 fewer inspections, escalating the risk of food-borne illnesses and costing the food and agriculture sector millions of dollars in lost production.

NATIONAL PARKS: Many of the country's 398 national parks would be partially or completely closed, resulting in fewer visitors and less revenues for communities that rely on them.

If Congressional Democrats and Republicans can't come to some type of deal by this Friday, this is what we are looking at...I'm certain that if we hadn't been so concerned with the Grammys last week and the Oscars this week...People would have been out in the streets demanding that Congress get off of it's ass and instead of reading George Washington's farewell speech as it did on the floor yesterday, start some serious negotiations...

My paycheck is already $11.00 dollars lighter because Congress failed to vote on the social security bill by years end....yet my bills haven't dropped $11.00 dollars in the meanwhile....When will this foolishness end?
Republicans hate President Obama so much that they just fight him on every proposal. They hate him more than they love America...This has got to stop...It's killing us all... It's a sort of scorched earth theory I believe.

For now.. President Obama is beating the Republicans in the court of public opinion on the big federal spending cuts that, on paper, are expected to take effect on Friday.

Republicans are even conceding that  for now, the president’s bully pulpit strategy on the “sequester” is working. He has been doing local media interviews, leaning on the governors, and holding campaign-style events around the country – including Tuesday’s visit to Newport News, Va. – to highlight cuts in defense spending. And his team is flooding the zone with data aimed at sowing concern about how the cuts would affect real people. On Sunday night, the White House released numbers on the sequester’s impact, state-by-state.

The problem is...you aren't paying attention.  Despite intensive media coverage, only 27 percent of Americans say they have heard a lot about the sequester, according to a poll released last week by the Pew Research Center and USA Today. In addition, not surprisingly, most Americans don’t understand the sequester. When asked what it is, only 36 percent of Americans selected the right answer, a recent poll by
 The Hill newspaper found.

And this is what scares me...We won't care until after all of this hits....when it's too late...But isn't that what we usually do anyway?

Still ,I place the blame on a partisan congress that is still living by party first, instead of country first....It shames me, it disgusts me? OH MUST WE?

1 comment:

Arlene said...

Keith, we've been threatened by this sequester "sword" for the past month! The action of the sequester may force the layoff of a few staff people here, which means fewer seats in our GED classes, which in turn means fewer people with the credential needed to enter higher education and the workplace. You know that Philly graduates less than half those who start high school. The GED can gain access to community college or technical school. As of 2014 a new GED will be in place that focuses on the individual's depth of knowledge in reading, writing, science, social studies and mathematics. How will people be prepapred? I think the plan is to fail! I believe that those Republicans want to continue and expand what can be called an underclass. People who will work for subsistence wages, live in substandard housing, eat poor quality food, be "educated" in failing schools, then gladly line up to be grist for the rich man's mill.
The sequester was put in place because it would fall like a hatchet on everyone's needs and was therefore to force a compromise.
Let's get to compromisin'!!


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