The sequester will hurt everyone in some way

Unless you are considered wealthy

The sequester will hurt everyone in some way

Will the ‘Sequester’ Hurt You?

The sequester will hurt everyone in some way, unless you are considered wealthy.

If you are on unemployment, you will receive approximately $400 less between March and September.  Unemployment Benefit checks are being pared by 9.4%.

Food prices will increase because of beef and chicken, and there may even be shortages.  That is because the number of federal food inspectors will be cut.  Meat and poultry plants could be forced to shut down for as many as 15 days.

Funding for “Meals on Wheels” will be cut.  Some seniors who are shut-ins will not receive free meals because 36,000 fewer meals will be delivered.

400 million dollars will be cut from the Head Start program.  That means that children of low income families will not be able to enroll in the pre-school program.  The cut will affect some 70,000 children.

National Parks will open later and close earlier.  Same may not open at all.  The 110 million dollar cut will affect 250,000 yearly visitors.

There will be longer lines at airport security.  TSA agents will be furloughed, increasing the time to move passengers along.  International travelers may have to wait up to 4 hours to clear customs.

Three billion dollars will be cut from a supplemental bill to aid victims of hurricane Sandy.  Some repairs to homes and small businesses may not be completed.

The total for these concerns is about half of the dollar amount of the mandatory cuts caused by the sequester.  The remainder will come from cuts in defense spending.

The majority of the money will be saved by furloughing defense related employees or reducing their hours.  I would be in favor of the defense department receiving less money if the military acted in a proper manner.  Instead of examining billions of dollars in Department of Defense waste every year, they’ll choose to continue throwing away tax payer money, and layoff or reduce the pay of working men and women.

Since WWII the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines have been lobbying for as much money as possible, whether they need it or not.  This small cut in military spending should just be the beginning, provided it forced the “brass” to closely scrutinize every program and act responsibly.

So, why are the Republicans refusing to compromise with the President’s plan.  It comes down to the same old story, the people they actually work for, special interest groups.

The President wants additional revenue, not spending cuts only.  He wants to close tax loopholes for Hedge Fund Directors, end tax breaks for the oil companies, and stop other undeserved, unnecessary deductions by those with the nation’s highest income levels.

President Obama can’t lose this battle.  His superior intellect has led him to take his fight to the people who will be affected by the sequester, the working class.  President Obama has said it will cost the nation 700,000 jobs.  John Boehner’s response was that he “doesn’t care about the loss of jobs, government is spending too much money”.  Sounds a bit like he is bowing to the tired old refrain of the TEA Party.

The President can’t lose if everything happens on March 1st.  A recent poll shows his approval rating at 55%, the highest since September 2009.  Politico reports. Another 40 percent disapprove. Meanwhile, 55 percent say they have an unfavorable view of the Republican Party, while 35 percent approve.

Both political parties on the right side of the aisle, the GOP and the TEA Party, choose to close their eyes and not look at the facts.  They will be blamed by the American public for these unnecessary cuts that affect their daily lives.  Maybe they don’t care about the mid-term elections.  Good news for us.

James Turnage

Columnist-The Guardian Express

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