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$85 Billion in Deep Cuts Set to Ripple Across Country

Barring an unlikely last-minute deal, $85 billion will be cut from the  federal budget beginning Friday — and every American will feel the pain.

The deep cuts, known as sequestration, will dramatically impact military,  domestic and certain health care programs and ripple across the nation.

Unemployment payments will shrink. School systems will lose funding. Doctors  who treat Medicare patients will receive smaller reimbursements. Air traffic  controllers could be laid off, leading to long travel delays. And 800,000  civilian military employees could be furloughed.

The deep cuts, known as sequestration, will dramatically impact military, domestic and certain health care programs and ripple across the nation

And it will then get worse, as the $85 million would be the start of $1  trillion in cuts over the next decade — all but guaranteeing a slowdown of the  nation’s economy.

The sequester was born out of 2011 Washington negotiations over raising the  nation’s debt ceiling when Republicans and Democrats clashed over taxes and  deficit reduction.

The deal set up the painful sequester as incentive for the two parties to  reach a comprehensive budget deal. It was postponed for two months during the  fiscal cliff negotiations, but time now is running out — again — and the Beltway  blame game has begun.

President Obama and  his staff will embark on a publicity blitz this week to convince the public to  rally Congress to reach a compromise before the deadline.

Obama said Saturday that the nation’s fragile economic recovery could be  crushed if the cuts go into effect.

“They will eliminate good jobs,” Obama said in his weekly address. “They will  leave many families who are already stretched to the limit scrambling to figure  out what to do.”

He declared that would be avoided if the GOP agreed to a mix of spending  cuts and tax hikes.

“Unfortunately, it appears that Republicans in Congress have decided that  instead of compromising – instead of asking anything of the wealthiest Americans – they would rather let these cuts fall squarely on the middle class,” Obama  said.

Democrats point to polls that show the public favors their approach to the  crisis.

But Republicans, who just allowed tax rates to rise on the wealthy as part  of the fiscal cliff compromise, are refusing any further increases.

“It was President Obama who proposed — and promoted — the sequester,” said  Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) in the GOP response. “So the question is: Why won’t he  work with us? And the answer, quite simply, is because he wants higher  taxes.”

The White House has also suggested pushing back the sequester by as much as a  year to allow more time to broker a deal.

The GOP leadership has shown no willingness to accept the offer. House  Republicans, who lost the last fiscal face-off with Obama, believe they are in a  stronger position this time and that the public will hold the President  responsible for the cuts.

 

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Posted by on February 24, 2013. Filed under NY News,Slider. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.