The Bad News and the “Dumb” News about Sequestration Budget Cuts

Let’s start with the obvious: the stubborn children who run our country couldn’t come to a decision on how to fix our nation’s budgetary problems without harming millions of Americans. Unless there is some sort of last minute move to fix it all, $85 billion will be cut from the 2013 budget. (That’s billion, with a “B”. Now, I don’t know what 85 billion dollars is, but it sounds like a lot of money.)

This move is such a fiscal policy disaster that our usually graceful President, had only two apt words for it. “Just dumb, and it’s going to hurt.” You’ve gotta give the man credit for honesty.

The numbers:

$43 billion will be cut in military spending

$26 billion will be cut in non-military, discretionary domestic programs such as health, education, drug enforcement, national parks, Hurricane Sandy relief and other programs

$11 billion will be cut from Medicare

$5 billion will be cut from agricultural programs and extended unemployment insurance

How will this affect women? CBS News Online posted this clip of how the budget cuts will affect women and families. It highlights how cuts to nutrition education and lactation consultation services through the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program will impact low-income mothers and children. Head Start gets cut by $406 million, which means that 70,000 kids will lose access to the program.

Searching for optimism here is like reading the nutritional value on a bag of Skittles, but I will leave you with these important facts: essential program such as Social Security, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or Food Stamps,)  and the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF, also known as cash welfare) were exempt.

For more information check out this great FAQ on the Sequestration on the Washington Post  Wonk Blog.

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Categories: Girl Math, Law, Policy, and Government

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