Friday, March 1, 2013

The $85 billion in so-called sequester cuts

The $85 billion in so-called sequester cuts

President Obama is meeting Friday with congressional leaders to discuss the sequester. If, as expected, they find no way to avoid it, Mr. Obama will sign an order directing government agencies to begin implementing the cuts.

Both Republicans and Democrats focused on the positive as the sequester draw near. Created by desperate politicians in Washington to find a smarter way to cut government, the “sequester” will instead become the law of the land as a result of a failure of Mr. Obama and congressional Republicans to compromise.

At some point on Friday, President Obama will formally notify government agencies that the so called 'sequestration' is in effect, triggering deep budget cuts that will force federal spending to shrink.

What will happen today?

The Treasury Department, will reduce payments for schools construction and clean energy bonds to a reduced rates. 

Hours later, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, officials will spend the weekend mailing out letters to governors in all 50 states showing how much their grants will be reduced in the coming days and weeks. 

Federally funded day care programs will continue to operate. National parks will stay open. Government employees will continue to report to work. Border patrol agents will do their best to prevent illegal crossings. Experts do not expect the stock market to flinch.

“It’s conceivable that in the first week, the first two weeks, the first three weeks, the first month, a lot of people may not notice the full impact of the sequester,” Mr. Obama told a group of business officials. That might not be entirely true, as Mr. Obama noted, for some pockets of American society: companies who do business directly with the Defense Department, families who live near military installations and parents who rely on federally funded child care will be affected.


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