Where will Mr. Sequester touch you? In these places:
Here are the top five ways that sequestration will make the nation a less healthy place:
- More Americans could be put at risk for foodborne illnesses.
- Medical researchers will be forced to delay the development of treatments that could help sick Americans.
- The government will have fewer resources to provide Americans with health coverage.
- Thousands of Americans living with mental illnesses could go untreated.
- Fewer Americans will get screened and treated for HIV.
“Many economists are particularly critical of the arbitrary nature of the cuts, arguing that Congress could reduce annual deficits by the same amount with far less economic damage by spreading the cuts across a broader range of programs, directing them at lesser priorities or giving government agencies more discretion in how they make them.”
Travelers should brace for longer airport lines and possible flight delays after March 1 if automatic federal spending cuts reduce staffing as scheduled, government and industry officials warn. “This truly could become a nightmare for travel,” said Geoff Freeman, chief operating officer of the U.S. Travel Association. [...] The wait at security checkpoints could be an extra hour and up to three more hours at Customs and Border Protection checkpoints at the nation’s busiest airports, Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee have estimated. – Federal Times
Air Travel: An estimated $619 million would be cut from the operations and facilities and equipment accounts of the Federal Aviation Administration, according to a report by House Appropriations Committee Democrats. This could mean major flight delays and an economic hit on the millions of people who depend on air travel every day. — GovExec
- $483 million cut from the FAA operations budget, forcing all FAA employees to be furloughed for 11 days. On any given day, that could mean that 10 percent of the FAA’s 40,000 employees could be on furlough, resulting in longer delays, reduced air-traffic control, and losses in tourism. There will also be a hiring freeze.
- $136 million cut from the FAA’s facilities and equipment account, which helps maintain and modernize the air-traffic control infrastructure.
- Transportation Security Administration screeners would receive a seven-day furlough.
The Environmental Protection Agency may shut down for three days in response to automatic budget cuts set to begin late next week, according to union officials involved in discussions with agency management. [...] The EPA cuts would translate into fewer compliance inspections, less money for water quality projects, and cutbacks in research to help communities adapt to climate change, then-EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson wrote in a letter to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., earlier this month. – Federal Times
U.S. Customs and Border Protection will furlough its employees for up to 14 days this year if the automatic spending cuts known as the sequester kick in on March 1, according to a letter the agency sent to union officials this week. [...] The letter said furloughs would be mandatory for all Customs and Border Protection employees, including management and workers without union representation. Notices would go out in mid-March, the agency said. — Washington Post
The automatic budget cuts set to take effect on March 1 will delay the opening of the East and West Rim drives at the Grand Canyon and reduce hours of operation at the main visitor center. At Gettysburg, 20 percent of student education programs would be eliminated this spring. — Washington Post
- Also affected: Blue Ridge, Parkway, Mount Rainer, Glacier, Great Smoky Mountains, Grand Tetons, the National Mall, Yellowstone. (All the parks,really.)
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack described the impact of the cuts, amounting to $2 billion, in a letter that warned “these furloughs and other actions would severely disrupt our ability to provide a broad range of public services.” — Reuters
- a nationwide shutdown of meat and poultry plants during a furlough of (meat) inspection personnel for as much as 15 days of lost production, costing over $10 billion in production losses.
- Up to 600,000 low-income women and infants could be cut from the so-called WIC program that provides supplemental food and nutrition education if the budget cuts last for the rest of this fiscal year…
- Closure of 670 of the Forest Service’s 19,000 recreation sites, such as campgrounds, picnic areas and trailheads, in the national forests and shorter hours at visitor centers. “This would largely occur during the peak use seasons in spring and summer,” said USDA.
- The Forest Service would reduce its law enforcement force by 35 workers to 707 officers.
- A work pause on the Census of Agriculture. “Data will become incomplete and will not be statistically sound for publication,” said USDA. The census, conducted every five years, provides valuable data on farm operation and output that is used in USDA’s forecasts. USDA faced repeated funding shortages for its crop and livestock reports in the past couple of years.
- A slowdown in USDA aid to landowners wanting expert advice or matching funds to control runoff from fields and feedlots and a reduction in USDA-backed loans to farmers to buy land or cover operating costs until harvest.
More than one million workers will start taking unpaid leave on April 1 because of sequestration. – Wall Street Journal
And of course, the nearly two million federal workers facing furloughs won’t just be getting less work done to benefit all of us, they’ll be losing pay. That not only means they and their families may struggle to make ends meet, but money taken out of their local economies as they spend less. In other words: bad for federal workers, bad for people who rely on federal oversight and services, bad for the economy as a whole. — Laura Clawson
It’s really too nice of a day to read comments, but it’s amazing how quickly the Fox-Rush base are losing their minds in the comment sections of some of these articles over simple information about what actual things will actually be affected by sequestration. It’s as if they really thought they could pick and choose what should be cut and what shouldn’t. They seem extra upset about park closures, air travel inconveniences, and the Border Patrol being affected. ‘Barry Zero’ and the ‘Dims’ are fear-mongering and guvmit can’t take taxpayer money from WeThePeople and not give us what we want! The banjo music is almost deafening. Such thinking could be classified as Narcissistic Sheeple Disorder and, unfortunately, designated as a chronic and practically incurable condition.
- the President wants a mix of cuts and new revenue through closing loopholes [for the wealthiest taxpayers];
- and the Republican plan is to replace draconian cuts to military spending with draconian cuts to social insurance programs.