The automatic spending cuts that went into effect at the start of March are spread out over a host of domestic programs and are having a real impact on communities across the country. Sequestration is cutting jobs, shutting down essential services, and hurting state economies.
While the consequences of the reductions are not leading the national evening news, local broadcasts have actively chronicled their brutal impact. ThinkProgress has the video report:
All told, sequestration is predicted to reduce GDP growth from 2.6 percent to 2 percent for 2013, and eliminate some 700,000 jobs by the end of 2014. Social Security, Medicaid, some anti-poverty programs, military pay, and the ongoing costs of the wars are exempted. But Medicare’s provider payments, the military’s overall budget, and non-defense discretionary spending are all getting hit.
The last area of spending is being cut five percent, even though it was already scheduled to reach its lowest level in fifty years before sequestration took effect. It’s the main area of spending Republicans have targeted in their budgets. But there’s only so much efficiency to be found in any given program. At this point, even a five percent spending reduction harms services and programs most Americans would consider essential.