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  •  the programs being affected are heating assistance (7+ / 0-)

    for the poor, head start, medicare and medicaid aren't touched but the providers see a 2% cut - if the doctors won't see patients, then medicare and medicaid die from starvation.

    there are programs such as wic - food aid to poor parents and pregnant women... so this will affect many who are dependent on the safety nets in place.

    oh, also, there are others, too - federal extensions for unemployment are cut, not state - so much of what you write is inaccurate.

    perhaps you should do some additional research - we are just beginning to hear and see what will happen.  none of it is good.

    EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

    by edrie on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 12:42:09 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Thoughts... (1+ / 0-)
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      PubliusPublicola

      I will definitely agree with your last statement, that we are just beginning to hear and see what will happen. Leadership (on both sides of the aisle) have changed their tunes repeatedly over the last nine months over how bad the effects will be from sequestration, so we can't really trust what they claim will happen.

      However, your statements are needlessly alarmist (my own opinion.) It would be easy to take from your comment that because of sequestration poor families won't receive food aid, and a 2% cut to service payments will make medicare and medicaid unusable. However, while WIC (which is a supplemental aid) is receiving a small cut, SNAP is still there, and it is exempt. I haven't found anyone offering solid proof that sequester will have much overall impact on wellfare (although as you say, we are just starting to see the impact so it will remain to be seen.)

      The sequester "cuts" to Medicare will be roughly $11b. The Medicare "reduction in growth" from the ACA will equal roughly $500b.
      Seeing as Medicare is estimated to grow 7% each year  (38.5b, if 2% is 11b), then using the same phraseology used to justify the reductions in the ACA sequester is simply a "reduction in growth," not a cut. And if you use the same measure against both the ACA and sequestration, ACA and the Democrats seem to have done far more damage to Medicare than sequester could, to the tune of 50 times. If Medicare can handle that, I think that a 2% cut probably won't be the end of the world.

      Here is my question. Are there any cuts that you would be willing to see? Many of these programs that are seeing cuts overlap with other programs. Many of the cuts to individual programs are not nearly as large as we have been led to believe. I think that cuts in some things will be a good thing. Not necessarily to eliminate them - our society has grown to depend on them, but eliminate overlaps and waste.

      Please don't misunderstand, I am not against all assistance. My family was on WIC once, when we were forced to purchase special formula for my daughter that was unbelievably expensive due to an allergy. I don't know what we would have done at the time without it. But there are many, many programs out there. If WIC had been unavailable, we could have gone to SNAP or a similar program.

      As far as cuts to extended unemployment - I'll be honest, I haven't looked into that as extensively. I know that there is jargon in the text about some unemployment being exempt, and some not, so I won't venture an opinion on that until I am able to get more information.

      •  it's late and i'll come back to this tomorrow - (0+ / 0-)

        but let me just point out one way people who need social services will be hurt.  the sequester will cause some of the workers to be furloughed - making the time it takes to be qualified for assistance much longer.  as it is now, getting benefits can take a month or longer in california.  for someone on the verge of losing the roof over his/her head, that could be the difference between hanging on to a place to live and becoming homeless.

        furthermore, the home heating oil supplemental grants will be cut - leaving more people without heat in areas that have seen severe blizzards and record snow.

        federal workers will be furloughed, it affects national parks which are now cutting days used to plough out of that same bad weather - forcing delays in opening the parks to the public. why does that matter?  the towns surrounding those parks are dependent on the tourist trade to survive and pay for THOSE families' livihoods.

        snap will also be affected, so no going from wic to snap.  ALL agencies are being cut.

        processing time, work days, furloughs, delays, slowing down the operation, cutting paychecks (resulting in less money spent on hard goods, hurting small businesses) - it is a problem that will ripple throughout the economy.

        and.

        it was unnecessary.  unemployment benefits - the extended federal ones - gone.  there is no exemption for federal benefits.

        do you need a passport?  now it takes a great deal of time to get a passport - emergency?  expedited is now delayed.  no more overtime, no coming to work without compensation for noaa, social security agency - workers furloughed - disability claims - delayed...

        this is a disaster and we won't even begin to see the repercussions until they hit everyone hard.

        those who can least afford this will be the hardest hit.  those with money and disposable income can just sit back and wait for the politicians to sort this out - those who are living moment to moment will find they are now falling into a sinkhole so deep, there is no coming back.

        oh, another area - federal firefighters needed for those massive fires like the southwest felt last year - well, riverside county ca had their first one just this week - and fire season is not offically here until august!  friggin' feb/march and we have massive burns?

        we are in one helluva fix here...

        EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

        by edrie on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 10:51:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Facts vs hyperbole (0+ / 0-)

          First, sequester will not affect all programs. That has been part of the scare tactics/blame game that have been used by both sides. Look at page 6 and 7 of this report for programs that will not be cut. SNAP is one of those programs that are exempt.

          As far as LIHEAP goes (I'm assuming that is the program your referring to for the heating oil) it is receiving some cuts. The one mitigating factor (and I know this doesn't apply across the board) is that for this year the cuts won't hit until later in this spring, when its between the cold and hot portions of the year and heating/cooling is not as important. Now I understand, this doesn't make anybody feel better, because there is still the rest of the year that people need that help. I would much prefer this program be exempt, so I agree with you that cutting this could be a bad thing.

          However, I don't trust the hyperbole about having to cut a huge percentage of federal employees. For example, Napolitano claims that sequester will force the Border Patrol to cut its personel by 25%, or 5,000 (total personnel is roughly 20,000). According to the budget report for 2012, the total budget for Customs and Border Protection was 10.1b, with 8.6b being for personnel. So if you are cutting 25% of personnel, that would equal a 21% cut from the overall budget. Border patrol and immigration security together will be cut by sequester around 900m, according to the CBO. A 21% cut like Napolitano is saying would equal more like 2.1b. So where did that 5,000 personnel cut come from? Its hyperbole, scare tactics.

          I don't doubt that we will see many people lose their jobs. But not because of cuts from the sequester. Look at all the immigrants releasedalready "due to the sequester" before it had even resolved? Its obviously not due to lack of cash; border patrol leadership just got a raise! And it happened before sequester was even a certainty. The politians want to make a point. Both sides want the sequester to look as bad as possible so that they can blame the other party.

          As a result of this, leadership is going to try to make personnel carry the brunt of the cuts, because that will make the biggest splash in the media. A few cuts in bloated operating budgets would enable most of the organizations to operate normally, if they would just use wisdom in where they cut the money.

          While I don't think we're going to see much change in the impacts of essential services like firefighting programs, I do think we're going to see a few high profile cases (like the needless release of imprisoned immigrants) that politians are going to make sure happens so they have some political poo to throw at their opponents.

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