Nobody wins, everybody loses

25 Feb

The-Sequester-sizedCongress finished its 10-day vacation over the weekend and has wandered back into Washington where the $1.2 trillion question still hangs in the air:

Can we do a deal?

It’s looking more and more like the answer is no.

So, starting this Friday, federal programs will be slashed haphazardly, hundreds of thousands of jobs will be jeopardized, and the economy could be hurt under a legislative gimmick called sequestration.

Don’t blame the President or Congress.

Both cooked it up as a sure-fire way to avert a fiscal crisis in 2011.

It was designed to be the worst thing imaginable – something no sane person would agree to.

It was hanging over the heads of the so-called supercommittee and it was supposed to come up with a good budget cutting plan.

After all, look at what might happen if they didn’t?

They didn’t.

In real life – nothing starts immediately.

Furloughs of federal workers will start in Late April after a mandatory 30-day notice.

They translate into a 20-percent pay cut for a lot of people through the end of September.

The defense industry and the tens-of-thousands of vendors and contractors will have to start cutting back, plants could close for a while.

Mortgages will be missed, bills not paid.

Many federally supported services will be cut back, flights will be delayed, food inspectors will run behind and everyone is going to be very unhappy.

In the political world – the Republicans are most risk.

Polls give President Obama the upper hand over GOP leaders on most issues, and voters tend to blame Republicans most for sequestration.

But voters hold a president responsible for the economy.

Deep, long-lasting cuts that slow the already-sluggish recovery could rob Obama of a lot of the public love he has right now.

What can you do?

Call your Senator or Representative.
Write an email.
Bitch. Loudly.

Maybe they might do something.

And if they do, let’s hope it’s not just putting it off for a couple of months.

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