Wednesday, February 20, 2013

What to Expect When You're Sequestered

By Dale Bowling

Since the Sequester is not going to make anyone happy, why are we still allowing it to happen? That
doesn't seem to be a question that is being asked and we should wonder why.

House Republicans are acting like sequestration is inevitable, but they created it and they can
uncreate it. It's a process called "Repeal" and they have to know about it, right? 

The reason that the Right isn't talking repeal is that Republicans really want to hang this on the White
House. Back when the GOP was hellbent on shutting down the government, this idea was all that
seemed to placate them.

"When we had a gun to Obama's head, it was his idea," say House Republicans.

The GOP are really hoping all of us will forget the fact that they foisted this on America and treated it
like a great victory at the time. They get exactly what they want from sequestration - deep cuts in
Government Spending. If these cuts also hurt ordinary Americans, well then they're just collateral
damage in the Republicans War on Big Government.

And these cuts will hurt ordinary Americans in a lot of ways. Here are some highlights.

What to Expect When You're Sequestered:

If you're in the Military, don't expect to keep your job. Pink slips for soldiers will inevitably follow.
Installations will close, new weapons systems will not be implemented. Civilian personnel will be
affected as well since the military relies on them for supply and maintenance of facilities.  If you
remember last month we had the first net loss of jobs since the end of Bush Recession and analysts
attributed that almost entirely to cuts in military spending. Expect more of the same. And it goes
without saying that National Security may be severely compromised as a result of the Sequester.

If you want your food to be safe, expect to be disappointed. There will be 2,100 fewer safety inspectors in slaughterhouses, meat processing plants and dairies. FDA and USDA inspectors were already stretched pretty thin, btw due to previous cuts. Some have suggested that this could lead to a meat shortage in stores since there won't be enough inspectors to approve it for consumption which will make meat more expensive for consumers.

If you are a low income family, expect hunger. The first round of cuts alone will throw 600,000 people off of WIC. The next round will bring the total to 970,000. But know your hunger inches America a very tiny bit closer to financial solvency without asking rich people to sacrifice more for their country.

If you fly sometimes, expect to be less sure you're going to get where you're going on time and safely. The Federal Aviation Administration is set to furlough 10% of its workforce and maybe up to 1,200 Air Traffic Controllers are set to take extended, pay free vacations. I don't know about you, but I'm feeling good about the sequester already.

If your kids are in Head Start, expect they may not be after March 1. As many as 70,000 kids who
basically did nothing wrong but need a little extra help will be punished as a result of this Sequester.
This makes America a better place, right?

Oh, and if you find yourself in another natural disaster, don't expect too much help from the federal
government that you've been paying taxes to all this time. Due to the Sequester, Big Government has
$1 Billion less to spend on your Taker-Up-To-Your-Neck-In-Water self. But, good news is: we're $1 billion closer to throttling Big Government. As you wait days for heat, power or clean water, I'm sure you'll agree it's totally worth it.,0,5234924.story

If you're waiting patiently for the cure you need, or you've been working diligently to find the cure,
expect to disappointed. The Sequester means you're likely to be screwed on all this. The
National Institutes of Health is about to see $12.5 Billion cut from their budget, but that itself is likely to force $860 Billion in economic activity to be lost from the economy. This means that 500,000 dedicated American scientists are about to lose their jobs.

Oh yeah and law enforcement. You didn't think you would be allowed to keep the manpower and
financial resources to do your job, did you? What were you thinking? You're facing a loss in manpower of 1,000 law enforcement officials and a furlough of 1,500 correctional authorities.  This includes FBI agents and Border Patrol Agents. Hopefully criminals will also take a furlough.

We're looking a million jobs lost as a result of the Sequester. Republicans forced this mess. They should be forced to own it. Let your representative know that this is not the way Congress should operate.

Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth- Illinois  8th Congressional District

Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth
United States House of Representatives
104 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Ph: 202-225-3711

Congressman Bill Foster - Illinois 11th Congressional District

Congressman Bill Foster
United States House of Representatives
1224 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Ph: 202-225-3515


Congressman Mike Quigley - Illinois 5th Congressional District

Congressman Mike Quigley
1124 Longworth House Office Building
Washington DC, 20510

Phone:  202.225.4061




Congressman Peter Roskam- Illinois 6th Congressional District

Peter Roskam
United States House of Representatives
227 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-1306

Ph: 202-225-4561



Twitter: @PeterRoskam

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin

Sen. Dick Durbin
United States Senate
711 Hart Senate Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510
Ph: (202) 224-2152




Illinois Senator Mark Kirk

Senator Mark Kirk
524 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC, 20510

Phone: 202-224-2854



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