What Sequester And Shrinking Government Will Cost Us

A New York Times editorial lays it out.

These cuts, which will cost the economy more than one million jobs over the next two years, are the direct result of the Republican demand in 2011 to shrink the government at any cost, under threat of a default on the nation’s debt. Many Republicans say they would still prefer the sequester to replacing half the cuts with tax revenue increases. But the government spending they disdain is not an abstract concept. In a few days, the cuts will begin affecting American life and security in significant ways…

NATIONAL SECURITY Two-week furloughs for most law-enforcement personnel will reduce Coast Guard operations, including drug interdictions and aid to navigation, by 25 percent. Cutbacks in Customs agents and airport security checkpoints will “substantially increase passenger wait times,” the Homeland Security Department said, creating delays of as much as an hour at busy airports. The Border Patrol will have to reduce work hours by the equivalent of 5,000 agents a year…

AIR TRAFFIC About 10 percent of the Federal Aviation Administration’s work force of 47,000 employees will be on furlough each day, including air traffic controllers, to meet a $600 million cut. The agency says it will be forced to reduce air traffic across the country, resulting in delays and disruptions, particularly at peak travel times.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE Every F.B.I. employee will be furloughed for nearly three weeks over the course of the year, the equivalent of 7,000 employees not working each day. The cut to the F.B.I. of $550 million will reduce the number of background checks on gun buyers that the bureau can perform, and reduce response times on cyberintrusion and counterterrorism investigations.

A cut of $338 million will mean more than a two-week furlough for 37,000 prison employees. This will result in lockdowns at federal prisons across the country, increasing the chances for violence and risks to guards, and preventing the opening of three new prison buildings…

HEALTH AND SAFETY A cut of $350 million to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will mean 25,000 fewer breast and cervical cancer screenings for low-income women; 424,000 fewer H.I.V. tests; and the purchase of 540,000 fewer doses of vaccine for flu, hepatitis and measles. Community health centers will be cut by $120 million, meaning that about 900,000 fewer patients lacking insurance will receive primary care.

A three-week furlough of all food safety employees will produce a shortage of meat, poultry and eggs, pushing prices higher and harming restaurants and grocers. The Agriculture Department warns that public health could be affected by the inevitable black-market sales of uninspected food…

TRAINING AND MAINTENANCE The Army, which has done most of the fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, says it will be forced to curtail training for 80 percent of its ground forces and that by the end of the year, two-thirds of its brigade combat teams will fall below acceptable levels of combat readiness.

About Alan

Alan Alan Colmes is the publisher of Liberaland.

Connect

Follow on Twitter Connect on Facebook View all Posts