Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite Save As Favorite View Article Stats
No comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

This FAA Sequester Vote Doesn't Smell Right

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

Headlined to H3 4/29/13

opednews.com

Well, well. It appears that both the Senate and House have voted to end sequester-imposed furloughs of air traffic controllers, just in time for the weekend.

You choose: Is this bipartisan support to mitigate one of the noxious effects of sequestration, which I and others have been tracking? Or is it papering over the high-visibility stuff that affects the affluent while lots of other budget bleeding goes on beneath the radar?

I choose the latter. While the annoyance of flight delays caught the attention of elected officials, businesspeople and other frequent flyers, lots of other, less advantaged Americans will continue to feel the pain of the sequester due to cuts in a variety of programs.

My CBPP colleague Sharon Parrott outlined some of the people outside of airport security lines facing sequestration-induced hardships:

  • Jobless workers losing unemployment benefits. Sequestration requires every state to cut benefits for the long-term unemployed. So far, roughly 800,000 workers in 19 states have seen their benefits cut by... about $120 a month, on average. When all states implement these cuts, they will affect as many as 3.8 million jobless workers.
  • Children losing Head Start. ...Already, some Head Start programs are cutting their programs for the current school year -- dropping children from the program, ending the school year several weeks early, or cutting services such as bus transportation. These cuts can leave families scrambling to find alternatives for their children. The Associated Press reports, for example:

At least two Indiana Head Start programs have resorted to a random drawing to determine which three-dozen preschool students will be removed from the education program for low-income families, a move officials said was necessary to limit the impact of mandatory across-the-board federal spending cuts.

  • Seniors losing Meals on Wheels. Some seniors programs in various states are cutting the number of home-delivered meals provided or seniors served. In central Maine, for example, the agency on aging has started a waiting list for seniors and cut the number of weekly visits to seniors receiving meals from two to one.
  • Low-income families, seniors, and people with disabilities losing housing assistance. CBPP estimates that 140,000 fewer households will receive vouchers to help them afford decent housing.

House Democrat Rick Larsen summed this up well in Politico yesterday: "...no 3- or 4-year-old is going to call my office and say, 'I've been kicked out of Head Start, replace that money.'"

I get hit by air delays a lot and I hate it. But this vote doesn't smell right. If this boneheaded approach to budgeting remains in place and policymakers continue to cherry pick which sequester-related problems they'll fix -- they'll be the ones that bug the public the most -- that means everything else will have to be cut back that much more. And that will inevitably be the stuff that matters most to the poor and unemployed, who lack the political voice, access, or visibility to stop the cuts.

Bin Appelbaum of the NYT got to the essence of the thing in a tweet: "Maybe unemployed people should try standing on runways." See you there...

This post originally appeared at Jared Bernstein's On The Economy blog & is crossposted at Huffington Post.

 

Follow Jared Bernstein on Twitter: www.twitter.com/econjared


 

Jared Bernstein joined the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in May 2011 as a Senior Fellow. From 2009 to 2011, Bernstein was the Chief Economist and Economic Adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, executive director of the White House Task Force (more...)
 
Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Presidential Power To Influence the Economy

Our Crumbling Infrastructure: This Time, It's Personal

Why Should Any of These Groups Have Tax-Exempt Status? Posted: 05/14/2013 3:26 pm

Risk Manager in Chief

Why McCain's Wealth Matters

Again With the Trickle Down!?!

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
No comments