9 Ways the Sequester Will Affect You

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Sequestration and daily life

For most of the past two months, politicians and pundits have predicted that, like the government's previous artificial fiscal disasters, sequestration was going to be resolved at the last minute. But "hope" isn't all that effective a strategy when one is hurtling toward the abyss, and it looks like sequestration might actually happen after all. While Republicans in Congress are rushing to shift blame for the fiscally suicidal plan onto President Obama, and congressional Democrats unable to attract any GOP moderates toward a compromise, the massive budget cuts that we've been dreading are about to arrive.

There's a bright side, sort of: The $1.2 trillion that is scheduled to get hacked out of the federal budget over the next decade would, in a simple world, go a long way toward cutting the deficit. The trouble is, we don't live in a simple world, and using a sweeping policy like sequestration to attack a comparatively minor problem like the deficit is sort of like amputating an arm to fix a hangnail. The cuts would ripple across the economy, slashing federal programs, putting people out of work and quite possibly sending the economy tumbling back into recession -- which would shrink tax revenues, and make our deficits larger, not smaller.

Even if we dodged a recession, shrinking consumer spending, paired with rising unemployment would still translate into reduced tax revenue. At the same time, we'll be paying out more money for social programs to cover people who aren't able to support themselves because their government-funded or -supported jobs have disappeared. In other words, we'll be right back where we are right now, borrowing money to cover the vital expenses of running the nation.

And if the rating agencies cut our credit rating in light of Congress' apparent desire to to cut the legs out from under an economy in the midst of a slow recovery, borrowing that money could get more costly too.

As numerous pundits have already pointed out, the sequester will be especially tough on anyone employed by the federal government. In other words, you might want to batten down the hatches if you work for a government agency, the military, a military contractor, or anyone with a federal government contract. For that matter, you might want to dust off your résumé if you work for a fast food joint that serves a lot of military personnel, a store that sells coffee to people who work for public schools, or any other company within two or three degrees of separation from anyone who relies on federal money.

But even if you don't work for the CDC, or run a Jiffy Lube across the street from a military base, you still need to be prepared for sequestration. After all, many of those government employees who will be looking for work are currently doing jobs that matter to you. Here's a look at nine unexpected ways that sequestration will probably touch your life:




Bruce Watson is a senior features writer for DailyFinance. You can reach him by e-mail at bruce.watson@teamaol.com, or follow him on Twitter at @bruce1971.

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Annie O

Oh PUHLEEZE.....enough with "the sky is falling" mentality...it's NOT! ..stop the spending then do your JOB!! I'm sick of listening to the daily Obama Drama

March 04 2013 at 10:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
getr41

Get Obama OUT of OFFICE..........

March 01 2013 at 11:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
justappraisals

The SNL skit we would like to see. (okay pro Constitutional Americans) Behind the scene in the white house:

Obama comes up with the sequester:

Pro's: it reduces the over inflated "increases" of our over spending.

So we have over spending that is going to raise the over spending higher?
Yup, Why would we NOT want that? Let me be clear, we can still get our over spending budget increased, Pay very little on the deficit and We can blame the Shortages on the Republicans, and make it look like I helped the deficit.

Sounds great, how do we blame the Republicans though? Simple I will go on national (my network) TV and just tell the people that if the sequester goes through we all die (smirk) Can't be done--Watch me, I have done it before. Besides, when the public catches wind of the cut backs we say (tongue and cheek) will happen, they will go crazy, then we (I) swoop in and and save the day and get a bigger increase.

Mewahhahahahah, -----------------lets do it. But what are the cons?

NON -LOLOLOLOLOLOL

March 01 2013 at 4:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
omgnojobs

OBAMY IS A COMMUNIST DICTATOR NOT THE PRESIDENT N NEEDS TO BE REMOVED FROM OUR WHITE HOUSE IN HANDCUFFS SO WE CAN STOP HIS "OBSTRUCTING" NONSENSE FOR THE LAST 4 PLUS YEARS . !

March 01 2013 at 4:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
omgnojobs

OBAMY N DUMMYCRAPS ARE "STILL"OBSTRUCTING OUR AMERICAN RECOVERY AFTER THEY TANKED OUR ECONOMY N HOUSING MARKETS N NOW OBAMY IS RELEASING VIOLENT ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS THAT "BROKE" INTO AMERICA FROM OUR JAILS TO KILL AMERICANS. N THATS IS CAUSE FOR IMPEACHMENT. !

March 01 2013 at 4:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
arbeauchamp

What did we do in 2007 and before? All this stuff happened then. We're still spending more than last year and this is only a cut in the growth of spending. We're spending $1 trillion more every year since Obama came in office. Come on people, use your heads!

March 01 2013 at 10:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
robley500

This is complete BS - Our Government needs to stop with the threats! Our gov't accountability office isn't accountable, but is anything done? Thanks Obama, and most all other elected officials, for NOTHING! Stop taking care of your special interest groups and do your job.

February 28 2013 at 2:21 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
mla1950

Wow! Your position couldn't be more transparent. Sounds like your solution is to do nothing and the Great Society will take care of itself. Perhaps if you reflect back to pre 1963 you have visions of Americans starving in the streets awaiting their welfare checks.
This out of control spending spree has to end. Let it begin now!
P.S. Try not to be afraid.

February 28 2013 at 12:50 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
aaron.cowell

Sequestration will cause a "cut" in less than 2% of the INCREASES in the budget. Why won't someone call out these LIARS?

February 28 2013 at 12:45 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
clarita995

testing........
testing
1-2-3-TESTING....

February 28 2013 at 11:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to clarita995's comment
clarita995

LMAO ! bs continues on these daily finance pages with the ERROR MESSAGES /try again later---so WHERE WAS THIS ?
wasn't there yesterday ....

March 01 2013 at 7:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply