‘Big, dumb spending cuts:’ that no one wants but everyone might get


The Office of Management and Budget released a report today detailing the devastating effects of the “Sequestration” budget cuts on the country, if they are implemented in January 2013.

The automatic cuts were mandated by law after the Super Committee failed to institute cuts after raising the debt ceiling to avoid defaulting and include automatic spending cuts to domestic and defense programs across the board, with little discretion as to where the cuts are instituted.

“The whole point of this is that it’s supposed to be so mindless and stupid that everyone finds it unacceptable,” explained Bob Greenstein, the executive director of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

The cuts would kick in at the start of next year unless Congress acts.

“The only thing Congress would need to do to prevent these big, dumb cuts that no one wants is to agree on an equivalently-sized deficit reduction package they’d prefer of smarter cuts,” said Ezra Klein, guest host of The Ed Show on Friday. “But thus far because they’re Congress and they’re terrible at their jobs that has not happened.”

What would sequestration cut?

Cuts to Domestic Services
Takeaway: Cuts would undermine “economic growth, threaten the safety and security of the American people, and cause severe harm to programs that benefit the middle-class, seniors, and children.”

-Cutting education grants that support smaller classes, afterschool programs, and children with disabilities
-“Slashing” the number of FBI agents, Customs and Border Patrol agents, correctional officers, and federal prosecuters
-Reducing the ability of the Federal Aviation Administration’s ability to oversee and manage airspace and air control

Cuts to Defense Spending
Takeaway: The cuts would have “devastating impact on important defense and nondefense programs.”

-Reduce non-deployed units
-Delay investments in new equipment and facilities, cutbacks in equipment repairs
-Reduce base services for military families
-Cut military research and development efforts

Ezra Klein and Sequester

'Big, dumb spending cuts:' that no one wants but everyone might get