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What is the impact of the sequester?

Published: Monday, March 4 2013 10:25 a.m. MST

Since the sequester kicked off last Friday, many are wondering what the real effects are going to be. As usual with a political decision this big, there is commentary on both sides of the aisle, and it is hard to find consensus on how severe these mandatory budget cuts are really going to be and what the future budget discussion will look like in Washington.

In a recent article for the Washington Post, Ezra Klien and Evan Soltas do a nice job compiling commentary from around the web which highlights much of the discussion around the sequester. They provide a snapshot into the current dialogue surrounding automatic budget cuts.

But how does the public feel about the sequester? In another Washington Post article, Chris Cillizza and Sean Sullivan show a word cloud of a Gallup Poll that asked people what one word came to mind when they thought about the across-the-board cuts that went into effect on Friday. The most commonly mentioned word — “bad.” But “bad” was closely followed by “good.”

Some commentary suggests that these budget cuts are only scare tactics and will not have a great impact, as shown in history by the 1986 sequester. Still another article by Eric Schulzke of the Deseret News shows that just the anticipation of the sequester has impacted communities.

Time will tell what the real effects will be, but unfortunately, Tom Cohen, in an article for CNN, explains that Friday’s budget cuts are just a “prelude for more political showdowns in coming months.” March 27 is the deadline for Congress to approve government funding for the rest of the fiscal year. If Congress fails to reach an agreement on funding by then, the nation will again face the same types of discussions we have just had, and that is only three weeks away.

Email: mhartvigsen@desnews.com

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