It’s that time of year again — you know, when our government is scheduled to financially shut-down because our elected officials in the District of Columbia refuse to play nice and put the American people ahead of partisan politics. This time, unless Congress acts before March 1, we’re headed for a sequester that will have substantial economic impacts across the country — and globe. First, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was for this happening and now he’s against it.
Boehner has made his press rounds blaming President Obama for the pending sequester — automatic cuts that affect families, seniors, children and our people in uniform — but what he’s failed to mention is that in 2011, he was in favor of the move, citing it as a means to hold President Obama accountable and to limit his spending.
A week ago, John Avalon of The Daily Beast shared a 2011 PowerPoint presentation from Boehner's office that "[proved] it’s not Obama’s sequester after all." The seven-page agenda, entitled "Two-Step Approach to Hold President Obama Accountable," makes positive notation of a sequester and discusses how it will cut government spending, advance the initiative of the Balanced Budget Amendment, makes no tax hikes, saves money and controls future spending.
In this video, President Obama explains the sequester as an "arbitrary, automatic budget cut to kick in that will slow our economy, eliminate good jobs, leave a lot of folks who are already pretty thinly stretched scrambling to figure out what to do. Thousands of teachers and educators will be laid off. Tens of thousands of parents will have to deal with finding childcare for their children. Hundreds of thousands of Americans will lose access to primary care and preventative care like flu vaccinations and cancer screenings."
This week, the White House released a report highlighting how the sequester will affect each state. If the sequester happens, many Republican-led states, will suffer tremendously. This includes Boehner’s home of Ohio that will lose over $25 million in funding for primary and secondary education. All states will experience budget cuts if no deal is made; some that would experience an extreme impact are California (64,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed), Alabama (military funding would be cut by almost $100 million), and Texas (almost $10 million lost in public health funding).
Whether it's Obama's sequester or Boehner's sequester, millions of American families will be affected is a deal is not done this week. Considering the Speaker Boehner seems to not know where he stands on the matter, the future looks bleak under his leadership.