Mariela Limon |Staff Writer|
The nation will be hit with $85 billion of automatic spending cuts beginning March 1, threatening jobs and funding nationwide, unless Congress agrees on a resolution plan to avoid cuts.
According to a White House blog, “Congress passed a law saying that if they couldn’t agree on a plan to reduce our deficit by $4 trillion – including the $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction lawmakers in both parties have already accomplished over the last few years – about $1 trillion in automatic, arbitrary cuts would start to take effect this year.”
If no action is taken, the proposed cuts will affect domestic and defense spending.
White House officials released a report on the impact the spending cuts, also known sequestration, will have on each state.
In California there will be cuts for primary and secondary schools and teachers at a rate of $87.6 million and $3.6 billion in the state’s defense industry.
Work-study jobs for college students will be reduced by 3,690 jobs and 9,600 fewer students will get aid for their schooling.
The Head Start Program, public health, law enforcement, and public safety programs, among others, will all lose some funding.
According to whitehouse.gov, President Barack Obama spoke of the issue Feb. 19, “There are people whose livelihoods are at stake. There are communities that are going to be impacted in a negative way. And I know that sometimes all this squabbling in Washington seems very abstract, and in the abstract, people like the idea, there must be some spending we can cut, there must be some waste out there. There absolutely is. But this isn’t the right way to do it.”
Medicare and Social Security will not be affected with the cuts.
A plan appears to be out of the question due to President Obama and Democrats wanting to raise taxes in order to halt some of the spending cuts, something Republicans are generally opposed to.
The Los Angeles Times reports that according to a survey by the National Association for Business Economic, 60 percent of economists see the cuts as inevitable.
According to The Washington Post, Speaker of the House John Boehner said Feb. 25, “The president can sit down with Harry Reid tonight and work with Senate Democrats, who have the majority in the Senate to move a bill. It’s time for them to act. I’ve made this clear for months now, and yet we’ve seen nothing.”
With time running out, Congress is pressed for time.