Sequester is another word that has entered into my vocabulary and mind lately. Originally a legal term, it refers to the act of valuable property being taken into custody by an agent of the court and locked away for safekeeping. What it refers to as of late, are automatic spending cuts. Sequester sounds better than stating what it actually is. Cuts. And here, in my house, this will be a big deal.
My husband will be furloughed from his job. Another fancy word. Furlough. It sounds like your going somewhere. And really, you are. Just not to your job. He will lose a day of work once a week. That's four days a month he wont be paid for, which equals a lot. Food, gas. I would say that will surely take a hit. I like the actual definition for the word. "Leave of absence, esp. that granted to a member of the armed service" Granted??
What do these spending cuts mean outside of my house? Well, fellow Pennsylvanians, hold onto your seats. Here is the Cliff note version of what very well may go down for all of us.
If, and that's a tricky word, because let's face it, Congress will probably not get it together for the good of it's citizens, if the sequestrian were to take effect, here are just a few examples of who and what will feel the impact, this year alone.
Teachers and schools. (Always the first to go, I mean why not, right?) PA will lose around $21.4 million in funding for primary and secondary education. That translates into teachers, and aides jobs being at risk, and 29,000 fewer students being served and about 90 fewer schools being funded. Children with disabilities...eeks. They will feel it too. Funding will be cut for them, resulting in less teachers and aids who help them. Head start would be eliminated. Eliminated for about 2,300 children. Yeah, sorry kids. No more school for you.
Protection for clean air and clean water. How 'bout that! I mean, who needs clean air and water, right?
Military readiness is the doozy that will effect my family, aside from the teacher, school thingy, and water and air risk. 26,000 civilian Department of Defense employees will be granted that furlough. I am sure they are all excited about this. I know we can just sacrifice some pay. (that would have been written in sarcastic font if there was such a thing)
Oh yeah...law enforcement and public safety...they are going to lose some funds. That shouldn't be a big deal, right? Job training, Child care, Vaccines for kids, STOP violence against women program, Nutrition Assistant for Seniors, I mean cutting food assistance for older people seems logical to put on the chopping block, as well as Food safety. Yes! Food safety! 2,100 fewer food inspections could occur. I guess I'll skip the au jus.
Cuts to mental health in the form of leaving 373,000 seriously mentally ill adults and emotionally disturbed children could go untreated, but who's counting? FBI and customs, border patrol, aviation safety, Emergency responders, FEMA,medical research programs, small business assistance, Veteran services, Special Education, WIC, Homeless programs...the list goes on and on. All on the chopping block. Be it cuts, or reduction in funding. Who needs WIC? It stands to reason that women, infants, and children should be expected to do without. All 600,000 of them. And lets not even mention the job loss. All of these programs have grease in the wheels. They will go if the wheel stops turning.
BUT! Here's the but. It's a big one! You ready? Loopholes will not be closed. Loopholes for the well off and the well connected. For hedge fund managers. Oil companies. Corporate jet owners. They are all going to be OK. I know you probably were getting concerned after seeing all that is on the chopping block as of 11:59 tonight. But rest assured. The well off, the top earners in this country, are going to be just fine.
It won't even be a bump on the bucolic road for 'em.