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On To the Next Step


Photo Credit: The Stand

Everyone in the nation is ready for the “fiscal cliff” to be solved and behind them but now America has the budget sequester to worry about. The fiscal cliff deal in January only dealt with one part of the fiscal cliff, taxation. But as a result, the Congress has yet to come up with a solution to the spending cuts (Forbes). The sequester is a group of cuts to federal spending set to take effect on March 1st of this year. The sequester was originally passed as part of the Budget Control Act of 2011. The sequester is also known as the debt ceiling compromise. These cuts were originally supposed to occur at the beginning of 2013 but they were delayed so the Congress and Obama can have more time to discuss the spending cuts. The Congress thought that they would have plenty of time to come up with a solution to the sequester before March 1st but now they are in the exact position they were in back in December. If the Congress and President Obama do not make a better deal, the sequester will go into effect immediately by cutting 10% of federal spending across the board (New York Times).

As of now, the sequester will result in $85.4 billion cuts across the board. In order to reduce our nation’s debt it is absolutely necessary that we make cuts in federal spending. However, I do not agree with having equal spending cuts across the board. For the spending cuts to be impactful, the Congress has to strategically cut different amounts off different programs and not the same across the board. For example, cuts in defense should be slightly greater than the cuts in Medicare. The Congress and the President need to get together within the next week and strategically figure out the amount of cuts that are needed in each federal program.

By studying and researching about the fiscal cliff in government class this year I learned that the Democrats want to cut more taxes rather than cut spending. The Republicans want the opposite, less tax increases and more spending cuts. The sequester will devastate the Democrats due to the cuts in government spending such as research and education. Although the Republicans want spending cuts they are not happy with the huge cuts in defense (New York Times).  As of now, the Democrats have proposed replacing the $85 million sequester cuts with a mix of tax increases and spending cuts. Republican and Democratic politicians need to come to an agreement based on the benefits.

Photo Credit: Forbes

The sequester causes loss of jobs too many people across the nation. According to Forbes, the cuts will affect the $22 million people employed by the government.  The cuts will decrease personal earnings of the work force by $109.4 billion and cost the nation’s economy 2.14 million jobs. The government Studies show that people will be loosing their jobs in all fifty states but California, Virginia, and Texas are said to have the largest potential jobs loss (Washington Post).

In government this year we spent a long time studying and discussing the fiscal cliff. At first, I had no idea what the fiscal cliff was about but by doing some research with my group and listening to in class discussions, I quickly learned what the fiscal cliff is along with the effects it will have on our country. By hearing my classmate’s views of the fiscal cliff during their group presentations, I began to formulate my own opinions. By learning about the fiscal cliff in government class this year, I am now able to follow and understand what is going on with the sequester in the news.

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  1. govabbyj
    February 22, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    Hi Sarah! Overall your post about fiscal cliff directly related to our class! You had a overall really nice flow, and great word choice. The only thing that I would say is to maybe revise this sentence, “the fiscal cliff deal in January, which led to the enactment of the American Taxpayer Relief Act, only dealt with one part of the fiscal cliff, the taxation.”

  2. February 23, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Thanks, Sarah – well done! I’m curious about what you mean when you write “… I began to formulate my own opinions.” You’ve described the sequester effectively, and you’ve maybe ‘dipped a toe in the water’ in terms of offering your own opinion here… so… how do you feel about this sequester plan??

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