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The Sequestration’s Human Toll






In English, “sequestration” sounds like obscure policy wonk jargon. In Spanish, it has a very simple meaning: “kidnapping.”

The kidnapping of our economy is exactly what’s in store for later this week, unless a last minute deal derails plans to cut $85 billion from the federal budget. Corporate backed politicians like Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) claim that the cuts target “an excessive, bloated, big federal government that’s highly inefficient and highly ineffective.” But the truth is that the cuts will slice deep into our most important safety net programs.

What will sequestration mean for our families? According to a simple summary from the non-partisan United Way  the effects in Californian’s health and education include the following:

  • Nearly 400,000 low income women and their children will lose prenatal and preventive health care services.
  • 24,665 children will be denied vaccination against dangerous diseases.
  • More than 5,000 young children will be denied child care and early education.
  • The education of an additional 296,172 children will be disrupted when 1,920 educators lose their jobs.
  • Professional development support will be taken away from 24,000 teachers serving 475,000 students.
  • The training of 331,676 students for high-demand jobs will be halted.
  • 140,000 unemployed people will be denied employment services and 60,000 people will lose job training support.

And that’s not all.

  • Starting in April, nearly two million long-term unemployed Americans will suffer benefit cuts averaging $132 per month.
  • The year-and-a-half backlog in immigration courts will grow even longer, as will the delays facing “legal” immigrants.

For a complete list of the sequester impacts in California, click here.

For a national overview of [the] sequester’s human consequences, turn to Colorlines, an authoritative source of news you can use to work for social justice.

(Steve Askin is Research Director for Good Jobs LA, where his post first appeared. Republished with permission.)

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