Sequestration Band-Aids

As a student, facing ultimatums is a strong incentive to be a productive self-starter. The purpose of deadlines is to force individuals to complete their work on time, whether it takes the form of an English essay or a Federal Budget. Two times so far this year, Congress has been holding out to the last minute hoping that the other party will give in to their demands. The Borowitz Report states that, after the Fiscal Cliff fiasco, “Congress [collapsed] from exhaustion after doing job.” Congress really needs a teacher to literally promulgate the notion that “If they had started working on the budget 2 years ago when it was assigned, they would have had plenty of time to check for errors.” Moreover, unlike the research paper I started at 11 P.M., the recent last minute decisions of Congress are not going to neatly fall into place. As a result, California is going to face $9 billion to $10 billion worth of cuts out of the planned $85 billion which will be taken out of the Federal Budget.

A U.S. Navy helicopter flies over Southern California. California’s defense industry will lose up to $3.2 billion in government funding if sequestration of the Federal Budget is carried out.

California’s defense industry is going to take much of the blow, with a loss of $3.2 billion of government funding. 8350 teachers at military elementary and high schools will be furloughed for one day a week for the next 22 weeks as a result of the Sequester act. Roughly 64,000 Department of Defense employees are going to be forced to take leave from work, reducing pay by roughly $399.4 million in total. The army stations based in California will lose $54 million in California. Many politicians have reacted negatively to these seemingly drastic cuts, including Gov. Jerry Brown, who recently stated that “We need stimulus, not premature austerity.”

California will lose roughly $87.6 million in funding for primary and secondary education, according to the White House’s Sequester fact sheet. As a result, 1,210 teachers and aide jobs are at risk. Ultimately, 187,000 students would not be served, and 320 fewer schools would receive funding. As a private school, Bellarmine is not going to feel any of these cuts, but schools in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas are much more likely to take the blow.

However, UCLA economist Jerry Nickelsburg believes that because of California’s recent economic growth, the blow won’t be as significant in other areas. In fact, despite sequestration, U.S. Cargo volume has increased by 2.3% nation-wide. In April, this growth is supposed to increase to 3.65%. Evidently, the cuts themselves have not been very drastic overall. Bellarmine junior Alex Doan believes that “the impacts of sequestration are completely overblown considering it is only a nation-wide $85 billion cut.” In light of the $5.9 trillion the Obama Administration has added to the deficit, $85 billion does not seem very significant. Moreover, considering the total California economy is $2 trillion, the cuts of $9 billion to $10 billion in California will not strike as catastrophic as a blow as people thought.

While the sequester will have a significant impact on the defense industry and primary and secondary education, its overall effects on California will be minimal, and even less significant for the nation. California might seek out a “band-aid” in the form of stimulus after playing on the financial playground from its mother, the Federal Government.


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