Lets take a look at what is expected to be affected by sequestering. Since all “lists” are the same form with various values plugged in for each state’s unique situation, we’ll only post the “form”. The affected groups are:
- Education (Title I education funds, Head Start, Special education (IDEA)
- Evinronmental Protection Agency (although not specifically named as such)
- FBI/Law Enforcement
- Unemployment Services
- Public Health
- Nutrition Programs
- Small Business Adminstration (SBA)
- Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
- The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
- The National Institutes of Health (NIH)
- The National Science Foundation (NSF)
- FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) and other operations of the FDA
- Economic Development Administration’s (EDA),
- Department of the Interior (DOI) and other agencies that plan for new projects, conduct environmental reviews, issue permits and inspect operations.
- Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
- National Park Service
Department of Health and Human Services’ Child Care and Development
- Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD)
- Mental Health Block Grant program
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
- Indian Health Service
When you read the list, some of it sounds really bad and some sounds not so bad. We could spend less money in some of those places. The fact is that every one of those agencies will always want more money. Now, lets take a look at the words for some of these items that justify wanting more money.
Several of the sequster “items” listed are actually listed more than once, but reworded to make it look worse than before. A thinly veiled scare tactic. Here is one example:
Homelessness programs – More than 100,000 formerly homeless people, including veterans,
would be removed from their current housing and emergency shelter programs, putting them at risk
of returning to the streets.
This snippet is actually covered under other programs previously listed in the document. By adding it again here with the phrase ” including veterans”, Mr. Obama wants you to feel shock, sadness, anger and maybe even guilt if you do not do something to prevent the our heroes from being on the streets. What can you do? Other than telling your representatives to do get off their tails and do something, not much.
There are other fear generating phrases in the document. Here is one about mental health issues expecting to tug at your heart strings for people of all ages who suffer mental illness:
Cuts to the Mental Health Block Grant program
would result in over 373,000 seriously mentally ill adults and seriously emotionally disturbed
children not receiving needed mental health services. This cut would likely lead to increased
hospitalizations, involvement in the criminal justice system, and homelessness for these
individuals. In addition, close to 8,900 homeless persons with serious mental illness would not get
the vital outreach, treatment, housing, and support they need through the Projects for Assistance in
Transition from Homelessness (PATH) program.
And to make sure he hits all the notes he throws in this one:
Tribal services – The Indian Health Service and Tribal hospitals and clinics would be forced to
provide 3,000 fewer inpatient admissions and 804,000 fewer outpatient visits, undermining needed
health care in Tribal communities.
At the very least, it is the intent of these documents to bring fear to people and make Republicans feel shame for standing their ground. They are standing their ground because that is exactly why they were elected. Mr. Obama admits the Democrats are also standing their ground and that is why they were elected. There isn’t a problem with people doing what they were elected to do. The problem is when one group stands before the nation and says one half of the members of a society are the problem. Mr. Obama says he wants unity. This document does not reflect this. In fact, this document clearly states his willingness to divide the nation.
Most people will agree that some of these agencies should receive funding cuts or be removed completely. The problem is, people can’t agree on which agencies to reduce or get rid of completely. No one wants “their piece of the pie” thrown out.
The simple fact is that all of congress didn’t act in a way that would further the purposes of a government. Instead, if they do not come to some agreement soon they will deliberately, as a single unit called congress, allow sequestering to take place. Why shouldn’t they? As noted in yesterday’s article, they have done it before.
Image: White House Web Site