| Federal budget fight puts thousands of jobs at risk
by Brian Leubitz
In case you haven't heard (and if so, congrats on that), the federal government is busy trying to make California's governance look smooth and easy. The self-imposed reckless spending cuts across the board are scheduled to take effect on March 1, and right now a deal doesn't look set to happen anytime soon. Sens. Coburn and McCaskill said as much a few days ago. Kevin Drum outlines why a deal is unlikely by simply outlining the possible outcomes:
1) Eliminate the sequester entirely. Zero chance of Republicans agreeing to this.
2) Ditch the defense cuts, replace them with domestic cuts plus a tax increase. Zero chance of Republicans agreeing to this.
3) Ditch the defense cuts, double the domestic cuts. Zero chance of Democrats agreeing to this.
4) Ditch the defense cuts, keep the domestic cuts. Approximately zero chance of Democrats agreeing to this.
5) Kick the can down the road with some kind of small-ball deal. Possible, I guess.
There are, of course, some minor shades between these options, but the room for negotiating is slim indeed. While polls show a majority of Americans would blame the Republicans, that doesn't actually pay the bills and keep the lights on. While some argue that the cuts will weaken Republican resolve on their hard-line tax position, it is still a dangerous game. How dangerous here at home?
Well, the White House put out a report on how California will be hit by the cuts, and it isn't pretty. Here is a quick sampler:
Education cuts: California would lose nearly $90million, putting over 1,200 teaching and support jobs at risk.Travel: Customs and homeland security resources would be drastically cut. Wait times at the bigger airports, like SFO and LAX could increase by over 90 minutes. Health: Several programs would take big cuts. Vaccines for children would lose over a million dollars, meaning 15,000 children wouldn't be vaccinated. Substance abuse programs would lose $12.4 for treatment, closing off that option for 9,400 patients. And HIV testing would lose $2million, meaning almost 50,000 fewer tests.
Of course, that is just a smattering of the cuts, they also extend to job training and placement, child care, and environmental cuts. Yet there has been little sign of movement from the hard-line GOP caucus in the House, and the deadline is just a few days away.