THE BLOG

WIll Republicans Feel the Sequester Pain?

05/24/2013 01:25 pm ET | Updated Jul 24, 2013
  • Larry Hirsch Team Leader, Essex County Organizing for Action

The first effects of the sequester were felt by most Americans when air traffic controllers were furloughed. Flights were delayed and Congress got alarmed. Republicans, most of whom felt that there would be no pain caused by the sequester, felt the pain this time. Flights were delayed and a visible picture of thousands of Americans being inconvenienced played out all over social and regular media. This panicked Republicans and the rest of Congress so the passed a Band-Aid appropriation to keep the Controllers on the job.

This was only the first effect of the sequester and Republicans who think that government spending is mostly waste will have more intrusions from reality. What will happen when some veterans can't get health care, defense payments are delayed because civilian workers are furloughed, education funds are cut to their district, community development projects are cancelled or people lose their homes? These are just a few of the cuts that will strike home throughout the country. WIll Republicans realize then that massive sending cuts they wanted and enabled affect them and their constituents?

The private sector will also suffer from the sequester. Yes, most Republicans would rather give government money to private contractors, believing they are much more efficient than government workers. As is this shown not to be true much of the time, privatization is also a reward for many of the Republicans' corporate friends. When these friends srart losing contracts will they put pressure on Republicans to end the sequester. The jobs lost due to the sequester will not just be those of furloughed government employees but at private firms as well. Will this economic slowdown bring common sense to Republicans and get them to cut an economic deal?

Republicans forced the sequester in their mistaken belief that permanent, across-the-board cuts in government spending is good for the country. However, the pain of sequester will hit home in services lost in their districts and contracts lost to their contractors. They got an emergency appropriation to abate the sequester symptom of the air traffic controllers we can only hope they get a budget deal when the whole disease strikes.

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