WASHINGTON- This sequestration deal was first approved in 2011 as a way to raise the debt ceiling, but with across the board cuts so devastating it would force the two sides to negotiate a better deal.
That never happened, and President Obama was forced to sign a sequestration order Friday evening, before the 11:59 p.m. deadline.
Now, more than $141 million from Michigan’s federal budgets are gone.
While the finger-pointing in Washington continues, it’s our state’s education and military bases that will be hit the hardest, according to the White House.
It breaks down like this:
Primary and secondary education may lose roughly $22 million in funding; putting some 300 teacher and aide jobs at risk. Special education will take a $20 million hit too.
The State’s Department of Defense will furlough 10,000 Michigan employees, reducing the parole by nearly $68 million. Earlier this week, Colonel Ron Wilson with the Battle Creek Air National Guard Base says the hit affects our ability to go to war, and the training hours necessary to keep the pilots certified.
“When you limit the number of (flights), you limited the number of training events (the pilots) can do, so it affects readiness, it affects training, it affects the ability to do our job,” Col. Wilson stated.
Cuts are also expected in Michigan for things like public health and vaccines, senior meals assistance, and job search help.
However, some are convinced the cuts will not be too painful, that life will go on pretty much the same.
“It’s impossible for me to believe that out of $3.7 trillion that we are spending, that $80 billion is going to end the world as we know it,” Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI) told FOX 17. “And the frustration is that this White House refuses to put in place some common sense reform.”
Meanwhile President Obama says the cuts are “dumb” and it’s a choice the Republicans have made.
“They’ve allowed these cuts to happen because they refuse to budge on closing a single wasteful loophole to help reduce the deficit.”
The President added that the real victims are middle-class families and the military.