Sequestration is a budgetary control method of cutting back on costs for the state, or at an individual level, the seizure of property for creditors. Sequestration as a budgetary control measure is widely used, and it may be advantageous if properly implemented, that is finding the right time (in the economical aspect), and the right way of doing it. Although this may be a hard factor to determine since there is never the right time to propose, or implement budget cuts, since nobody is really ever ready or willing to have less of what was in their budgets, if it is timely and properly done it actually may turn out to be beneficial to the state (McAllister, 2013). This is true since the longer the delay of an already planned sequestration, the deeper the cuts will be on the day it starts.
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In the US for example, people agreed that the sequester was bad for a long period of time since they were in fear of the country hitting another recession due to all the major cut-backs affecting almost every sector of their economy that is, Medicare, education, the environment, and the military (“What it Means for Agencies to be Under the Sequester” par 3). However, considering everything, the surest way of avoiding or minimizing the effects of sequester is by planning on mitigation (Forsyth, 2013). As proposed by president Barrack Obama, who blamed the Republicans saying ‘they allowed it to happen’ (Glickman, 2013).
The Sequester, however, is split evenly by dollar amounts, and this, therefore, means that there are exemptions for certain sectors and programs. The Nutrition Assistance program, the Supplemental Security Income, and Veterans’ Compensation for Health Benefits for example are all exempt from sequestration.
Different states are affected differently during sequestration and in different areas of their economy. The severity of the Sequester, therefore, is very different from one region to the other. Looking at the individual factors affected by the Sequester and the impact they have on each sector, for example, can help us to understand this better.
Taking Education, for example, states like Texas will be the worst hit since a cut back of $67.8million will affect some 1500 teachers who may lose their jobs and a total of 5000 students may lack funding for their education (“How Will the Sequester Hit Texas” par 2). In addition to this, a cut-back of $54.5 million in education funding in Florida, will also have a negative impact that will be greatly felt in the economy. Illinois is also not spared either (LoGiurato, 2013). A $33.4 million cut-back translates to about 500 teaching and aide jobs such as substitute teachers and non-teaching personnel at risk of retrenchment.
Sequestration also presents threats to Public Health (“Sequestration Hits the Reservation” par 4). It is actually a sector which was included in the proposed budget cuts, and in which the effects were realized. For example, in New York City, the number of HIV tests being performed has greatly been reduced due to this. In California, vaccinations will be reduced to the tune of 16000.
Another sector facing sequestration is the military and law enforcement agencies responsible for states’ defense systems. The states likely to be severely affected include California and Maryland, which are experiencing about 64,000 military furloughs, and furloughs to the tune of about 90,000 employees working for the Department of Defense respectively. The Army would also have to cut its base funding by an astronomical $146 million, the Air force is cutting back by about $8million, while the Navy has been forced to cancel the maintenance of its ships and delay other ship-related projects (“Non-Defense Sequester in FY 2013” par 4).
Childcare systems will also be affected, leaving disadvantaged and vulnerable children in a tougher predicament; this is seen in states like Pennsylvania.
Job-assistance funding and job search assistance programs will also be affected leaving a considerable amount of people who are searching for jobs locked out of the employment sector (Allie, 2013). This is bad enough for any economy since labor or workforce is a significant contributor to the economy and therefore a very important aspect.
Substance abuse centers will also have to cut down their operations by a significantly reducing the rate of admission of substance abuse addicts, a move which can have quite an impact on any state, the most affected being states like Ohio which will have 4200 fewer admissions (Landers, 2012).
Also, programs that provide needs to senior members of the society will be affected considerably, e.g., as pertains to their meals. Michigan will likely be the most affected since they will lose $1.8 million (Baucum, 2013).
Public safety funding will also be affected in form of justice assistant grants, which was meant to be disbursed to a variety of law enforcement agencies, precisely $1.6 million in California and also to Illinois (“Federal Government Faces Mandatory Spending Cuts” par 5). Law enforcement in these states will be greatly affected negatively. Environmental departments are also affected, for example, in the maintenance of the environment itself, provision of clean water, energy, and etcetera (Landers, 2012). Alaska will be the one to suffer the most since it loses millions of dollars that would have been used for fish and wildlife protection programs. This money totals up to $1.2 million to be exact.
All these cutbacks are negatively affecting each state leaving millions of people who are in dire need of certain services even more vulnerable, especially taking into account the high state of unemployment in the country and also the minimum wage earners’ class.
Institutions also feel the impact of the sequestration, e.g., the University Researcher who now has less access to vital resources (Mervis, 2012). Scientific research facilities have also been significantly affected due to the cut-backs, imposing a slow movement of scientific research due to the reduction of funds, which are hindering operations (Bidwell, 2013). Needed High School students have also been affected by the sequestration since funding organizations such as TRIO and GEAR UP have to minimize the fund’s disbursement to these students. Consequently, more and needier students will be locked out of High School.
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However, sequestration is not all bad. It also has some positive sides to it, for example:
- Saving stress if sequestration is the immediate best-option since one is able to plan ahead.
- Writing off debts; sequestration provides a long term solution to debt.
- Keeping some of your assets (the important assets).
- A new beginning; after a sequester you are able to start a new, if some of your property, and assets were repossessed by your creditors.
- No further action by creditors; after the sequester is over, it gives the state a piece of mind since they do not have to worry about any further action by the creditors.
- Relatively cheap to implement; through sequestration itself involves large cut-backs, it is easy to implement since it only needs a decision to be made by the concerned parties.
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“Federal Government Faces Mandatory Spending Cuts.” Paisano. Paisano Educational Trust. 2013. Web.
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