With sequestration now in place, federal funding for low-income and special education students, national defense (read: Hill Air Force Base), and for local government programs and services will be decreasing, with impacts which have yet to materialize. The impacts may be severe, or they may not be as bad as some believe – only time will tell.
But while the actual impact of sequestration is as yet not fully known, one thing seems more certain: Federal funding to public education, national defense, and the poor will continue to go down.
This is because, as columnist Robert Samuelson articulately points out in a Washington Post opinion piece, the single biggest factor in the federal government’s spending problem – namely federal retirement programs, such as Medicare and Social Security – is politically off limits. As Samuelson points out, the sequestration policy, consisting of significant cuts to everything except Medicare and Social Security, is a manifestation of this political reality. Further, no one in power in Washington is seriously calling for significant changes to these retirement programs any time soon. President Obama seems to see no reason to even have a serious conversation about the issue, and even Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget doesn’t enact Medicare reforms until 2024. Read more