More Sequester Impacts

Another day, another story on the  negative impact of the sequester. In today’s case, two stories. First, the Washington Post details how children across the country are being disadvantaged by cuts to Head Start:

Head Start programs across the country eliminated services for 57,000 children in the coming school year to balance budgets diminished by the federal sequester, cutting 1.3 million days from Head Start center calendars and laying off or reducing pay for more than 18,000 employees, according to federal government data scheduled for release Monday.”

Most programs did completely cut services to some children. The sequester ‘also impacted how many staff kept their jobs, how many dental screenings and health screenings are available and what happens to those families as we go into a new school year,’ the official said.”

“California and Texas are cutting services to 10,000 children combined, according to the latest data, obtained by The Washington Post. Virginia is trimming nearly 1,200 spots, Maryland is cutting 460, and the District of Columbia is reducing its rolls by about 100.”

“Nationwide, the cuts comprise about 6,000 children in Early Head Start — for infants and toddlers up to age 3 — and 51,000 in Head Start programs.”

And the New York Times covers how the sequester’s across-the-board cuts to government travel has had a negative impact on our economy, government function, and international reputation:

“The defense secretary is traveling to Afghanistan two times a year instead of the usual four. For the first time in nearly three decades, NASA pulled out of the National Space Symposium, in Colorado Springs, even though representatives from France, Germany and China all made the trip.”

“Most government travel budgets have been cut this year by 30 percent... The result, agency officials say, is a government that cannot conduct essential business and is embarrassing itself abroad.”

“In the office of the United States Trade Representative, for example, there is money to send a negotiator to only one of 41 countries — Ukraine — accused of violating American intellectual property rights.”

“In February, the Defense Department canceled a health systems conference where thousands of military medical professionals would gather to share research and learn the latest treatment techniques.”

At the Pentagon, defense officials skipped meetings with the international Afghanistan coalition in London and Rome this year, and without secure conference equipment, they could not participate virtually, officials said.”

So children aren’t getting the education they need, and officials can’t represent our nation on the international stage. Not sure what it will take for Republicans to stop supporting the sequester, but maybe this will help them realize indiscriminate, across-the-board cuts aren’t the smart way to get our nation back on a fiscally sustainable path.