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The 32 Dumbest and Most Devastating Sequester Cuts

As Obama said during a press conference, "This is not going to be a apocalypse. It's just dumb. And it's going to hurt."
 
 
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With Congress unable to reach a deal to avert the indiscriminate spending cuts put in place in the Budget Control Act of 2011, President Obama on Friday signed an order authorizing the government to begin canceling $85 billion from federal accounts for this fiscal year.

As Obama said during a press conference yesterday, “This is not going to be a apocalypse, I think as some people have said.  It’s just dumb. And it’s going to hurt. It’s going to hurt individual people and it’s going to hurt the economy overall.” In a  83-page letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), the Office of Management and Budget details the specific reductions each government program will face. Here are the dumbest and most painful cuts:

Health care

$20 million cut from the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Programs
$10 million cut from the World Trade Center Health Program Fund
$168 million cut from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
$75 million cut from the Aging and Disability Services Programs

Housing

$199 million cut from public housing
$96 million cut from Homeless Assistance Grants
$17 million cut from Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS
$19 million cut from Housing for the Elderly
$175 million cut from Low Income Home Energy Assistance

Disaster and Emergency

$928 million cut from FEMA’s disaster relief money
$6 million cut from Emergency Food and Shelter
$70 million cut from the Agricultural Disaster Relief Fund at USDA
$61 million cut from the Hazardous Substance Superfund at EPA
$125 million cut from the Wildland Fire Management
$53 million cut from Salaries and Expenses at the Food Safety and Inspection Service

Obamacare

$13 million cut from the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan Program (Co-ops)
$57 million cut from the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control
$51 million cut from the Prevention and Public Health Fund
$27 million cut from the State Grants and Demonstrations
$44 million cut from the Affordable Insurance Exchange Grants program

Education

$633 million cut from the Department of Education’s Special Education programs
$184 million cut from Rehabilitation Services and Disability Research
$71 million cut from administration at the Office of Federal Student Aid
$116 million cut from Higher Education
$86 million cut from Student Financial Assistance

Immigration

$512 million cut from Customs and Border Protection
$17 million cut from Automation Modernization, Customs and Border Protection
$20 million cut from Border Security Fencing, Infrastructure, and Technology

Security

$79 million cut from Embassy Security, Construction, and Maintenance
$604 million cut from National Nuclear Security Administration
$232 million cut from the Federal Aviation Administration
$394 million cut from Defense Environmental Cleanup

Republicans, who  refused to raise any additional revenue to avoid the budget cuts, have described the reductions as “modest” a “ homerun” and something that “ needs to happen” in order to “ get this economy rolling again.”

The latest projections from the Congressional Budget Office show that the nation’s deficits have  shrunk by trillions of dollars, and the debt is close to being stabilized as a percentage of the economy. Meanwhile, budget cuts have already reduced spending by $1.5 trillion and even with the revenue included in the fiscal cliff deal, the ratio of cuts to revenue stands at an unbalanced  3 to 1.

Igor Volsky is a Health Care Researcher/Blogger for ThinkProgress.org and The Progress Report at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Igor is co-author of Howard Dean’s "Prescription for Real Healthcare Reform."

 
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