We all know that congress decided affluent fliers should feel no pain from the sequester – but have you wondered where Missourians specifically have been hit by the sequester? Well thanks to Mother Jones, we have an account of the sequester in all fifty states. Here’s what was listed for Missouri:
St. Charles: Head Start facility closed on April 12, while reducing the number of kids served by 65, and laying off 18 staffers.
Ironton: Iron County Head Start closing three weeks early due to budget cuts.
Brookline: Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield eliminating its Youth Conservation Corps program for inner-city kids.
But Mother Jone missed this cut that went into effect only today: Five career centers in Caruthersville, Moberly, Warrensburg, Monett and Mexico, closed today, April 30, eliminating a total of ten jobs. To give you an idea of what is involved, about 2,400 residents used the Caruthersville center alone.
In the days ahead we can expect reports like this to multiply. For instance, As NPR reported today:
Housing authorities across the country have all but stopped issuing rent vouchers as they try to deal with the cuts known as sequestration. Many newly issued vouchers have been rescinded, leaving some people homeless or doubled up with family and friends.
Apropos of these cuts, The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates 3,243 families will be cut from the voucher program in Missouri.
Then, of course, there are the more general effects that will, in the long run, hurt us all. An example is NPR’s Marketplace report today on the dampening effect that the sequester is already having on biomedical research:
Traditionally, “biomedical research has had bi-partisan support.” After all, “medical research is about all of us — our loved ones, ourselves — and it’s also a great way to stimulate the economy so what’s not to love?” But sequester brought $1.6 billion in cuts to the NIH. “This poison pill that when originally designed it was intended to be so poisonous that no one would swallow it — it got swallowed and we got poisoned.”
When he meets young researchers — they’re worried. “They’re asking is there a future for us? Do we have a career path? Should we think about doing something else? Or maybe going to another country? …
Think of that for just one moment. The United States has been attracting the world’s best scientists for my entire lifetime. But with one fell sequester swoop, the U.S. is on course to become such a backwater that our scientists must look to other countries to pursue their discoveries – or stay here and give up, leaving crucial science undone.
The sequester is all, 100%, bad. Nor can it be managed away by permitting the president flexibility to rob Peter to pay Paul, and it will only get worse the longer it is allowed to go on. But hey, don’t worry. Rep. Sam Graves (R-6) wants you to know that “The sky isn’t falling,” a sentiment echoed by Senator Roy Blunt who remarked about the sequester a couple of months ago, when there was still time for the GOP to exercise a little restraint, that “If you’d listen to the administration, you’d assume that this is the last day that it’s safe to go outside.”