The 32 Dumbest and Most Devastating Sequester Cuts


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 [2]. 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 [3] 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 [4] any additional revenue to avoid the budget cuts, have described the reductions as “modest” a “homerun [5]” and something that “needs to happen [6]” in order to “get this economy rolling again [7].”

The latest projections from the Congressional Budget Office show that the nation’s deficits have shrunk by trillions of dollars [8], 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 [9].

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