Pete and Judie blog about current events, politics, education, the economy, and other issues relevant to life in Butler County. We explore issues from diverse viewpoints, synthesizing essential information and resources to assist readers in ...
Pete and Judie blog about current events, politics, education, the economy, and other issues relevant to life in Butler County. We explore issues from diverse viewpoints, synthesizing essential information and resources to assist readers in forming their own opinions. Readers are encouraged to contribute to the discussions initiated in our blog by posting comments.
We all agree that the federal deficit needs to be cut.
• The question is how . . . and who will it hurt.
The Sequester -- the federal budget cuts that take effect March 1 absence action by Congress -- is an example of the super rich protecting their entitlements.
• At the expense of the middle class, children, seniors citizens, veterans, small businesses, the unemployed, and the poor.
Who will pay the price in Kansas?
• Not asking the super wealthy to pay a little bit more by closing loopholes (aka entitlements for the super rich), forces our children, seniors, troops, military families and the entire middle class to bear the burden.*
BUDGET CUT IMPACTS: KANSAS (in 2013 alone).
• Teachers and Schools. Kansas will lose about $5.5 million in funding for education including services for some 7000 fewer students.
• Education for Children with Disabilities
• Work-Study Jobs for College Students in Kansas.
• Head Start and Early Head Start services. Eliminated for approximately 500 children in Kansas.
• Protections for Clean Air and Clean Water. Kansas will lose about $1.8 million in funding to ensure clean water and air quality, as well as another $772,000 in grants for fish and wildlife protection.
• Military Readiness. Around 8000 civilian Dept. of Defense employees in Kansas would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $36.7 million in total.
• Army Base operation funding would be cut by about $78 million in Kansas.
• Air Force operations in Kansas would be cut by about $1 million.
• Law Enforcement and Public Safety Funds for Crime Prevention and Prosecution. Kansas will lose grants that support law enforcement, prosecution and courts, crime prevention and education, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, and crime victim and witness initiatives.
• Job search assistance to help those in Kansas find employment and training. In Kansas 11,130 fewer people will get the help and skills they need to find employment in Kansas.
• Child Care. Up to 400 disadvantaged and vulnerable children could lose access to child care -- not only essential for their healthy development but also for working parents to hold down a job.
• Vaccines for Children. Reduced funding means some 1240 fewer children in Kansas will receive vaccines to protect from childhood.
• Public Health. Kansas will lose funds to: upgrade responses to public health threats (including infectious diseases, natural disasters, and biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological events; about 900 admissions to substance abuse programs, and some 1600 HIV tests.
• STOP Violence Against Women Program: Kansas could lose funds that provide services to victims of domestic violence, resulting in up to 200 fewer victims being served.
• Nutrition Assistance for Seniors. Kansas loses funds that provide meals for seniors.
NATIONWIDE EFFECTS THAT IMPACT US IN KANSAS.
An annual reduction of roughly 5 % for nondefense programs and roughly 8 % for defense programs.
During 2013, those cuts have to be achieved over only seven months instead of 12 -- which means effective reductions of about 9 % for nondefense programs and 13 % for defense programs.
Here's a sampling of what this means in terms of our safety and security here in Kansas.
• FBI & other law enforcement. A loss of more than 1000 Federal agents, significantly impacting the ability to combat violent crime, secure our borders, and protect national security.
• Customs and border patrol. Over 5000 border patrol agents and over 2750 CBP officers gone. Staffing reductions increase wait times at airports, weaken security between land ports of entry. Average wait times increase 30-50 % at major airports,
• Aviation safety & security. TSA hiring freeze for all transportation security officer positions in March, overtime eliminated, and 50,000 officers furloughed for up to seven days.
• Emergency responders. Reduced funding from FEMA for state and local firefighter positions and emergency management personnel, hindering responses to natural disasters and other emergencies.
• New drug approvals. Delays in new drug approvals.
• Small business assistance. SBA loan guarantees cut by up to $900 million, limiting financing that small businesses need to expand their operations and create jobs.
• Oil and gas permitting. Development of oil and gas on federal lands and waters delayed due to a greatly reduced federal workforce.
• Food safety. 2100 fewer inspections at domestic and foreign facilities that manufacture food products, increasing exposure to food poisoning, and costing the agriculture sector millions of dollars in lost production volume.
• Veterans services. Tens of thousands of veterans lose services that assist them move from active duty to civilian life, including services to help them find civilian employment.
• National parks. Partial or full closures at many of the 398 national parks across the country will hurt many small businesses and regional economies that depend on parks to attract visitors.
• Education. Title I funding cuts eliminated for more than 2700 schools, putting at risk about 10,000 jobs, and cutting support for nearly 1.2 million disadvantaged students.
• Special education (IDEA). Support eliminated for more than 7200 teachers, aides, and other staff who provide essential services to preschool and school-aged students with disabilities.
• Head Start services. Services eliminated for approximately 70,000 children; small businesses, local governments, and school systems have to lay off over 14,000 teachers and other staff.
• Social Security services. Reductions in oversight designed to ensure benefits are paid accurately and to the right people, and substantial delays in processing disability claims.
• Senior meals. 4 million fewer meals for seniors from Meals on Wheels and other programs that serve seniors with chronic illnesses affected by diet, and frail, homebound seniors.
• Nutrition assistance for women, infants and children. Approx. 600,000 women and children dropped from WIC (March through September, 2013); at least 1600 state and local jobs lost.
• Child care. 30,000 low-income children lose access to child development programs and many families those this crucial support in order to work.
• Rental assistance. Reductions in funding place about 125,000 families at immediate risk of losing their permanent housing.
• Emergency unemployment compensation. Benefits cut by nearly 11 %, affecting long-term unemployed individuals and their families while they search for another job. Note: Economists estimate that every dollar in unemployment benefits generates $2 in economic activity.
• Homelessness programs. Over 100,000 formerly homeless people, including veterans, lose their current housing and emergency shelter programs, putting them at risk of returning to the streets.
• Mental health and substance abuse services. Over 373,000 seriously mentally ill adults and seriously emotionally disturbed children won't receive needed services, leading to increased hospitalizations, involvement in the criminal justice system, and homelessness.
• AIDS and HIV treatment and prevention. 7400 fewer patients have access to life saving HIV medications; approx. 424,000 fewer HIV tests conducted - increasing future HIV transmissions, deaths from HIV, and costs in health care.
• Tribal services. 3000 fewer inpatient admissions and 804,000 fewer outpatient visits, undermining needed health care in Tribal communities.
Adapted from: Impact of March 1st Cuts on Middle Class Families, Jobs and Economic Security: Kansas
* There are various definitions of who is in the middle class, but generally are families earning an adjusted gross income under $200,000 and above $75,000. See, e.g., "Defining the Middle Class" (1-24-2008), FactCheck.org