The Democrats have lost on sequestration.
That’s the simple reality of Friday’s vote to ease the pain for the Federal Aviation Administration. By assenting to it, Democrats have agreed to sequestration for the foreseeable future.
In effect, what Democrats said Friday was that in any case where the political pain caused by sequestration becomes unbearable, they will agree to cancel that particular piece of the bill while leaving the rest of the law untouched. The result is that sequestration is no longer particularly politically threatening, but it’s even more unbalanced: Cuts to programs used by the politically powerful will be addressed, but cuts to programs that affects the politically powerless will persist. It’s worth saying this clearly: The pain of sequestration will be concentrated on those who lack political power. (My emphasis)
There you have it. If you're not a member of Congress, or if you're not wealthy or influential, forget about relief from consequences of the sequester. If you're poor, or unemployed, or on Medicaid or Medicare, too bad for you. Funding for scientific and medical research will be cut. Good-bye to grants for art, music, and writing.
So, Democrats, what's the plan? Why did the sequester seem like a good idea? Will you pull a magic rabbit out of a hat to fix the sorry mess the sequester has created?
Cuts in housing vouchers to 140,000 low-income families
Elimination of 70,000 Head Start slots
Cuts to Vista, which will hurt the program that performs antipoverty work in many states
An 11 percent cut in unemployment benefits for millions of jobless workers
Cuts of about $25 million from a program to provide free school breakfasts.
Cancer clinics across the country have begun turning away thousands of Medicare patients
What about cutting your salaries by 10%, members of Congress and Mr President? I read somewhere that Obama had voluntarily taken a 5% cut in his salary, so he'd only need to volunteer another 5%.
What are the chances that the cries of those who suffer severe consequences as a result of the sequester cuts will be heard? Slim to none, I'd say. Republicans like nothing better than cuts to programs that help "the least of these", and Democrats no longer seem to care.