Remember last spring budget deal? Remember how Barack Obama pulled a fast-one on John Boehner and didn’t really cut anything? Well, Scott Lilly at the Center for American Progress says there are 370,000 reasons that the cuts weren’t harmless:
… Indeed, the magnitude of the job cuts in the budget legislation adopted last spring—as demonstrated by the committee’s listing of 250 spending cuts—is so great that it is difficult to keep track of the human dimension. For that reason, I have focused on three program areas which were singled out by this Congress for particularly deep reductions:
- Federal support for local law enforcement
- Environmental cleanup of nuclear weapons production facilities
- The Federal Buildings Fund of the General Services Administration
Estimates of the number of jobs directly lost by these cuts run upwards to 60,000. The jobs losses that are a direct result of those actions will have a secondary impact on a wide array of businesses ranging from automobile producers to local restaurants and dry cleaning establishments, causing the disappearance of a significant number of additional jobs.
Similar stories could be told about many other budget cuts made in this bill—cuts that resulted in further job losses—but that would require many more pages and exhaust the patience of most readers. All of the various 250 program reductions in the FY 2011 continuing resolution probably eliminated more 370,000 jobs. The three areas selected for discussion in this paper are in my judgment neither the worst cuts made by the committee from a policy standpoint nor the best. But without a doubt they demonstrate the consequences of slashing government spending in a weak economy.
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