November 9, 2012

Things to do now: Get people to understand that it is state and local government that is also being cut

The budget cutters of both parties like to complain about the size of the federal government. In fact, as Richard Perlstein points out in Salon, "measured by the number of public sector employees compared to the overall population, in fact, it is at its smallest size since 1968." Opponents of the budget wreckers also need to do a better job of letting people know that major victims of the cuts will be state and local government. Here are just two examples:

- Paul LePage, the Tea Party backed governor of Maine,reported the Sun Jounral, "is
worried about the potential impact of across-the-board cuts in federal spending that may be down the road.. . .In his weekly radio address Saturday, LePage calls sequestration 'a particularly bad decision' that will impact state government, Maine people and communities. He says elected officials' feet must be held to the fire."

- And from WTOP in Washington: 
The current stalemate in Congress over budget cuts known as the fiscal cliff could affect area commuters. Metro will directly lose $12 million in funding and there will be a substantial loss in revenue without the fares of laid off federal workers no longer using the system, says Jim Dinegar, president of the Greater Washington Board of Trade. "Their calculations have it north of $25 million, maybe up to $30 million a year in cuts to Metro," Dinegar says. Thousands of layoff notices could be going out very soon to affected federal workers and those who work for defense contractors, Dinegar says.

Federal cuts could also could hurt the region's overall transportation system, says D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray. "That flies in the face of our effort to get people out of automobiles," the mayor says. It could also hurt the city's recent economic boom, making it less attractive to businesses, Gray says. That translates into lost sales tax revenue, which he says could impact the city's already tight budget. It's estimated Virginia, Maryland and D.C. together could lose more than 300,000 jobs if the mandatory cuts become a reality.
These are not just drastic federal government cuts, they are cuts that will hurt every state and city in the country. 

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