Sequester Watch, #13

July 15th, 2013 at 11:56 am

Here again, our series of links to articles tracking the sequester, under the principle that those who forget about it, are bound to repeat it.  Or, as Nancy Cook puts it in her piece on the sequester and the poor, “Until a broader — and more politically powerful — group of people feels the effects, legislators may never marshal the political will to tweak or change the cuts.”

Lots on Head Start this week.  Riffing off one of the pieces, I wrote this post earlier in the week.  Therein, I thought I maybe identified something worth repeating:

In fact, when the Kansas [Head Start] program closed, a mom of one of the affected kids asked her Congressman, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), for help.  He said “no,” but:

“…encouraged Reynolds to try to raise the money herself. Since local Head Start officials have significant discretion over how to handle sequestration cuts, they might be open to private funding. Sure enough, they were, provided that the revenue stream would be sustained over a long period of time.

Reynolds has been looking for a rich benefactor with a soft spot for disadvantaged children ever since. While she’s yet to find her saving patron, it has not been for lack of determination.”

So, here’s how I read this.  Policies (deregulation, supply-side tax cuts, de-unionization) and broad economic developments (globalization, tech change) have led to historically high levels of income and wealth concentration.  In our highly monetized political system, this means wealthy individuals and coalitions can buy the policy set that protects their wealth, most notably lower taxes, especially on their assets.

This, in turns, generates concerns about budget deficits, often amped by the very same representatives of wealth, like the heavily corporate “Fix the Debt” group.  But since tax increases and entitlements are politically off-limits, pressure is created to cut spending on discretionary programs like Head Start, despite the fact that these are not the source of fiscal pressures.

When the beneficiaries of Head Start ask for help, they’re told to go to the top 1% for help, and the circle is closed.

Whatever happened to the great ‘sequester’ smackdown?
July 3, 2013
By Ron Scherer

We’re finally getting it about sequestration
July 8, 2013
Editorial Board
The Day (CT)’re-finally-getting-it-about-sequestration

Psst, Congress: You Don’t Really Know Sequestration’s Bite
July 8, 2013
By Mackenzie Eaglen
Breaking Defense

Sequester threatens Akron-based meal delivery program that serves 2,500 daily
July 9, 2013
By Deb Lee
NewsNet5 (ABC)

Sequestration Pushes Head Start Families To The Precipice
July 9, 2013
By Sam Stein
Huffington Post

Sequestration Cuts To Research ‘Like A Slowly Growing Cancer’
July 10, 2013
Huffington Post
By Sam Stein

Sequestration cuts being felt in area
July 10, 2013
By Patrick McCreless
Anniston Star (AL)

Wells Fargo economists: Sequestration to have a “much larger drag” on economy
July 10, 2013
By Antrenise Cole

Employment agencies trim staffs due to sequester
July 11, 2013
By Marcia Heroux Pounds
Sun Sentinel (FL)

Sequester cuts force closure of Lexington Head Start
July 12, 2013
By Sean Moody

Mapping the Sequester
July 12, 2013
Center for American Progress

How the Sequester Is Holding Up Our Legal System
July 12, 2013
By Andrew Cohen
The Atlantic

Pain on the Reservation
July 12, 2013
By Annie Lowrey
The New York Times

Letter: Sequestration hurting livelihoods of many
July 12, 2013
By Tom Norwood
Florida Today

Sequestration Cuts Impact Child Development Programs
July 12, 2013
Lex18 News (NBC KY)

The Sequester’s Devastating Impact on America’s Poor
July 13, 2013
By Nancy Cook
The Atlantic

Sequestration begin to affect Wisconsin’s parks, forests
July 13, 2013
By Meg Jones
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

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