The U.S. government has a week before its self-imposed sequestration deadline. If enacted, the across-the-board cuts to the federal budget could mean layoffs, decreased aid and lower government spending.
That could mean trouble for some popular government programs, such as Social Security and Medicare. Defense contractors are also preparing for lost and reduced contracts with the government.
Locally, it could also doom smaller programs that have a big impact. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps families in need pay for home heating oil and other energy costs. Massachusetts stands to lose over $11 million in assistance under this one program alone. Representatives Ed Markey and Jim McGovern are trying to shield the program from cuts.
Though designed as a tool to force Republicans and Democrats to negotiate smarter deficit reduction, the threat of indiscriminate cuts has not yet led to a brokered deal.
What about your own pocketbook: Do you think the sequester will affect you? Do you work for the government or in a job that is dependent on government programs? Are you worried sequestration will hurt you financially or be a drag on the economy? Or is it bitter medicine for a country that needs to lower its debt? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.