Are you Worried the Sequester Will Affect You?

Massachusetts is chock full of defense contractors, federal employees and federal program beneficiaries. Are you worried the U.S. budget sequester will hurt your family's finances?

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.

Art Peters February 23, 2013 at 12:52 PM
Scalese your forgot about " senior citizens starving in their unheated homes, homeless children roaming the streets ,millions of workers losing their jobs, riots in the streets". Its another sleazy tactic by Liberals to raise taxes on the "hammered" middle class.
dan February 23, 2013 at 01:25 PM
In most cases, it’s not really cuts. It’s just a slowing of the growth of spending which has been out of control for years. It’s a small percent of our total budget and, frankly, we’re going to have to do a lot more cuts if we’re going to balance the budget within 10 years.
M C Stringfellow February 23, 2013 at 01:51 PM
Social Security is not government funded. IT is totally funded by employers and employee. So, ask yourself, Where is the money? Many people who put into the system never collect due to early death. IF the system is broke or will be shortly, the government has a lot to answer for spending money they are not entitled to. Back in the late fifties or early sixties, Congress raided the SS, called it a loan. Unfortunately, I never heard anything about the loan being paid back. Can anyone help with that info? AUDIT AUDIT AUDIT Maybe mandatory cuts are what we need at this point. You got to start somewhere.
Carrie February 23, 2013 at 03:03 PM
Social Security and Medicare are not going to be touched by this I heard on CNN.
JBuck February 23, 2013 at 03:04 PM
I agree with you Art....
Charlie Kadlec February 23, 2013 at 03:46 PM
No, I am not worried about the "sequester" because it is an insignificant reduction of the yearly budget increase. I am worried about the lack of serious effort by the President and Congress to reduce the unsustainable deficit spending. I am also worried about willingness of too many people, including the author of this article, to believe and repeat the nonsense and outright lies that we hear from the White House about this political game. Four more years of this and we will all be looking back to this time as "the good old days". Charlie Kadlec Acton
Harvey February 23, 2013 at 06:39 PM
Those who voted for this Hope<Change and Forward shouldn't be shocked by any of this. This is what you voted for and continue to vote for.
charles jacob February 23, 2013 at 07:54 PM
God I can't stand ignorant Republican rhetoric .... so annoying
Rob February 23, 2013 at 09:58 PM
This Bush guys is killing us. Cant wait until we can vote him out. No more blood for oil!
Eddie Johnson February 23, 2013 at 10:09 PM
God, I can't stand people who can't stand opposing viewpoints...so ignorant
ron darden February 24, 2013 at 12:17 AM
Get Real. This is a fake, manufactured crisis. eg 85 billion dollar cut out of a 3.6 trillion dollar budget this year - some 2.3%. We cannot live on 97.7 percent of current spending! Remember the Congress just voted 60 billion Hurricane Sandy! Unfortunately, this is just the build up to the key event - the continuing resolution that runs out Mar 27th ...So get ready for a month or so of back and forth finger pointing and namecalling...God help us -recall them all!!!
CP February 24, 2013 at 12:35 AM
This is just a lot of propaganda from the gov't. Social security and medicare are exempt from this program which is in effect a slow-down in spending and overhiring by the government. Won't affect me in the least. If gov't would get out of the way and let the private sector step in we will all be better off. Social programs that keep the poor from being self-suffcient hurt them and all of us. There is absolutely no incentive to do for yourself as in the past. Very sad.
CP February 24, 2013 at 12:38 AM
Art, I agree but the rhetoric coming from all politicians make some people believe that police, fire, etc. will be cut. Not so, since they are hired by the municipality not the fed'l govt. People are really being taken in.
james sullivan February 24, 2013 at 04:58 AM
that 2.3% of the federal budget represents a large chunk of the services and govt employee's wages/benefits that are necessary to keep this society functioning. that goes for local govt. employees too since many of their wages are dependent on the funding the sequester is poised to cut. what's not being cut is the ridiculous contracts that the government will pay out to large corporations for shoddy and sometimes non-existent services both in the realms of military contractors and a wide variety of contractors providing "services" domestically. people who think the sort of entitlement spending that might suffer the most is strangling our country should look at giving some attention to the vast amounts of spending that truly provides the american people no benefit
M C Stringfellow February 24, 2013 at 02:08 PM
GOD, I can't stand people who cannot take responsibility for their own actions, like signing into law the Sequestration and then blaming someone else, in this case the Republicans, because it did not go the way as planned. As I see it, the blame belongs on the shoulders, at this point in time, of Harry Reid and the Senate not the House. NO budget has been passed in what, 5 years. Why, because it could not make it to the floor. Is that being represented. No, that is being held hostage. So do not continue to blame the Republicans, there are plenty of Democrats in Congress who must shoulder the blame as well. One good thing though, It came back to bite him in the ass (Obama). I guess it's true, "If it can go wrong, It will." Murphy's Law
TB February 24, 2013 at 09:12 PM
What happened to the "shared sacrifice?" $600B new 'fiscal cliff' taxes on the rich...check. $110B (payroll) tax increase on everyone else... check. Son now it's time for spending cuts... check. My company has cut 10% of costs each year for the last 5 years and our customer service has increased! It's laughable that the the government can't squeze 2-3% from spending without these theatrical threats of firing teachers, first responders, etc. It's so sad, really.
Earnhardt February 25, 2013 at 12:02 PM
It's all a big game being played with the American people. For the next week there will be cgest thumping from both sides, Why the Democrats are doing this, why the Republicans are doing that, We all know at the last hour a compromise will be reached and another crisis will be temporarily put on hold. But first, both sides have to try to make each other look as bad as possible, when in fact, all they are doing is causing the population to become more disgusted with the entire gang in Washington.
TB February 25, 2013 at 01:46 PM
Agreed. I've got $16 trillion reasons (and growing) why I am fed up with Washington. And now we have an Senate election where the majority will put more of the same into office.
RAB March 01, 2013 at 10:48 PM
We send representatives to Washington to accomplish our objectives. For this we give them over $16trillion. Since they have not even budgeted the distribution of those dollars (our had earned dollars), they have effectively done nothig for fivw years. If I did that, I would be fired in a lot less than five years. We treat them like royalty, not like our employees. Let's get some useful work out of them before another 4 years go by. That's the real crime.


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