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Sequestration And What It Means For The U.S.

Sequestration is on its way. The next budget cliff. We’ll look at what all those cuts would mean for the country.

The Capital building in Washington. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

The Capital building in Washington. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Sequestration was never supposed to happen. It was supposed to be so gross, so ham-fisted, so dumb that Congress would never allow its blind, meat-axe, across-the-board federal spending cuts to kick in.

But just days from now – March 1st, a week from Friday – it looks like sequestration will happen. Congress is out on vacation. The President’s been golfing. Republicans and Democrats are so far off on their own moonbeams they can’t work it out. And the axe is about to come down. Maybe on you.

This hour, On Point: Looking ahead on the fast track to sequestration.

- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Nancy Cook, covers budget and the economy for the National Journal. (@nancook)

Dan Mitchell, senior Fellow at the CATO Institute. He was also the former Director of Tax and Budget Policy for Citizens for a Sound Economy. (@danieljmitchell)

Scott Lilly, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress.

From Tom’s Reading List

Politico “Senate Democrats said Thursday they will move ahead with a roughly $110 billion budget package — evenly divided between new tax revenues and spending cuts — to forestall the across-the-board sequester cuts due to take effect March 1.”

CNN “While the White House and congressional leaders from both parties oppose sequestration, the approach for averting it has become the latest congressional showdown involving ideological differences over the size and role of government.”

Business Week “While both parties are beginning to position themselves for the showdown over the $1.2 trillion in automatic ‘sequestration’ cuts that take effect on March 1, Democrats are generally seen as having the advantage. The programs they’re most concerned about (Medicare, Medicaid, nutrition assistance) are, for the most part, spared the budget axe. The same is not true for Republicans. Sequestration makes deep cuts to the military budget, a source of intensifying concern for conservatives, who have already begun fighting amongst themselves over how to respond.”

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Lightning first ignited the Meadow fire on July 20, 2014 in Yosemite. By September 8, the fire had charred 2,582 acres. Bernie Krause has recorded soundscapes of national parks destroyed by large areas of forest fires. Listen below.  (National Park Service)

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