21 Terrible Budget Cuts That Will Hurt America If Sequester Hits

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Photo: John Moore / Getty Images

The heads of nearly every government agency have announced their plans to implement sequestration, and the results aren’t pretty. Sequestration cuts will result in $85 billion of across-the-board budget reductions for each non-exempt government agency in 2013. 

Every agency will have to deal with a budget reduction, but some will have to take especially brutal measures.

600,000 low-income women and children could be thrown off the Special Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.

Source: Department of Agriculture

Budget cuts for animal disease prevention and response will lead to a higher probability of disease outbreaks among livestock.

Source: Department of Agriculture

The Treasury will have to cut investigations of international money-laundering, including schemes to send cash to terrorist organisations and drug cartels.

Source: Department of the Treasury

Up to 47,000 employees may be furloughed from the FAA, causing a reduction in air traffic, lower volume, delays, and disruptions in major cities in the summer travel season.

Source: Department of Transportation

Staff reductions for the TSA will also lead to increased wait times for travellers at airports.

Source: Department of Homeland Security

The State Department may be forced to significantly reduce security for U.S. government facilities abroad, putting the safety of U.S. diplomats in jeopardy.

Source: Department of State

The USDA will treat 200,000 fewer acres for hazardous fuel contamination, leading to an increased risk of wildfires.

Source: Department of Agriculture

$300 million will be cut from Foreign Military Financing, leading to reductions in military assistance to Israel, Jordan and Egypt.

Source: Department of State

Furloughs of inspection personnel could lead to a nationwide shutdown of meat and poultry plants, causing 15 days of lost production, $10 billion in production losses and $400 million in lost wages. As a result, there could be limited meat and high prices for consumers in parts of 2012.

Source: Department of Agriculture

The CDC will conduct 424,000 fewer HIV tests.

Source: Department of Health and Human Services

Home delivered nutrition programs will serve 4 million fewer meals to seniors.

Source: Department of Health and Human Services

125,000 individuals and families will lose assistance through the Housing Choice Voucher, putting them at increased risk for homelessness. More than 100,000 formerly homeless people (including veterans) will also be removed from current housing or emergency shelters.

Source: Department of Housing and Urban Development

Up to 3.8 million people receiving emergency unemployment compensation benefits will see their benefits slashed by as much as 9.4 per cent.

Source: Department of labour

Due to cuts to NOAA, there will be risk of significantly increased weather forecast error and a reduced ability to warn Americans about tornadoes and hurricanes.

Source: Department of Commerce

Around 70,000 children will lose access to Head Start preschool services, with layoffs of 14,000 people nationwide.

Source: Department of Health and Human Services

There will be reduced funding for the health and well being of more than 373,000 seriously mentally ill adults and children, which could result in increased hospitalizations and homelessness.

Source: Department of Health and Human Services

Expect up to 2,100 fewer facility inspections by the FDA, increasing the risk of safety incidents.

Source: Department of Health and Human Services

The equivalent of 2,285 employees will be cut from the FBI.

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigations

Because of staff cuts at the FBI, there will be slower background checks for gun buyers.

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigations

There will be staff cuts and furloughs in the Bureau of Prisons, endangering the safety of staff and over 218,000 inmates. As a result, there will be full or partial lock-downs across the system.

Source: Department of Justice

There will be sharp cuts to Air Force flying hours and a 30 per cent reduction of weapon system funding. Most flying units will be below acceptable readiness standards by next year.

Source: Department of defence

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