Tuesday, March 05, 2013

The Sequester is going to hurt for decades!

The sequester includes 5.1 percent across-the-board cuts to non-defense agencies that will have to be taken in the last seven months of this fiscal year. It is hard to estimate what that means overall because a lot of the annual budget is spent in the last half of the fiscal year.

I quote from an article on the PBS Newshour website:
NASA is facing an estimated $474 million in cuts to research, and the National Science Foundation is facing $283 million in cuts, according to a AAAS analysis. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar warned that they could be forced to close 128 of the nation's 561 national wildlife refuges -- that's 22.8 percent -- and halt visiting to those refuges....... 
The National Institutes of Health, the country's largest supporter of basic research, are taking a particularly hard hit in dollar terms. The agency's $1.6 billion in cuts translates to about 20,000 jobs and cuts to critical research areas. Cancer, the influenza virus and Alzheimer's research will stall, faced with less grant money and fewer scientists, according to Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, who spoke on the impacts of the sequester at a meeting on Feb 25. 
Biomedical research, he added, has been undergoing stress since 2003. A researcher's chance of being funded for grants has dropped from one in three to about one in six.
So we cut back on cancer research, flu virus research and Alsheimer's research -- how much will that cost to the health care system and more importantly to people's lives in terms of delays in the production of new treatments for these diseases? How much wildlife will be lost due to the closing of refuges during the fall?

It is clear to me that this is the fault of the Republicans and I hope they suffer in many future elections as a result of forcing the sequester and forcing gridlock on legislation for America!

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