On Tuesday, when President Barack Obama spoke about the "meat-cleaver" approach that budget cuts, also fancily known as the sequester, will cause, he wasn't punning.
But he should have been.
Word on the street is that if the forced budget cuts go into effect on March 1, furloughs would temporarily shut US meat plants.
See what Obama just did there?!
The sequestration, as it has been called, isn't government jargon we should be ignoring. Especially if you like beef. But that's not it. The budget cuts that President Obama warned us about will do much more than that. Yesterday, he spoke in front of a crowd of law enforcement officers, emergency responders and firefighters to drive home the point that the cuts will carve a large chunk of programs, jobs and assistance from the nation.
In short, the sequester is BAD NEWS:
"...It won't consider whether we're cutting some bloated program that has outlived its usefulness or a vital service that Americans depend on every single day," Obama said. "It doesn't make those distinctions."
But first, why are we facing this crisis anyway?
The sequester was a result of the GOP’s wrangling over the debt ceiling in the summer of 2011, when Republican leaders — who had previously passed clean debt increases 19 times under President Bush — demanded spending cuts as the price for averting a costly default. On the brink of default, Congress passed the Budget Control Act, which enacted immediate spending cuts and created a supercommittee tasked with striking a “grand bargain” to reduce the deficit.
Oh. Well since we know what it is, how is it going to affect us? Take a look and see.
The budget cuts will affect airports because it will cut back on airport security and air traffic controllers. Which means one thing: LONG LINES.
Thousands of teachers and educators will be laid off. Tens of thousands of parents will have to scramble to find child care for their kids. Hundreds of thousands of Americans will lose access to primary care and preventive care like flu vaccinations and cancer screenings. And then...Obama will have to teach your kids. Which this little girl doesn't seem too happy about.
Six hundred thousand low-income pregnant women and mothers of small children will be cut from the [Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program]. That's about 10 percent of hungry women and children. And you were complaining about longer airport lines.
Think the police take long to respond now? Think again. If budget cuts go into effect on March 1, 1,000 federal law enforcement officials and 1,500 corrections officers would face furloughs. Border patrol and customs agents would be furloughed for two weeks, resulting in a reduction of 5,000 officers and agents at points of entry to the United States.
Where's The Beef:
And of course...if the sequester takes place, you can say goodbye to tacos, burgers, steak, and everything else your heart desires that has to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The U.S. Department of Agriculture would be forced to furlough thousands of workers for weeks at a time, causing food processors to shut down. And getting sick from food is a real possibility; studies estimate that there would be 600 fewer food inspectors at meat and poultry plants.
In other words, eat wisely, stay out of airports, lock your doors and try not to have a baby in the next month, because we're all screwed after March 1 if the President can't convince Republicans that this sequestration is indeed, a bad idea.
Thanks again, Congress.