Deadline for spending cuts quickly approaching - WKRN News 2

Deadline for spending cuts quickly approaching

Posted:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

While lawmakers in Washington grapple with another spending stalemate, many Americans still don't know what the impending federal budget cuts are all about.

Sequestration is a word used over the past few weeks, but for some, like local Andrew Corum, ignorance is bliss.

"It's a big mess either way. It's kind of out of your hands," Corum told Nashville's News 2.

A deal in Congress must be reached by Friday, March 1st.

The sequestration of funds requires that most government agencies cut their budgets by the same percentage across the board, adding up to $1.2 trillion over a decade.

That breaks down to $85 billion a year.

Peter Rousseau, Professor of Economics at Vanderbilt University, said that it means automatic budget cuts to try and pay off a $16 trillion national debt.

"We think about it in terms of the overall government budget. It's a sizable chunk of change, let's say, not an unreasonably high amount of money if you think about cutting spending," he added.

The cuts could affect everyone differently, from public safety to commercial flights to classrooms to meat inspections, hitting nearly every government program.

According to a state by state break down from the White House, Tennessee will lose approximately $14.8 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 200 teacher and aide jobs at risk.

In addition, about 32,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 60 fewer schools would receive funding.

Approximately 7,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $36.9 million in total.

Tennessee would also lose over $1 million in funds that provide meals for seniors.

Other areas impacted would be job search assistance, child care and funding for law enforcement and public safety.

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