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  About sixteen months ago both Democrats and Republicans passed the Budget Control Act Of 2011 which contains the sequestration measures. This peace of legislation was written to avoid an economic meltdown that would have had global impacts. The Budget Control Act was designed to be a bad idea; so bad that it would force Republicans and Democrats to come to the table for sensible compromise. Well that did not happen and now the working class and working poor are starting to feel the impact. Some Republicans like Rep. Marsha Blackburn from Tennessee are coming out publicly in support of sequestration claiming it will be good for our country.

   It is important to place real numbers and faces of individuals who will be affected by sequestration. Anywhere from four million to nineteen million individuals will lose access to the Meals On Wheels program. As many as 70,750 women and children will lose WIC; a vital nutrition and education program that helps keep infants, small children, and mothers healthy. Homelessness while increase among individuals and families as much 125,000. Special education programs will face cuts that will impact as many as thirty million children with learning disabilities. These are just a couple of programs that will be affected. Most Americans know someone they care about in a program like these.

   Once it became clear congress was going to allow sequestration I started to research the possible impacts that could affect my family. I have a son who has dysgraphia. Will he be one of the thirty million children affected? Time to come up with a plan of action. This is no easy task since no one is certain what comes next practically with a possible government shutdown looming.  With a son that has a learning disability this is one of the most concerning sequester measures to my family. Earlier this week I read an article that tuition assistance for military members will be suspended. My husband has been using the tuition assistance for his education. I was not surprised when I read this, my stress level increased some, but still the bigger issue for my family is that number thirty million special education students and is my child one of them. Thirty million special education students is extremely emotion for us and how we deal with the possible impact for our child is the kitchen table talk in our home. Over the last twenty-four hours or so I started to see more Facebook post from other military families upset about the tuition assistance. Sequestration is starting to affect their families as well. In the coming weeks more and more families across America will be having the kitchen table family meetings; how sequester will affect them and how to adjust their budgets to deal with this new round of austerity. Sequester will affect many families in many different ways. Some families will find sequester to be economically devastating. Other families will find sequester possibly intellectually devastating with the cuts in education. Some families will see sequester as a minor annoyance and nothing more.

   There is no mystery as to why sequestration will harm this country and its citizens.  Sequestration is austerity and austerity does not work. For proof all one has to do is look at the impacts of austerity in Europe and in working class homes all across America. In the coming weeks many families will start to feel the affects of this new around of austerity measures and will be having the kitchen table discussions on the impacts and how to deal with them. The Republicans are calling for more austerity in the coming months that will affect more families and create an even greater economic divide in this country. The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer, and the middle class are a dieing breed. These austerity measures are deliberate in order for the top one percent and corporations to control the masses.  Elected representatives who vote yes for legislation that promote austerity are nothing more the corporate puppets. If history has taught us anything there is only so much oppression a population can stand before there is a demand for change. We as a nation are in the beginning stages of the demand for change among the masses.


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Originally posted to Catherine Burton on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 08:18 AM PST.

Also republished by Money and Public Purpose.

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