This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Sequester Q&A: For US, A New Season Of Uncertainty

By ANDREW TAYLOR

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ Here comes the sequester: big federal spending cuts and a new season of economic uncertainty for a nation still trying to shake off a recession.

The politics of sequestration have been fierce, the finger-pointing incessant. And to no one's surprise, what was designed as a way out of one Washington standoff has produced another one â¿¿ and more. A week out from the March 1 deadline, there are no meaningful efforts in Washington to avert the punishing automatic cuts set out in a law nearly two years ago.

Bellowing and blame aside, what really would happen if, as expected, President Barack Obama and congressional lawmakers allow the nation to blow past the deadline?

Q: What's the big overall picture?

A: A series of cuts to federal agencies that would lead to longer lines at the nation's borders, less money for teachers and more hassle at airport checkpoints. Virtually every dollar approved each year by Congress would be slashed by a uniform amount, which would mean at least temporary layoffs for hundreds of thousands of public and private-sector workers. Programs like Medicare and Social Security are exempt, but there is no question the slashing of other programs would slow the nation's fragile economic recovery.

Q: And the big numbers?

A: Under a 2011 law designed to avert exactly this type of inaction, March 1 means automatic cuts of $85 billion from a $3.6 trillion budget over the seven months spanning March-September. That would include cuts of 8 percent to the Pentagon and 5 percent to domestic agency operating budgets. More than 3.8 million Americans who have been jobless for six months or longer could see their unemployment benefits reduced by as much as 9.4 percent.

Q: Why is this happening, what's actually going to occur and who is likely to be most affected. First, how did we get here?

1 of 4

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG

Markets

DOW 18,126.12 -36.87 -0.20%
S&P 500 2,120.79 -2.69 -0.13%
NASDAQ 5,097.9760 -8.6170 -0.17%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs