Here's What Texas Stands To Lose if Congress Doesn't Compromise By March 1 Deadline

Categories: Politics

conan barbarian.jpg
Budget sequestration, less like a scalpel, more like Conan.
The sequester, that "Damocles sword" hanging perilously above federal spending and set to fall March 1, was supposed to be an instrument so blunt, which would cut so deeply and indiscriminately, that the cost of not reaching a bipartisan compromise on debt reduction would become unfathomable.

Now, of course, it's inevitable. Democrats won't budge on revenues (including tax hikes on the wealthy). And many Congressional Republicans think the potential $1.2 trillion in cuts to federal spending are good medicine, essential to reducing government's growing debt. The only question is how long it takes to reach a bargain, and how far reductions into sacred cows like the military will go.

Either way, we'll feel it down here in Texas if the sequester goes into effect. The White House released a fact sheet that breaks it down at the state level, by the numbers, revealing the real-world consequences of a budgetary tool whose use only 18 months ago was unthinkable.

Texas stands to lose nearly $68 million in federal support for public education, putting almost 1,000 teacher and aide jobs in jeopardy. Another $51 million in aid for the education of disabled children will evaporate. Some 4,720 low-income children between 3 and 5 years old won't be able to participate in the Head Start program.

Cuts in funding to Army installations in Texas will total some $275 million, requiring the furlough of 52,000 Department of Defense civilian employees.

Disadvantaged, working parents will lose access to childcare for as many as 2,300 kids. Another 10,000 of them may not receive common childhood vaccinations.

We'll lose another $2.4 million in public health funding, along with $6.75 million for substance-abuse programs.

Meal assistance for seniors is looking at a $3.5 million cut.

Environmental funding for clean air and water, including grants for fish and wildlife protection, stand to lose almost $11 million in federal assistance.

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ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

Belgium was without a government for over a year recently.  The sun still rose in the morning and people still went about their daily affairs.

In the grand scheme of things, these dollar amounts are rounding errors.

Some of these numbers do not make any sense.  For example the $275M and 52,000 civilian military jobs works out to ~$5,288 per job.  The $68M and 1,000 teacher and teacher aide jobs work out to $68,000 per person.

How about we get those civilian military employees to come teach in our schools?

The United States government spends money at the rate of ~$6,849,315 per minute based on a $3.6 trillion budget.  By the way, that is each and every minute, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; and, 365 days a year.

The education cut is 9.92 minutes of spending

The military cuts are  40.15 minutes of spending

The meal assistance for seniors is ~30 seconds of spending.

The disabled children funding cut is about 7.4 minutes of spending.

The health cuts are 1.33 minutes of spending

The wildlife cuts are 1.6 minutes of spending.

So far this is right at 61 minutes of federal spending.

This is about 0.0116% of the total federal budget.

holmantx topcommenter

What we "stand to lose" is a threat issued by the White House. He's Running a Shock and Awe demonstration, and it might work. What have gotten ourselves into with this guy? He clearly intends to make Americans suffer in order to properly motivate us to his will.

You see this kind of tactic in counter insurgency operations: 

"Round up 200 townspeople and rough them up". send a message that if you help the Partisans, or stand silent and not turn them in, everyone suffers. 

Kids, turn in your parents. 

I thought these guys abhorred Preemptive strikes as a tactic, which is what this is. 

Under continuity of government (NSPD 51/Homeland Rule 20), take more positive control under specific events, one of which is economic collapse.

Sotiredofitall topcommenter

I'm so tired of grandstanding fearmongering by both Republicans and Democrats; the sequestration numbers are huge but look at the math, it amounts to a 2.4% decrease.  And this doesn't factor in the projected increases already budgeted for many programs.  Your telling me that with their buildings full of accountants they can't find 2.4%?   Again the public is being played for fools by the entrenched career politicians of both parties so they can raise the debt ceiling yet again kicking the can down the road to keep the special interest gravy train running.   Please dear elected official, step away from the microphone and do your damn job - cut spending or raise taxes.

You realize these agencies are all getting more money than last year even with the cuts prescribed by sequestration, right?  Nobody seems to understand that fact.


5% annual real cuts in spending until we are back to Bill Clinton's last budget.  Then start paying back the debt.

holmantx topcommenter

The federal government will "officially" (ha!) run out of money on March 1st. Forget this phony sequestration torture dance. Another continuing resolution to up the Debt Ceiling will be needed. Why? Because we are spending so fast over what we collect Congress is too afraid to come up with a Budget. So we hop from crisis to crisis. 

You lost the sequestration fight. But the main bout on the card is now here. 

Let's just shut'er down for a couple of months. 

Time to take some real pain.


You would think we'd be more savvy about this sort of Chicken Little show after having seen Mary Suhm's various versions.  Pass the bond issue, or all the no-kill shelter kitties will have to be thrown into the wood-chipper. There's simply no other way to prioritize the numbers.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Keep putting slime like OOPS 2 in Congress and you'll get what you deserve.


Please stop buying everything Obama says as gospel. He's so full of it. They only need to worry about 2013 for now, a piddly $44B. That is 1.2% of the budget. And spending still goes up. Surely, they can decrease the spending increase by that much without throwing granny in the street or boarding up NORAD. Of course, he's going to make it as painful as possible and try to pin it on those stubborn, poor-hating Repugs.

everlastingphelps topcommenter

And yet, even with these cuts, they all have more money to work with than they did in 2003, ten years ago.

holmantx topcommenter

@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul   This is just the first salvo.  It is becoming clear the President is willing, and intends to, punish the American people to the fullest extent if we do not yield to the "logic" of the situation.  

It's just a warm-up to 27 March, when the money runs out and we have another Debt Ceiling "crisis".  

If the House shuts the government down, my bet is he will dismiss the Congress and seize power in "continuity of government" authorized by President Bush in 2007.

The National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive (National Security Presidential Directive NSPD 51/Homeland Security Presidential Directive HSPD-20, sometimes called simply "Executive Directive 51" for short), created and signed by United States President George W. Bush on May 4, 2007, is a Presidential Directive which claims power to execute procedures for continuity of the federal government in the event of a "catastrophic emergency". Such an emergency is construed as "any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions."

I think this is where we are heading.

everlastingphelps topcommenter

@holmantx They only abhor preemptive strikes when it isn't a liberal pressing the button.  Barry the Drone Assassin LOVES preemptive strikes, and all you hear from the "anti-war" crowd is crickets.

@Sotiredofitall It is a 44 billion dollar smaller INCREASE in spending than what they anticipated.  It's still an INCREASE.  And I won't pay one more penny in taxes, thanks.


No, its about the Republicans understanding that eventually no one in this country will be left to pay the bills that Obama has rung up.

Anyone thats ever worked and paid bills knows you don;t last long if you spend more than you make.

fuck obama

holmantx topcommenter

@roo_ster You mean when Gingrich's Republican Congress forced Clinton to sign off on a budget cut, tax cuts and welfare reforms and he said at signing "the era of Big Government is over"?

All budgets originate in the House.

Unfortunately, that was back when the National Debt was only 5.4 Trillion.  We have added 12.2 Trillion in debt and the CBO now projects we'll be at $25 Trillion in ten years.

Prior to 2007, normal interest the Treasury paid on debt instruments was 5.6%.  We pay around 1% now.  If it pops back up to historical levels, the interest balloons to $700 Billion a year.  We're done.  

And that debt number does not include the unfunded SS, Medicare and Medicaid the boomers will be drawing as they age.  The Trustees for that unfunded entitlements costs is $114 Trillion, a number the finite mind cannot comprehend.

We'll have to put in some kind of managed default.  Most likely, the federal government will have to cut away the states on their matching funds.  In effect, Washington financially secedes.

we are in a very dark place . . .

scottindallas topcommenter

@Rix1 Sadly, they'll make the most visible cuts, rather than seeking where to streamline.  I support higher taxes on the rich, but seeing much of the sequester go through should be easily absorbed.

scottindallas topcommenter

@everlastingphelps The Budget basically doubled under Bush.  Now, we can't find anywhere to cut.  I posted above that it's a shame that these cuts will be made in the most visible and crippling way, rather than with the goal of finding efficiencies.

@holmantx @roo_ster We are in a very good place.  This is the beginning of the end of liberal/progressive political policy (which consists solely of spending ridiculous amounts of money).  

everlastingphelps topcommenter

@scottindallas @everlastingphelps That's Obama's wager, that the cuts will me made in the most visible and crippling way, in order to discredit the idea of cutting altogether.  The Republican wager is that these "crippling" cuts will be nothing of the sort, and will show the People that not only can cutting be done, but that Democrats are scaremongers who can't be trusted.

Either way, the bets have been been placed and the roulette wheel is spinning.  One of the two will turn out to be right.

everlastingphelps topcommenter

@Sotiredofitall @bvckvs All that white space trying to confine the black figures into neat ordered rows, imposing rules on them and insisting that there is a "right" answer, you are damned RIGHT that math is racist.


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