WASHINGTON D.C. (WCBI) – Impact of March 1st Cuts on Middle Class Families, Jobs and Economic Security: Mississippi
Unless Congress acts by March 1st, a series of automatic cuts—called the sequester—will take effect that threaten hundreds of thousands of middle class jobs, and cut vital services for children, seniors, people with mental illness and our men and women in uniform. There is no question that we need to cut the deficit, but the President believes it should be done in a balanced way that protects investments that the middle class relies on. Already, the President and Congress have worked together to reduce the deficit by more than $2.5 trillion, but there’s more to do. The President has put forward a balanced plan to not only avoid the harmful effects of the sequester but also to reduce the deficit by more than $4 trillion in total. According to the Presidents office, the President’s plan meets Republicans more than halfway and includes twice as many spending cuts as it does tax revenue from the wealthy. Unfortunately, many Republicans in Congress refuse to ask the wealthy to pay a little more by closing tax loopholes so that we can protect investments that are helping grow our economy and keep our country safe. By not asking the wealthy to pay a little more, Republicans are forcing our children, seniors, troops, military families and the entire middle class to bear the burden of deficit reduction. The President is determined to cut spending and reduce the deficit in a balanced way, but he won’t stick the middle class with the bill.
If sequestration were to take effect, some examples of the impacts on Mississippi
this year alone are: Teachers and Schools: Mississippi will lose approximately $5,486,000 in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 80 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition about 12,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 20 fewer schools would receive funding.
Education for Children with Disabilities: In addition, Mississippi will lose approximately $6,124,000 in funds for about 70 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities.
Work-Study Jobs: Around 510 fewer low income students in Mississippi would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college and around 150 fewer students will get work-study jobs that help them pay for college.
Head Start: Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for approximately 1,600 children in Mississippi, reducing access to critical early education.
Protections for Clean Air and Clean Water: Mississippi would lose about $1,758,000 in environmental funding to ensure clean water and air quality, as well as prevent pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste. In addition, Mississippi could lose another $606,000 in grants for fish and wildlife protection.
Military Readiness: In Mississippi, approximately 9,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $49.9 million in total.
Army: Base operation funding would be cut by about $2.8 million in Mississippi.
Air Force: Funding for Air Force operations in Mississippi would be cut by about $4 million.
Navy: Deferred procurement for ships, and a planned demolition project at Naval Air Station Meridian could be canceled
Law Enforcement and Public Safety Funds for Crime Prevention and Prosecution:
Mississippi will lose about $138,000 in Justice Assistance Grants that support law enforcement, prosecution and courts, crime prevention and education, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, and crime victim and witness initiatives.
Job Search Assistance to Help those in Mississippi find Employment and Training: Mississippi will lose about $350,000 in funding for job search assistance, referral, and placement, meaning around 11,880 fewer people will get the help and skills they need to find employment.
Child Care: Up to 400 disadvantaged and vulnerable children could lose access to child care, which is also essential for working parents to hold down a job.
Vaccines for Children: In Mississippi around 1,170 fewer children will receive vaccines for diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough, influenza, and Hepatitis B due to reduced funding for vaccinations of about $80,000.
Public Health: Mississippi will lose approximately $283,000 in funds to help upgrade its ability to respond to public health threats including infectious diseases, natural disasters, and biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological events. In addition, Mississippi will lose about $710,000 in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse, resulting in around 900 fewer admissions to substance abuse programs. And the Mississippi State Department of Health will lose about $141,000 resulting in around 3,500 fewer HIV tests.
STOP Violence Against Women Program: Mississippi could lose up to $63,000 in funds that provide services to victims of domestic violence, resulting in up to 200 fewer victims being served.
Nutrition Assistance for Seniors: Mississippi would lose approximately $182,000 in funds that provide meals for seniors.