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Are You Worried the Sequester Will Affect You?

Massachusetts is chock full of defense contractors, federal employees and federal program beneficiaries. Are you worried the U.S. budget sequester will hurt your family's finances?

The U.S. government has a week before its self-imposed sequestration deadline. If enacted, the across-the-board cuts to the federal budget could mean layoffs, decreased aid and lower government spending. 

That could mean trouble for some popular government programs, such as Social Security and Medicare. Defense contractors are also preparing for lost and reduced contracts with the government. 

Locally, it could also doom smaller programs that have a big impact. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program helps families in need pay for home heating oil and other energy costs. Massachusetts stands to lose over $11 million in assistance under this one program alone. Representatives Ed Markey and Jim McGovern are trying to shield the program from cuts.

Though designed as a tool to force Republicans and Democrats to negotiate smarter deficit reduction, the threat of indiscriminate cuts has not yet led to a brokered deal.

What about your own pocketbook: Do you think the sequester will affect you? Do you work for the government or in a job that is dependent on government programs? Are you worried sequestration will hurt you financially or be a drag on the economy? Or is it bitter medicine for a country that needs to lower its debt? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

NaemhOisin February 25, 2013 at 12:26 PM
Executive Order in the hands of this man is a very dangerous thing - his own words- if congress does not do what he wants, he will bypass congress - because he believes he has that mandate from a 51% electorate
Harry Birmingham February 25, 2013 at 01:24 PM
I agree with you about his being a danger regarding executive order[s]. If the congress would only stand up to him by a majority of its members saying yes or no to any thing before him that should be enough to make him pass what is before him. you say he can bypass congress with his mandate from a 51% electorate . I'm confused with that knowing we elected these twits to represent us in all things before them. How in the world are we to be heard if the twits wont listen to us and do what ever they want in regards to serving the majority of the voters demands whether it be a 51% majority or not? That is the question and why they will not do what we ,the majority, want them to do. Where is the hand shaking across the isles of congress as was asked to enable the best for us all?
Saber Walsh February 25, 2013 at 01:58 PM
In case anyone missed it, DoD announced yesterday that 800,000 civilian jobs will be affected by this. This is just DoD -- there's much more. Meanwhile we see our First Family golfing with Tiger Woods and hanging with the stars at the Oscars while we hear the people who we are told are the "bad, evil capitalists" saying "the guy won't talk to us." Well, the evidence seems to be there: he has too busy a schedule for this, and when he gets to it, it will be another 11th-hour "I'm going to hold citizens hostage unless you bend to what I want" act. I am so, so, SO sick of this.
Ken A February 25, 2013 at 02:10 PM
SMH
Harry Birmingham February 25, 2013 at 03:32 PM
I do not think the DOD budget will be slashed. What with this world of terrorists abroad and here and with the never ending threats of war overseas we'd be crazy to slash military spending. We have a lot to contend with that and the ending of illegals entering the country and what to do with those already here. Wouldn't you or anyone else think that among these illegals are some terrorists that have slipped into the country ,I do. All the twits in Washington would be really stupid to allow slashing in these two important areas where its needed the most to protect the country. JMHO is all!!
Kevin February 25, 2013 at 04:14 PM
In the mean time, as I'm a civil servant, my paycheck is being threatened with up to a 20% cut over the next 6 months. I'm not the one who decided to boost the federal deficit. The group I work in has seem budget cuts over the past three years. My available resources have dwindled and we no longer have training to maintain our skills. And now that I have a kid in college with the expected tuition expense, they're telling me I'm going to lose pay because they can't figure out how to do what they've expected all of us to do in our personal lives: live responsibly, make sensible compromises and live to a realistic budget. I took the federal job for security at the cost of private sector opportunities with higher salary potential. And now, they're all saying that means nothing. If this is the wave of the future, good luck finding anyone with desireable skills who will take a federal job. Get accustomed to underperforming government programs and higher taxes to cover the costs. Good luck with that model.
MikeA February 25, 2013 at 04:43 PM
Sorry to hear that your work hours might get cut. Instead of across the board spending cuts with entitlements apparently exempted, where would you make reductions in spending? I would start by eliminating the subsidies to Big Solar and Big Wind for super expensive energy. I'm also in favor of replacing pensions for new government employees with 401k's.
Hector February 25, 2013 at 06:16 PM
How's that Hope, Change and Forward doing?
J Smith February 27, 2013 at 01:17 AM
What about members of Congress? Their salaries and pensions are not affected. Shouldn't they also receive cuts in their salaries? Poor people are not the only ones affected. You might be working for a living now, but due to this sequester your company might be affected and you could be one of those looking for a helping hand.
marc bowlen February 28, 2013 at 04:08 PM
Actually the elderly all voted for Obama! Let them freeze to death! That will save this country billions! My philosophy is every man for himself at this point! I don't need the government for anything! They steal and cheat me and my family everyday! If everybody was allowed to keep their money and we had very little government, no immigration, we would all be rich and prosperous and we would have no democrat scum sucking pigs! The only way America will survive is to overthrow the government by force! It may sound crazy and insane but look around you and see everyone suffering and your country crumbling! It will only get worse!
Alexandra Siwek March 01, 2013 at 12:56 PM
SHAME ON YOU. Such hatred and selfishness. It makes me embarrassed for this town. SHAME ON YOU.
Ben A March 01, 2013 at 02:03 PM
Not so good.
Mike Mitchell March 01, 2013 at 02:31 PM
Don't get too excited Alexandra, I suspect 'marc' is a 'poser'. The TRUTH in the matter remains that the federal government will be able to spend MORE money this year than last year. How does having MORE money this year than last lead to ANY of the outrageous predictions currently being made by the left? Such is the nature of the radical left - to lie, misrepresent, vilify and scaremonger at every opportunity. It's all right out of Saul Alinsky's book "Rules for Radicals"; rules #3 and #9.
Bill March 01, 2013 at 02:36 PM
Cuts happen today - everyone ok? Any reports of widespread hunger or looting?
Mike Mitchell March 01, 2013 at 03:38 PM
Well now that you mention it, I am a little hungry. I think I need more than only that bowl of oatmeal I had earlier but it's a matter of speculation as to how widespread this problem is within the community...
MikeA March 01, 2013 at 03:57 PM
The Patch is now reporting that there are over 2200 federal employees in Essex County! Stay calm, take a deep breath, and repeat after me - "RED ALERT" Rumors that the oceans have started to rise are completely false but the earth appears to have a case of the sniffles.
Michael Quinlan March 01, 2013 at 05:03 PM
Outside of the usual hunger and looting, all is quiet.
Bill March 01, 2013 at 05:29 PM
Breaking News: the Dear Leader has blamed Republicans and continued the call more more taxes. Shocker. Film at 11.
Bill March 01, 2013 at 06:26 PM
Just back from a walk in downtown Salem. All seems quiet, too quiet. I took all my money out of bank expecting a run around 4pm. Also loaded up on canned good from Market Basket. Obama would never lie or exaggerate. Never.
Bill March 01, 2013 at 08:08 PM
Poorly
Sydney March 01, 2013 at 08:28 PM
It begs the question ... why on earth are there so many Federal Employees? When the Government becomes too large a share of the ecomony, we all suffer. They must make work for each other. Oh, I also forget to say that my bunker is already at capacity ... somehow, 100 liberals showed up in the last hour ... empty handed by the way :-)
Mike Mitchell March 01, 2013 at 08:50 PM
Well I'm here a still a hopin ... can't tell ya fer what exactly....
Bill March 01, 2013 at 09:03 PM
Stock Market finished up - rich get richer and for that I am thankful
Carolyn Costain March 01, 2013 at 10:07 PM
All Big Brothers stock is in oil, Ex-president Bush family is sitting pretty on their stocks plus Georges multi- million+ pension!
Carolyn Costain March 01, 2013 at 10:10 PM
Oh' Come on Bill, your sounding more like Bob now!
Sean Ward March 01, 2013 at 11:30 PM
Nobody wants to take away a working mans pension. Your pension is at risk because of millions of people who live their entire life taking from the community without giving back. A single unemployed mother of three can make $70,000-$100,000 per year for life off federal, state and local welfare programs like section 8, food stamps, free cell phones, mass health and a dozen other handout programs. Do you make that much risking your life every day? Legitimate spending is being put at risk because of excessive entitlements and wasteful spending.
Sean Ward March 01, 2013 at 11:38 PM
Harry, I'm generally against anything that comes out of Washington these days but one of few things I agree with is our strategic oil reserve. When the oil runs out (and it will) if we have not discovered an adequate replacement, the country holding the most of what is left is going to be the only safe place left on Earth. I want us to use what is here last. Make no mistake though. Gas and heating oil prices have nothing to do with US oil. These prices are exactly where our government wants them to be if not higher.
Carolyn Costain March 02, 2013 at 12:11 AM
"What about Bob?" He must be taking a vacation day from insulting comment.
Rose R. March 02, 2013 at 01:57 PM
No the elderly did not vote for Obama. I voted for Mitt, the man with knowledge on how to run things. The welfare people are the ones who put him in. They want their free phones, EBT cards, free housing, free insurance that you & I have to pay for. I could go on. We had a great honest, sincere man in Mitt Romney. To bad they lied so much about him.
Michael Alsup March 03, 2013 at 09:37 PM
Harry, WHile we cannot AFFORD to continue as a Nation of Working Class people pay for The 2 party 2 House System wtith limited or No Result and keep a nation Strong CAN We afford to "clean House " & to pay their Retirement and washing of Washintonian Hands and GUARENTEED bythat action NO Action No Change. Not on My Childrens Backs . Do you drive the Abe Lincholn Car or does it drive U

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