Once again, the government is heading toward a High Noon style standoff, as the March 1, 2013 deadline for avoiding the "sequestration" looms. After stalling and debating down to the wire in December, with the Fiscal Cliff situation, we now find the legislators and the President locked in a similar arm-wrestling match.
Both sides of the political divide are promising big, scary-sounding automatic cuts that will take effect Friday if agreement is not reached. But most Americans seem to be shrugging off the entire situation with a big “so what?” Most of the cuts are not immediate, but will be phased in over time, and most people expect resolution before any serious pain is felt.
However, the first people to see the effects will, of course, be some of the people who can least afford to lose out: 2 million people who have been unemployed for a long time will see a $30 cut per week in their benefits. This may sound like pocket change to some, but this could mean a huge problem for thousands who are struggling to put food on the table and pay the rent.
Living on unemployment benefits is hard enough, as most people who are trying to do currently will tell you. And to have to live now on 10% less, will really hurt.