As the sequestration went into effect on Friday, March 1, many Virginians didn’t appear to be too concerned. For one reason or another, the potential effects of the sequestration haven’t set in as a reality yet, at least for many.
Maybe these Virginians believe their jobs will be spared or that the worst effects of the automatic cuts in the federal budget will be averted by a last-minute congressional compromise. But according to a recent Old Dominion University forecast, the Hampton Roads area stands to lose more than 12,000 jobs in 2013 due to the sequestration.
Previous to this most recent economic forecast, ODU had forecast that Hampton Roads would add over 5,000 jobs in 2013. Therefore, the sequestration would cause a net loss of 17,000 jobs in the Hampton Roads area alone if we take the ODU job forecast numbers as our baseline.
For anyone who stands to lose their job, or anyone who simply cares about how their fellow Virginians are doing, the sequestration is already a reality, a reality that is affecting a heavy psychological burden that politicians on both sides of the aisle in Washington, D.C. don’t appear to care much about.
Compounding the problem are reports that the sequestration may last weeks, if not months. According to Politico, “Obama’s decision Friday to remove the threat of a government shutdown in late March as a leverage point in the standoff means that the sequester will remain in place for weeks – if not months, or longer.”
In this drama, there are no winners, only losers. If the Republican Party achieves its ends of slashing the federal budget, it will do so at the nonsensical expense of thousands of Virginians and potentially millions of Americans. If the Democratic Party achieves its ends and comes out ahead during the 2014 elections, it will again be at the expense of numerous Americans (i.e., real people!).
Never have a people been so privileged and never have a people been so stupid in undermining so fundamentally their own prosperity as a nation.