Sequestration is yet another political development that makes anyone with sense wonder what is happening to our country. Recall the ease with which our lawmakers voted us into a war based on lies--one that will cost us FIVE TRILLION DOLLARS by the time the last wounded war veteran dies according to Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz. (Isn't it interesting that we always have money to kill people?) Now think about the trillion-dollar bailout of the banks and other large financial institutions courtesy of the US taxpayer. And why should we bail out Ivy-league educated wealthy people whose greed and stupidity got them into trouble?
But, finally, we are starting to be fiscally responsible--on the backs of children and the elderly.
Here are the probable consequences of sequestration:
1. A cut of 368 million dollars to hospitals in Dade and Broward County over the next decade.
2. Reduced funding for immunizations for children
3. A budget cut for programs providing meals to senior citizens.
4. A reduction in money for environmental protection programs that are designed to deal with waste water, pesticide residue, and hazardous wastes. Since South Florida's economy depends on its one-of-a-kind nature like the Everglades, this will harm our economy as well as our environment.
5. A five-million dollar cut in funding to substance abuse programs--and even if you have no sympathy for addicts, think of their innocent victims like their aging parents and children.
6. A 1.8 million dollar cut to public health programs designed to protect us from epidemics and natural disasters.
Sequestration is due to begin tomorrow. Maybe, just maybe, the government will pull back at the last minute and avoid a program that will, in addition to its other effects, slam our still vulnerable economy. As of today, though, it looks like sequestration will wreak havoc on our economy and the health of our most vulnerable citizens.
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