White House prediction of sequester’s impact on SC

Yesterday, the White House put out a state-by-state breakdown of what it said would be the likely impacts if sequestration happens.

Some excerpts of what the report said about South Carolina:

  • In South Carolina, approximately 11,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $59.5 million in total. Army: Base operation funding would be cut by about $62 million in South Carolina. Air Force: Funding for Air Force operations in South Carolina would be cut by about $19 million.

  • Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for approximately 900 children in South Carolina, reducing access to critical early education.

  • South Carolina will lose approximately $12.5 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 170 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition about 15,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 30 fewer schools would receive funding. In addition, South Carolina will lose approximately $8.6 million in funds for about 100 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities.


56 thoughts on “White House prediction of sequester’s impact on SC

  1. Steven Davis II

    Don’t blame the Republicans, it was Jim Clyburn who was hand-picked and put on the Super Committee who was supposed to handle this problem, and they came back with not one cut.

    Republicans gave Obama what he wanted last month with the promise of cuts this month. Obama responded by doing nothing, and now blames the Republicans for the automated cuts.

  2. Doug Ross

    If the White House didn’t want this deal, they shouldn’t have accepted it.

    Anyone who believes this baloney is a fool. Has there ever been a case when these “sky is falling” predictions came true?

    They pick and choose the areas that will get people most worked up in order to justify tax increases.

  3. Bryan D. Caskey

    The sequester isn’t going to be a picnic. However, it is the law that both houses of congress passed and the executive signed. Maybe this should be a “teachable moment” for Washington: Don’t pass a law that you don’t really want.

  4. Mark Stewart

    I agree with Bryan and would suggest that it would have been easier for Congress to simply have done its job. The same people who run to be a Representative (knowing it is for a two year term) are the same ones who are afraid to risk their reelecability. Make the calls. Do your jobs. Negotiate. Reach a consensus. Lead. It really isn’t so hard.

  5. die deutsche Flußgabelung

    This is what the Tea Party wanted so let it be. Time for them to learn just how much of a welfare state South Carolina really is. Without Fort Jackson and the other military bases (thanks to Ol’ Strom and Red State Socialism) South Carolina would probably be dead last right after Mississippi in terms of economic development.

    The only silver lining in this whole maded-up, self-induced quagmire is that there will finally be some cuts in the bloated military budget. Take the case of F-35. Only the DoD would pay a quarter of a billion dollars for a plane with a myriad of problems and can’t even fly.

    1. Bart

      The “Tea Party” wanted this? Maybe you should read the link Juan provided to see who wanted and insisted on it. As Doug stated, in the end, unless it is to make a point at the expense of the people of America who can afford it the least, you can bet your bottom dollar that the Obama administration will pick and choose who is to be denied funding and it will be the ones that will impact the next election the most and not have one damn thing to do with what is best for this country.

      Maybe the “blame game” practiced so adeptly by the administration should be changed from its “GWB’s” fault to it’s “GWB and TP’s” fault for all of the ills the country is experiencing.

          1. die deutsche Flußgabelung

            So your saying the Tea Party lead House of Representatives and the Republicans Senators, who passed the sequester scheme into law, don’t share blame too? Last time I checked the sequester was a deal between both parties.

            I don’t get you reactionaries so in the beginning ya’ll were all for cutting government spending, but now that you know these cuts will have negative effects on the wider economy ya’ll are like “no no we never supported cutting spending this is all the president’s fault.” It would appear to me as though the Tea Party is getting their wish with this sequester, but there hedging their bet by laying all the blame on the president .

        1. Doug Ross

          The Tea Party didn’t want spending cuts AND tax increases. This sequestration deal was made by the White House and run of the mill Republicans and Democrats – the same groups of people who created this mess over the years.

    2. Steven Davis II

      My silver lining will be when 18 year old Shaniqua learns that she’s going to have to go to work to support her three kids because her check stopped arriving.

      1. die deutsche Flußgabelung

        Clearly that wasn’t the kind of “welfare” I was talking about, but what a great dog whistle comeback.

      2. Kathryn Fenner

        Racist diatribe aside, if your Shaniqua is 18 with three children, she was a child when she had them. She didn’t have much of a chance in life….

        1. Steven Davis II

          “She didn’t have much of a chance in life….”

          Poor, poor, Shaniqua… couldn’t learn to say no, keep her knees together X 3.

        2. Brad Warthen Post author

          You know what, if there was an award for “Most moral judgments on a blog,” I think this blog would win top honors. And yes, I know I do it, too.

          But I have trouble understanding how some of my interlocutors here find so much moral content in people’s economic decisions.

          Look, here’s how the world works: If you’re middle class, and have health insurance, and you find yourself stressed and/or depressed by your circumstances for whatever reason, you go to your doc and he gives you free samples of the latest antidepressant, and once you’re on them, you start paying for them every month, and although they’re very expensive your insurance defrays most of the expense. And this course of treatment may or may not make you feel better.

          If you’re poor, you do it with beer or malt liquor or street drugs. Which may or may not make you feel better.

          1. Doug Ross

            No, that’s not how “it works”. There are plenty of people who deal with the stresses of life without medication (prescription or self-administered). There are also plenty of rich people with insurance who self medicate with Patron, cocaine, and other more expensive habits.

            People from all walks of life make choices. Bad ones lead to bad outcomes. I do not feel responsible for fixing those people who choose to make bad decisions over and over again — especially those who feel entitled to a handout.

          2. die deutsche Flußgabelung

            I have said it before, when it comes to economics conservatives see it as a morality play.

  6. Bart

    As long as we have a president who is intent on non-stop campaigning and using props that are not legitimate, the “sequester” will be the topic of conversation in the press and the media to be used as a club against Republicans. This sword has two sharp edges, each one honed to a razor sharp condition by each side. Now, the question is, who will be the one who is cut the deepest with the other side’s sharp edge?

    Mark made a good point but a point totally lost on anyone inside the Beltway including the president. As already mentioned, Obama insisted on sequestration and by damn he got it and now like the dog chasing the car and catching it, what is he going to do with it? If Republicans are lucky, the sequestration vehicle will back over his butt, drive forward and back up again. Maybe if we had a mature leader in the White House—– Oh hell, forget it, won’t happen!

  7. Bryan Caskey

    When the government fears it may have to lay off nonessential workers, or reduce funding to unnecessary low-priority programs, it always goes after the essential workers in the essential functions of government to make them hostages.

    Give us all the money we want, or we stop checking to see if terrorists are taking bombs on airplanes.

  8. Bryan Caskey

    The sequester law doesn’t tell the President what to cut. I think it only says “cut by this much”. Instead of trying to figure out how to make the sequester as painless as possible (because that would be good for the country) why does it seem like he’s doing the opposite?

    Meh, the GOP will cave again and we’ll “avoid” another “crisis” Yay!

    Can, prepare to be kicked.

    1. Doug Ross

      Exactly, Bryan. Much ado about nothing. Hard decisions take strong leaders. We don’t have any on either side of the aisle. Obama is 100% politician. Boehner is bought and paid for.

  9. Mark Stewart

    Um, no Bart, I didn’t share your point. My point was that Congress was not doing its job.

    I agree that the President is spinning nonsense; but all presidents have the bully pulpit to convey their message. Congress, however, has to legislate. And that they have, again, failed to do.

    Like Lindsey Graham, too many of them have become enamoured of preening on cable tv over cutting deals in Congress – even back room deals. Who thought we would come to miss those?

    1. Bart

      “I agree with Bryan and would suggest that it would have been easier for Congress to simply have done its job.” Mark

      “Mark made a good point but a point totally lost on anyone inside the Beltway including the president.” Bart

      I guess in my old age, I get confused over the use of the English language and sometimes misinterpret what someone actually wanted to say. Unless you are placing the entire blame on the House for lack of leadership, I thought my point was that everyone, including the president, had failed on the leadership thing.

  10. bud

    As long as we have a president who is intent on non-stop campaigning …

    Read the constitution, or to be more exact, the 22nd ammendment.

    1. Steven Davis II

      Is the 22nd the one allowing the President to fly to Florida on Air Force One to go golfing? With all of the military flight hours being cut, I wonder if this includes his important trips such as this one?

    2. Bart

      O.K. bud, I read it. What is YOUR point? My point is that he is forever in a “campaign” mode. Or if it is more acceptable to your political palate, Obama is constantly making appearances at stategic locations with people surrounding him so he can actively “campaign” to get what he wants. Is that better?

      1. Steve Gordy

        You make a valid point. However, GWB went on a sixty-city tour in late 2004 and early 2005 to press the cause for Social Security privatization (a cause on which he had not conspicuously campaigned). It seems to be the way the President (of whichever party) does business in this age of media-centered politics.

  11. Brad Warthen Post author

    There’s a fine line between appropriately performing the leadership role of pressing for certain policy positions — which is a form of campaigning — and inappropriately being in campaign mode.

    Here’s one place to draw that line — if you’re advocating for the positions that are relevant to the job you were elected to do, then it’s appropriate, even laudable, campaigning.

    If you’re playing games in order to gain partisan advantage for its own sake — just trying to win points for the side, regardless of the policy implications or the good of the country as you see it — then it’s inappropriate.

    Another thing that’s inappropriate, and that we’ve seen too much of in South Carolina in recent years, is running around yammering about policies that are only peripherally about the job you’re elected to do, or worse, making state policy in accordance with your posturing on national issues — such as hurting South Carolina by refusing Medicaid expansion just so you can show your opposition to Obamacare.

    I also take a dim view of South Carolinians spending time and political capital campaigning for national candidates, or state candidates in other states, instead of devoting those energies to doing their jobs here.

    But I’m getting far afield now from the kind of campaigning you’re talking about. Sorry…

    1. Bart

      “If you’re playing games in order to gain partisan advantage for its own sake — just trying to win points for the side, regardless of the policy implications or the good of the country as you see it — then it’s inappropriate.”


      This is a perfect example of “I was for it before I was against it” scenario with a major difference. The major difference between Kerry making his flip-flop comments is that he did recognize/acknowledge later after the failure to find WMDs that if he had known in the beginning what he now understood to be true, he would have been against going into Iraq.

      So far, Obama has not acknowledged that if he had known what the impact of sequestration would be if allowed to be implemented, he wouldn’t have insisted on it being included in the 2011 debt ceiling agreement. Once again, he has dodged responsibility and instead of being a leader and accepting his own failure, he is blaming everyone he can and is engaged in a constant campaign effort to deflect any fallout from sequestration. He is using scare tactics and false information (recent appearance with NY firefighters who are not paid with federal funds) along with members of his administration. Now, we are being told that our borders will not be protected and illegals will flood the country if sequestration is allowed. So far, our border patrols haven’t been able to stem the tide so “what difference does it make anyway” to apply Hillary logic to the situation.

      There will be fallout and some people will be affected by the budget cuts under sequestration, no doubt about it. However, when you consider the fact that our current “budget” is right at $3.8 trillion, cutting $85 billion or roughly 2.25% shouldn’t be a major stretch. Obama has constantly campaigned on everyone paying their “fair share” and now is the opportunity for everyone to sacrifice their “fair share” and stop the “no good crisis going to waste” mentality that is becoming the norm in politics.

      I have a problem with the way business is conducted in Washington on both sides of the aisle but as each day passes and the more I watch Obama and his lack of leadership at the top level fail to bring both sides together without the “I won, you lost”; “my way or the highway” attitude, the more I am convinced he is the least qualified president to ever occupy the White House including GWB and Carter.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Don’t go picking on my man Jimmy, now…

        There were some pretty awful presidents back in the 19th century, you know. Andrew Johnson, for instance. U.S. Grant — great general; not such a great president. And though many love him, I’ve never been an Andrew Jackson fan…

        1. Bryan D. Caskey

          I thought you would have liked Ol’ Hickory, Brad. He came out against the state theory of nullification back in the day, and he got SC to repeal our nullification bill when the showdown with Calhoun came to a head.

          You know how they ask presidents if they have any regrets, and nowadays the President usually says no (because they can’t admit any mistakes)? On the last day of the presidency, Jackson admitted that he had but two regrets, that he “had been unable to shoot Henry Clay or to hang John C. Calhoun”.

          Civility. It’s nice, but not very funny.

      2. Silence

        Bart’s right about the cuts not being a major stretch. In fact, I’ve read that the actual cuts, stretched over the FY are actually about $77 billion, and that all but about $44 billion can be made up for out of money sitting in agency accounts from previous FY’s. Hardly a calamity.

      3. bud

        Bart, Obama has had his failures, especially the disastrous drone policy, but let’s review his many successes:

        1. Killed Osama Bin Laden
        2. Reduced the unemployment rate from 10.1% to 7.7%
        3. Saved the auto industry
        4. Implemented needed banking reform
        5. Pushed through a healthcare reform package that will insure 40 million additional Americans
        6. Successfully (so far) resisted conservative attempts to implement disastrous budget cuts
        7. Withdrew ALL troops from Iraq
        8. Began the withdrawal of troops from Afghansitan
        9. Prevented any repeat of 9-11
        10. Prevented any repeat of the horrendous Katrina response

        All in all a decent presidency. As for the sequester issue, the GOP started all this by refusing to raise the debt ceiling as common sense and every other congress has done. Obama has done the best with the truly awful hand the reactionary GOP has dealt him.

        1. Bart

          O.K. bud, let’s take this one at a time.

          1. Killed Osama Bin Laden – The effort to find Bin Laden was an on-going operation for close to 10 years. Obama didn’t kill Bin Laden, he was just fortunate enough to be the beneficiary of the efforts of an intelligence operation that found him. Although, the man who fingered Bin Laden was exposed by the Obama administration and he is now languishing in a Pakistani prison.

          2. Reduced the unemployment rate from 10.1% to 7.7%. The only reason the unemployment rate is at 7.7% is because millions have dropped out of the job market because THERE ARE NO JOBS!! If the actual rate were calculated correctly, it would exceed 15%. And it you were to include the underemployed, it may be even higher.

          3. Saved the auto industry. No, Obama didn’t save the auto industry, the auto industry was taken over by the government and the unions with the exception of Ford. It was the American taxpayer who ultimately footed the bill so the inefficient run, union controlled auto industry could continue to operate at a poor margin. And, if the media were to report facts instead of fluff pieces about Obama, they would report that the auto industry is once again on very shaky ground – with the exception of Ford.

          4. Implemented needed banking reform – The banking reform has only insured that the existing “fat cat bankers” who were Obama’s major supporters in 2007 & 2008 can continue to hoard money and withhold loans from the people who really want to contribute or start a business. It was a total kneejerk piece of legislation and so far, has contributed nothing to rebuilding the economy.

          5. Pushed through a healthcare reform package that will insure 40 million additional Americans – The only comment this deserves is the one made by Nancy Pelosi – “let’s pass the bill so we can find out what’s in it”. What we are finding out is that the 40 million additional Americans who will be covered will be covered by the taxpayers in the end when businesses either drop insurance and pay a fee or if the individual doesn’t buy insurance, he or she will be fined or taxed, take your choice. And, so far based on observations of the way the system is being implemented, it is doubtful the 40 million will take advantage of it anyway. After being exposed to some of the new requirements, I can truthfully attest to the fact that what is coming will not be what was promised.

          6. Successfully (so far) resisted conservative attempts to implement disastrous budget cuts – Resisted efforts to actually present a legitimate budget, never presented one that would pass, demanded sequestration in the 2011 debt ceiling agreement which in turn requires budget cuts if enacted, and is now howling over the prospect of actual cuts taking place. Taking his traveling sideshow to shipbuilders now. And to think most Democrats want to cut defense spending but Obama is taking his crying towel to a naval ship yard to plead his case against sequestration? Talk about blatant hypocrisy! He gives it a whole new meaning.

          7. Withdrew ALL troops from Iraq – the troops would have been withdrawn in due time anyway. It was nothing more than a campaign talking point.

          8. Began the withdrawal of troops from Afghansitan – see #7.

          9. Prevented any repeat of 9-11 – Totally unproven speculation at its highest. The main reason 9-11 has not repeated itself is because of Bush’s response and Obama has not had one damn thing to do with it. Libya sure coughed up their weapons and behaved while Bush was in office and so did Iran other than some bluster talk. But, now they have the capacity to build their own nuclear weapons and to think it has all taken place in the past four years.

          10. Prevented any repeat of the horrendous Katrina response – So, all of the good people in the Northeast are back in their homes, all relief efforts are on track, everyone is happy about the way the government has handled the situation so far, right? Guess I have been reading the wrong reports on the internet because my friends in the NE damn sure aren’t very happy with the federal government response. But then I guess Obama didn’t have Nagin and the governor of Louisiana in charge of the response effort either, did he? At least Christie did his job, not like Nagin and Blanco who sat on their collective asses and let the disaster happen when they had more than ample warning and refused assistance when Bush offered to help. Of course, the “Blame Bush Syndrome” is a permanent affliction for Democrats and especially Obama and one of the sure signs of being infected is the constant referral to Katrina.

          “As for the sequester issue, the GOP started all this by refusing to raise the “debt ceiling” as common sense and every other congress has done.”…bud

          “In 2006, Sen. Barack Obama said “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure.” And he voted no on a debt limit increase.”…..Obama = common sense? Just doesn’t equate. So, if in 2006 Obama made the point that raising the debt limit is a sign of leadership failure, is his insistence that the debt ceiling be raised a confirmation of his leadership failure?

  12. bud

    However, when you consider the fact that our current “budget” is right at $3.8 trillion, cutting $85 billion or roughly 2.25% shouldn’t be a major stretch.

    Given the fragile state of the economy $85 billion is a significant amount of money that could, through the multiplier effect, trigger a significant slowdown of the economy.

    1. Steven Davis II

      I thought the economy was doing wonders under Obama. Unemployment is down, interest rates are down and now bud is worried that a 2% budget cut may sink us.

  13. bud

    I’ve never understood history’s assessment of Andrew Jackson. Not only did he defy the supreme court by ordering the cruel relocation of native Americans to Oklahoma but his policies directly led to the worst economic collapse in the young nation’s history up to that point. It was so bad it earned the title “panic”.

    1. Bryan D. Caskey

      Andy ain’t exactly alone in wronging the native Americans, so let’s not get carried away, kemosabe. He did defy the Supreme Court, and had a great quote about it: http://quotationsbook.com/quote/45577/

      Also, the panic of 1837 didn’t have one specific cause. There was a lot of paper currency issued in the time leading up. Also, the Bank of England raised interest rates in the lead up. Economics. It’s complicated.

  14. John

    It is a straw man to say the cuts only hit 2.5% of the total budget. It’s 5.1% to discretionary (non-military) and 7.7% from discretionary defense. Since the fiscal year ends in October and the cuts are to be initiated in March those cuts are spread over a shortened timeline. This means the rate of spending cuts is even higher. Re Silence’ comment: yes, that IS pretty scary, particularly when the legal obligation to honor pre-existing contracts means the Feds often have no choice except to focus on personnel during the first year of cuts. People who say these cuts are a net positive are flat out celebrating widespread, indiscriminate layoffs that COULD have been done strategically given time. And by time I don’t mean another extension – I mean staged, planned cuts where the consensus says they’re needed.
    However, the size of the spending cuts still isn’t as offensive as the explicit refusal to lead that came with them. Gramm-Rudman cuts were like this back in the 80’s – brainless mechanical cuts made by people who were too cowardly to stand up and say whether or not a specific program or tax break needed to disapper or a tax increase enacted.

  15. John

    Whoops, I forgot to credit SC’s role in the Gramm-Rudman act; our own Senator Hollings was part of the brain trust for that team too. What a great job of “governance” that bill was…

  16. Scout

    I have never liked Andrew Jackson. I think SC and NC fight over claiming him because of where he was born and fluctuating borders. I say they can have him.

  17. Scout

    Special Ed cuts and cuts to headstart potentially can affect me very directly. So I am concerned.

    Bryan, this would seem to suggest that the President does not get to pick what gets cut. It is from here:

    “Q. Can the Executive Branch reconfigure sequestration cuts?

    A. No. The cuts are automatic, across-the-board reductions to all discretionary programs unless exempted by the BCA. (A list of exempt programs is available here.) The Executive Branch will have no authority or ability to redistribute the cuts.”

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