The real consequences of sequester

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Modern day America is in grave danger of turning into the now-penurious Greece, or so the congressional Republicans and Conservative commentators have been warning us for years now.  For many reasons, this comparison and indignant soothsaying is absurd- but it may very well become a reality if Washington’s austerity advocates get what they want.

The federal budget sequestration that took effect last week could represent the first serious step towards the kind of fiscal policies that have proved so egregiously detrimental not only in countries such as Greece- raising unemployment, destroying hope and encouraging extremist reactions- but all across Europe.

Almost every day, House speaker John Boehner and other Republicans insist that the only way to improve the economic prospects of the American people is to impose large budget cuts on them.  While these Republican leaders don’t love the sequester budget because it cuts too deeply into the defensive programs, they are eager to impose similar cuts on a number of domestic programs, from health care and education to food safety and infrastructure.

Unwilling as they usually are to name specific cuts, the plans of the far right that have emerged lately are indeed similar in scope and impact to those imposed by European central bankers on Greece, Spain, Romania, Ireland and other states across Europe.

Enacting the same fiscal policies in the United States would, presumably, yield the same results.  Yet despite their enthusiasm for austerity, the Republican, Tea Party and assorted media fore tellers almost never want to discuss what has happened in Europe as a result of said policies.

It is not always possible to ignore the harsh reality of a renewed recession, from countries like England to more unfortunate ones like Greece.

Until now, the United States has escaped the unfortunate fate of Europe, remaining the shining example of steady growth in the global economy because President Obama resisted the fiscal extremism of his Republican adversaries and succeeding in warding off recession with necessary spending.  Now sequestration, with all of its dire social and economic effects will provide insight of what is to come under Republican austerity; a shrunken nation with a dim future.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the Parkway School District.

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