With five days left before $85 billion is slashed from U.S. government budgets, the White House issued more dire warnings about the harm the cuts will do to Americans, breaking down the loss of jobs and services to each of the states.
The estimates show how many teachers could lose their jobs in each state, how many toddlers could be kicked out of subsidized preschool programs, and how many children could lose funding for vaccines for measles and mumps.
But Republicans, who advocate budget cuts, said the warning was overplayed, and called on President Barack Obama to apply what is known as the “sequester” in a more careful way, rather than slashing budgets across the board.
“They’ve rolled out this great political theater about how cutting less than 3 percent of the federal budget is going to cause all these awful consequences,” Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“Here’s his chance to say, ‘Here’s how we can do it better,’” Jindal said, suggesting Congress and the White House give departments the ability to cut spending on less essential services.
On Monday, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the Obama administration isn’t using scare tactics to highlight the impacts of sequestration. Instead, he called them “warning flares.”
“We’re sending up a warning flare, not to scare anybody but just so people understand there are consequences to sequester,” LaHood said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “And it can all be avoided if people of both parties would embrace the president’s plan. … It’s a good one, it saves the money that needs to be saved, and it doesn’t take the meat-ax approach to it.”
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