9:45 AM EST, March 4, 2013
Here's a real-world reality check regarding the consequences of random, across-the-board, federal spending cuts that began on Friday.
My younger daughter is a civilian employee of one of the armed services. Last week, she received her letter of notice to furlough. She was planning to do a full kitchen remodel in her home, but even though the sequester was not a fact as yet, she decided to put off her plans due to her expected loss of income when faced with a one-day-a-week furlough.
Her financial uncertainly has an effect well beyond her kitchen. The manufacturers of the appliances, counter tops, cabinets and flooring lose sales. The contracting firm loses an install job. The building product supplier loses sales, and on and on, as each of these companies and people cut back their spending to account for their loss of income. Now multiply this true-life vignette by 700,000-plus Department of Defense civilian workers all over the country and you get an idea of the consequences of sequestration. And don't forget all the many thousands of other federal workers who will likely face the same furloughs and the same sorts of choices.
As individuals and businesses put off expenditures due to actual and even potential loss of income, capital in the economy will diminish and all sectors will begin to contract. And that is the recipe for recession. Let's not go there again. Please call, fax, or e-mail your senators and representative and tell them we want them to stay in Washington and work together — with President Barack Obama — until they find an acceptable compromise to avoid the pointless crippling of our economy that will result from sequestration.
Vanessa Evan-Bouchelle, Pylesville
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