If Congress doesn't act by Friday, mandatory cuts affect all branches of the federal government because of the Budget Control Act of 2011. The nation's governors expressed concern about how the cuts may hinder the budgets of state programs, according to the Wall Street Journal. Republicans and Democrats are blaming each other for looming cuts as a deal by Friday looks less and less likely.
The cuts could have far-reaching effects on government spending and on the American economy.
1.2 trillion: The number, in dollars, of mandatory budget cuts coming in the federal government over the next nine fiscal years, from 2013 to 2021. More than 40 percent of those cuts are to discretionary spending in the Department of Defense, according to a graphic in the Washington Post.
85.4 billion: The number of dollars the 2013 fiscal year budget will be cut if sequestration happens. Of that, $42.7 billion is for defense, a 7.9 percent cut in the department's overall budget. Another $28.7 billion comes from domestic discretionary spending. The Washington Post states no programs are actually eliminated.
64,000: The number of civilian Department of Defense jobs at risk in California alone. The White House estimates the largest state in the union stands to furlough these workers and reduce gross pay by nearly $400 million.
800,000: The number of federal defense employees who earn less income due to budget cuts. Less consumers spending means fewer sales tax receipts for state and local governments. The Chicago Tribune notes the effects of sequestration on the gross domestic product (GDP) of the United States start to be felt during the second quarter as the economy could contract as much as 1.5 percent.
45.7: The number of percentage of Americans who say they will spend less overall because of tax increases that began in January. A survey released Thursday by the National Retail Federation claims many Americans plan to change spending habits in 2013 because of less income. Fewer federal jobs exacerbate an already fragile economic recovery.
125,000: The estimated number of low-income families who could lose federal rent assistance if the budget cuts go ahead as scheduled. USA Today has a list of other programs that face cuts based upon White House information.
1 billion: The number of dollars the Department of Transportation needs to cut out of its budget, a figure roughly 1.4 percent of its entire budget. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told a press briefing air traffic controllers face decreased hours which may lead to longer lines at airports. Some facilities may even close temporarily, despite ABC News pointing out the Department of Transportation has a bigger budget this year than last year.
176: The total number of hours Department of Defense employees will each take off from work if they are furloughed until the end of September. Each employee takes no more 16 hours off per pay period.
2,600: The number of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration employees due to be furloughed. ABC News reveals, among 57 "terrible" affects of sequestration, extreme weather forecasts may happen slower than normal because of less money to pay employees.
10 billion: The amount, in dollars, meat and poultry producers stand to lose in production because Department of Agriculture inspectors won't be able to do their jobs. Workers could lose as much as $400 million in wages and 15 days of work in the coming months if sequestration numbers are to be believed.
William Browning is a research librarian specializing in U.S. politics.
- Budget, Tax & Economy
- Politics & Government