In an effort to up the ante on budget cut battles with Congress, the White House has released an analysis of state-by-state effects. The release may rally governors to the side of the president, although many of the numbers are no better than a guess. They do not take into account the ability of states to repair their own economies, even if federal aid drops. And, as it true with all other budget estimates, the period over which harm will be done ranges from weeks to months to years.
Federal budget cuts will probably push the U.S. back into recession by damaging states’ economies recovering from the worst fiscal crisis since the Great Depression, governors said.
President Barack Obama and Congress need to find a way to prevent $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts from taking effect starting on March 1, said Republican and Democratic governors who are in Washington this weekend for a meeting of the National Governors Association.
The cuts, known as sequestration, will lead to dismissal of teachers and firefighters, and reduce projected spending by $1.2 trillion over the next nine years, with half in defense spending and half from domestic spending. Governors said the threat of cuts has already damaged their economies, which they said will worsen if the president and lawmakers can’t agree.
Douglas A. McIntyre