Black Friday: What Do The Pending Budget Cuts Mean for You?

“We’re still in a recession. We’re not going to be out of it for a while, but we will get out.”

Warren Buffet uttered those words and yet this nation remains dangling off the cliff of fiscal calamity. When President Obama ran for the White House in 2008, he called President Bush’s $10 trillion dollars of debt “economic unpatriotism.” Well, the President has added $6 trillion to that debt since taking office in January of 2009. Over the course of the last four years, Democrats and Republicans have fought vehemently over whose ideology is best to pull our nation up from the fiscal calamity we have been facing. 

Over the past few months, as many of us have watched the news networks, read the papers, our twitter timelines or facebook newsfeeds, we have been bombarded with the a copious amount of ill-explained political jargon. One word that has consistently come up is sequestration. Now it may sound fancy, and to some foreign, but don’t be alarmed by the word itself. Sequestration really means to set apart. It is a series of automatic government cuts that will total $1.2 trillion over a ten year period. That means military spending will be cut by 50% and domestic spending will be cut by 50%.

The goal of this sequester is to tame the ferociously growing U.S. debt, which stands currently at $16 trillion. These automatic budget cuts had originally been planned for January 2, but Congress and the Obama administration came to a “deal” that would push the date back to March 1st. The really daunting part is the types of cuts that are coming.

The military cuts are needed. The obnoxious size of the American defense budget has always been disconcerting for some time now. However, other cuts, known as discretionary cuts, to programs such as public transportation, health care, education, job training and neighborhood stabilization programs are not needed. These programs provide our country with the assistance citizens need to survive.

Now, what does this mean to African Americans under the nation’s first African American President? We all recognize that President Obama must govern all Americans, not just those who look like him or think like him. However, he must be cognizant of the fact that these policies are more harmful to an already hard hit black community than most will admit. As I’ve said before, there is an indiscriminate nature about sequestration. One in which most African Americans are going to have an even more difficult time–in addition to the country–recovering from the negative effects of the recession.

The aforementioned cuts to areas such as public transportation, public health and education are all areas that have been crucial to the black community. This bandage will be bad for the country as a whole because austerity measures aren’t the best route in most cases, specifically this one and African Americans are going to get hit just as hard or even worse than when the great recession struck back in 2008. As one of my coworkers sobbingly said, “History indicated [we] are disposable and will be the first to fall off any and every financial cliff–real or imaginary.” Black people have had it hard enough as it is and this is yet another wrench that we’ll have to address as a community; one that can be defeated with the resilience that has always made us a special people. 

Think about how that bus driver that might get laid off or the mother who will have to take time off from her job because Head Start is being cut, or the elderly woman who won’t be able to afford her medication because benefits have been cut. This is not a solution, rather a bandage placed on a terrible wound. The men and women in Congress as well as our President are neglecting their fiduciary responsibilities in favor of political warfare. They’ve created a culture where they can’t tackle the major issues for those of us in the current and future. This is unacceptable! America is better than this. However, we can’t deny the political realities. Black Friday is upon us and I am not optimistic at all that this Congress or this White House will strike the deal. Statesmanship is all but dead, and the American people will be paying for it’s funeral. One which we cannot afford. 



From Our Partners

  • I live in an area that is heavy with Gov't contract work, and I used to work for one. I'm am so glad I'm no longer in that position of working as a contractor. When the cuts come, we were the first to go (this actually did happen back in 2011) and unfortunately some of the full time staff got cut as well. I can just imagine how its going to hit the area.
    My recent post My 2012 gaming year in review

  • IamJavone

    This right here is what’s wrong with the mindset of most Black people. This ‘whoa-is-me’ attitude. Always thinking about why this political agenda will effect Blacks more than anybody else. Instead of knowing things like this are coming down the pike. Read the political section of a newspaper and not a gossip blog. Preparation would allow people to foresee things like this are coming. Thinking the President “must be cognizant of how this effect blacks”. No he shouldn’t. YOU the black person should be aware and do what is required to maintain. Blog posts like this that continue to give credence to this poor black man mentality disgusts me. This is part of the problem with people. No preparation and expecting someone to come rescue them because ‘they should know, I’m black and I’m different’. Give me a break.


    An informed Republican

    • Jerry

      I agree. Untill we learn to survive on our own without expectations of help well stay irrelevant. We always blame problems on other races. We have no accountability. We have failed as a race in general. First our people need to admit that, rebuild while asking for no help. Once we have established we can be a productive addition society, EARNED help will come.

      why would someone help us when we take virtually no steps to help ourselves.?

    • Dr. J

      I vehemently disagree with you. The writer here is not in the wrong in fact he's doing a great service to his community. You're coming at the wrong person. The majority of Black America has no clue how this will affect them. He only highlighted ways in which it would. Nothing is wrong there.

    • Uncle Hugh, BP

      IamJavone: "Always thinking about why this political agenda will effect Blacks more than anybody else."

      Interesting. So blacks are the only people that vote for their self-interests?

  • Nate1SC

    First I would like to say it would not mattered who became president after Bush they will still have contributed a significant amount of debt to resolve standing issues and bills that were sue at the time. These cuts will hurt a lot of people..Actually a lot of lower income people of all races have an inkling at least here of what is going to happen next what services will be reduced and which will be cut until the budget issue is resolved. The main issue are people in the lower middle class who have no idea what is coming down the pipe so to speak. They don't know they will be the first to be cut from assistance programs because of the income they earn.

    What I learned was it actually kept me from a job. Its on hold until the budget issue is resolved but at least I still have my current position can't say the same for others.

  • J.Crawford

    Between IamJavone and Mr. Jerry I am Sick and Tired of Simpletons and the Republicans, especially Tea Party folk of all people think that things are Overlapping. Not ALL Black folk are Lazy and feel Entitled, MANY of us are hardworking, smart, and ambitious, either moving Up or Down the socioeconomic ladder Based On Circumstances, Luck & of their Own Choices, NOT JUST ONE ASPECT. I hope you are a Brother, IamJavone, because this crap of a coment comes off as yet another Mitt Romney/Anthony Scalia/Newt Gingrich/ John Sununu/ Typical Old-Ass White Guy talking point. Have some damn perspective on History, and I don't mean from Slavery or Reconstruction, but form the Jim Crow Laws, which was ONLY just 70 Years Ago, with Grandparents and People in their 40-70s that Lived it and are Still Alive and KNOW what they are Talking About. Racism STILL EXISTS and the legacy and Stench of Institutionalized Racial Discrimination STILL OPERATES, even in 2013

  • Jerry

    Our race is a embarrassment. I see no effort as a majority to challenge the false stereotypes we carry. Facts are facts. We kill each other at record numbers. We dont father are children and are personal brand is piss poor.

    we can not afford to place any excuses on any other race. We have burned that bridge down again and again. We are a joke.

  • Jerry

    I dont mean to speak in general terms but the black females and males who choose not to embrace thug culture as a way of life are to few far and between. If you embrace that lifestyle your a joke.

    • Uncle Hugh, BP

      "few far and between?" Where are you hanging out at and with whom that you come to this conclusion?

      • Jerry

        Are you trying to tell me that hip hop culture is not visually displayed overwhelmingly by our youth than a personal brand that displays a look fit for obtaining a job??!!

        I agree there are people who go against the grain ( mind you their considered sell outs by our race) but currently the youth and even grown adults dress and speak like little Wayne and why we have to sugar coat these true facts is what gets me upset.

        lets admit then correct the problem.

        we demand help but never want any accountability

        • Uncle Hugh, BP

          "Are you trying to tell me that hip hop culture is not visually displayed overwhelmingly by our youth than a personal brand that displays a look fit for obtaining a job??!!"

          No, but a clean-cut white boy that wears raggedy t-shirts and skinny jeans in their free time isn't "personal brand that displays a look fit for obtaining a job" either. Enjoying hip-hop culture in your free time and having it affect your professionalism are two different things.

          There is an uncomfortably large percentage misguided, lost causes in our community, but you can say that about any race. If you don't think there are several community groups, black activist groups and religious groups in the community that aren't speaking out against our pathologies, then I'm afraid you're not paying attention. Even quotes like Jay-Z saying, "do me a favor, don't do me no favors" and "can't complain what they ain't gonna give ya, that ain't gonna get you sh!+" shows that in hip-hop culture, there is no huge culture of dependency (although crass materialism is a different issue…).

        • Uncle Hugh, BP

          Most of your concerns are legitimate. But to say "black females and males who choose not to embrace thug culture as a way of life are to few far and between" is greatly exaggerating the problem. This is off-topic anyway. AndreDFields' post is stating how the budget cuts (as an aside, I agree with) affects the black community (in addition to everyone else).

          ADF: "Think about how that bus driver that might get laid off or the mother who will have to take time off from her job because Head Start is being cut, or the elderly woman who won’t be able to afford her medication because benefits have been cut."

          It doesn't sound like he's talking about people embracing thug culture here. But of course, Andre can speak for himself.

  • Jerry

    I agree that there are groups that support your thinking but not enough YET to cause a large enough ripple in the water.

    I dont mean to sound like someone who hates his race but having accountability for your own problems wether justified or not is the only way to survive. That thinking is what seperstes us from a lot of other races. We have complained and used the race card to much. White people feel afraid to even say the word “black” around me because of the repercussions that may come from saying that word.

    When Obama spoke about the Chicago gun problem he blamed it on guns. This is a community issue that we need to handle ourselves, whites not needed. That is one example of how the buck gets passed and leaves our community waiting for “laws” to get passed instead of taking care of our business.

    I agree with what your saying but we need accountability

    • Uncle Hugh, BP

      "When Obama spoke about the Chicago gun problem he blamed it on guns."

      But Obama also directly spoke to black men and said, "we need fathers to recognize that responsibility doesn’t just end at conception.” Demanding accountability is there.

      Again, I understand your frustrations, but 1. we are demanding accountability of ourselves and 2. it is still an ignorant minority that some people incorrectly see as the standard of black behavior. The problem is demanding accountability isn't going to automatically make everyone straighten out.

  • ctrlaltdel

    This is so depressing.