As Congress inches closer to the brink, lawmakers and administration officials in Vermont are beginning to sound the alarm over the financial impacts of sequestration. But Jack Lindley, chairman of the Vermont Republican Party, says it’s much ado about nothing.
“There’s very, very little evidence that would indicate the sky is going to fall,” Lindley said this afternoon. “I think things are being terribly overblown.”
A report put out by the White House last week enumerates the financial impacts of sequestration on Vermont. Across-the-board cuts to human services, public safety, education, health care and the military will see a reduction in federal revenue of at least $9 million over the next seven months, according to the White House projections. And that figure doesn’t capture the dollar effect of furloughs or job losses for the thousands of federal employees that call Vermont home.
For a complete list of the Vermont-specific impacts, visit: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/sequester-factsheets/Vermont.pdf
But Lindley said Vermont can more than withstand the looming cuts. He said the “cuts,” after all, are actually reductions in rates of increase.
“There’s going to be very minimal damage,” he says.
Lindley said he’d like to see the D’s and R’s get together and cut a deal. But he said it needs to include at least as significant a spending cut as the one awaiting the country if they do nothing. If Vermont and the U.S. can’t absorb the kinds of spending reductions associated with sequestration, Lindley said, then we’re all doomed anyway.
“This is exactly what needs to happen if we’re going to get ourselves where we’re not borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we’re spending at the federal level,” Lindley said. “If we can’t get this accomplished, lord help us all in terms of what it means for our kids and grandkids.”