Barring a last-minute sanity attack in Washington, America woke up today in a pile of awfulness called sequestration.
We say it’s awful because that’s what everyone in the District of Columbia has been shrieking for much of the past three months.
There’s plenty of blame to go around for the massive cuts that are supposed to affect almost every level of federal government spending. President Barack Obama proposed the plan. Congress approved it. For all the finger-pointing that seems to constitute governing these days, no one comes off as the good guy in this instance.
North Carolina will bear its share of the hardship. We’ll lose more than $25 million in federal education money for primary and second grades, according to the White House. That could put as many as 350 teachers out of work.
Other reductions are likely to affect public safety, health, vaccines, water and air quality and Head Start.
None of this would happen if the White House and Republican leaders in the U.S. House would sit down in good faith, abandon the blame game and truly negotiate. But the political atmosphere these days is so poisonous that has become all but impossible, it seems.
The best we can hope for is a newfound sense of responsibility on the part of someone in charge and a serious look at the U.S. debt crisis.
Until that happens, let’s hope the shrieking stays at a low volume.