Ilyce Glink on WSB Radio’s Erick Erickson Show. Washington gridlock in sequestration battle: how spending cuts will affect you.

I’m filling in for Erick Erickson Tuesday on WSB Radio, and we will be talking about the gridlock in Washington with sequestration just three days away.

If Congress fails to reach a deal by Friday, March 1, $85 billion in spending reductions will be phased in through the end of the fiscal year, which is Sept. 30.

If these automatic spending cuts come into effect, a total sledgehammer is going to be coming down on all of us, disturbing some of what we do in our everyday lives.

You can expect gates of our national parks to be closed, for example. The National Park Service is going to lose $110 million from its annual budget, with parks operating for fewer hours with a smaller number of employees. Even bear removal efforts in the West could be hampered.

The long lines and delays at airports, like at the very busy Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, are only going to get worse. You can imagine what might happen if a fair number of TSA agents are not screening passengers.

The Department of Education’s budget will also be trimmed, which could force about 70,000 kids out of Head Start, a program that promotes school readiness from birth to age five, according to CNN. We’ll also have less money for schools in districts nationwide.

When it comes to public health, we are going to protect Medicare and Medicaid, but we could see preventive care, like flu vaccinations, closed off to hundreds of thousands of Americans.

Did you think the pink slime scare was bad? For food and workplace safety, just wait until the Occupational Safety and Health Administration cuts about 1,200 inspectors, diminishing oversight.

What about crime and justice? Federal prosecutors are going to have to close or delay cases. We are going to see the Department of Homeland Security lose up to 5,000 agents at the border, while the Pentagon would furlough thousands of defense workers. The FBI would lose about 2,285 employees, and federal worker furloughs could start as soon as April.

The long-term unemployed also stand to lose under the proposed spending cuts, with benefits decreasing by 10 percent on average, or by about $400 per month. This could affect 3.8 million Americans.

You can join the conversation about sequestration and leave your comments below.

Don’t forget to join me on WSB Radio’s Ilyce Glink Show on Sunday at 11:00 a.m. EST, where I’ll be talking about personal finance and real estate advice.

Ilyce Glink filling in for Erick Erickson – February 26, 2013

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