Debt Deal Is An Eff-You to the States

The cuts in discretionary spending are going to hit the states in a seriously bad way -- and, subsequently, poor people.

While the details of the spending cuts to states remain unclear, lawmakers from both parties have discussed the need to cut or impose caps on so-called discretionary spending over the next decade.

That could mean wide-ranging cuts in federal aid to states, affecting everything from the Head Start school readiness program, Meals on Wheels and worker training initiatives to funding for transit agencies and education grants that serve disabled children.

There also was concern among governors, state lawmakers and state agency heads that Congress would make deep reductions or changes in federal aid for health services for the needy, most notably through Medicaid. That could shift more of the costs onto states that already are having trouble balancing their budgets.

Of course many of the states have austerity baked into their constitutional pies with balanced budget amendments. Do we seriously believe they'll raise taxes on the rich to fill in the gap left by discretionary spending cuts?

An immediate economic collapse was avoided, but the slow backslide is yet to come.