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.

  • Shygetz

    Considering that the bill has already passed the House, how exactly can the “details of the spending cuts to states remain unclear”? Or did they simply mean “We at CBS have not taken the time to read the bill we are reporting on”?

  • The future gets shaped by those who are in it. Just because promises are made today doesn’t mean they’ll be kept tomorrow. This is Congress, after all, and those are Republicans we’re dealing with…

  • I read that Obama specifically disallowed cuts that would affect the poor.