Washington Braces for Sequestration

Friday, March 01, 2013

General public with tickets to listen to a hearing on the Obamacare line up for entering the U.S. Supreme Court March 27, 2012 in Washington, DC General public with tickets to listen to a hearing on the Obamacare at the U.S. Supreme Court. (Getty)

Today's deadline for a deal on the sequester is expected to come and go without an agreement between Congress and President Obama. Tensions are high, with House Speaker John Boehner calling on Senate Democrats to compromise and the President urging Congress to work it out. 

One place where people might feel the cuts especially hard is around Washington, D.C., where many people who don't work for the government benefit from the business of government employees. Takeaway Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich spoke to some of those small business owners.

The main issue, Todd says, is uncertainty. Without knowing exactly how the sequester will be implemented or how Washington politicians will respond to their own creation, it's hard to plan for the future.

Paul Haire, a former Republican insider and current owner of a dog care business where people from the White House, Capitol Hill, and other places in Washington bring their dogs, said: "I've spoken with all my employees and I've let them know that it may be necessary to cut back their hours. That's hard because these people are earning a livable wage. And when you get an hour's cut, when you're at livable wage, you're getting your living cut."


Todd Zwillich

Produced by:

Joe Hernandez

Comments [4]

unkerjay from Puget Sound, WA

Maybe it's a simple answer. If they'd rather fight than govern, let's take away the objects of governance. Turn over everything to the states, the cities, the local municipalities, the people.

Turn Washington, D.C. into a ghost town where legislators can talk all they want about the need to make a difference, the problems with trying to make a difference, but, with no money, means or objects over which to debate the making of a difference.

Along with that, no salary.

See how long it takes them to figure out the true meaning of governance then.

Or, we'll figure out how to do without. Shouldn't be hard. Since that's what we're doing now.

Then they can bluff and bluster all they want over whose fault it is. And the rest of us can just move on. Can't imagine there will be much bluff and bluster when they realize no one's paying attention anymore. And a town full of sound and fury signifying nothing will become an empty town.

Instead of being a "United" states we will become fifty states or conglomerates of the North, South, Southwest, Midwest, or ideological or theological or ethnic or economic divides. Demonstrating that we would rather disagree than get along.

That to be American will mean so much less than originally envisioned.

But, we will have the strength if not the courage of our convictions.

That should be of some small consolation.

Mar. 01 2013 07:28 PM
Susan Ludovici from Palmetto Bay, FL

We small business owners all took a cut in pay during the recession. When things didn't improve, our staff agreed to cuts too (in lieu of firing anyone). What we learned: 1. you really appreciate having a job to go to; 2. we can handle the extra work (one position was vacant and we didn't fill the job); 3. there is fat in the monthly expenses - we learned to be creative and to do without. US Government, time for you to do the same. It ain't the end of the world! Stop your complaining!

Mar. 01 2013 06:52 PM
Jennifer from Mount Vernon

How about we furlow Congress and cut their salaries, benefits and perks right out of the budget? We need to trim the true fat once and for all!

Mar. 01 2013 10:02 AM

Who are you folks trying to kid?
The game plan is and has been simple.
Avoid making any decisions, see who complains. No complaint, no need to spend money on it.

This is the stupidity of allowing the free market to decide.

Mar. 01 2013 09:54 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.