Apparently, we are hours away from a sequester. Obama is meeting with House leaders. No agreement is expected.

If the sequester kicks in, the New York Times says this is what will happen. What I learned from that article: Nothing. It seems nobody knows (which I guess was the point of the article.)

Are cuts coming to law enforcement? Will there be fewer arrests? Will the Bureau of Prisons budget be cut so that more prisoners have to be released? I'd bet not.

What do you think the cuts will mean?

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    And (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 11:25:09 AM EST
    The politicians left town yesterday. Obviously no big deal to them, despite all the scare tactics put out by the White House in recent weeks.

    Despite a steady drumbeat of dire warnings from the White House about the sequester's impact on jobs and economic growth, financial markets reacted with a yawn. On Thursday, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down a bit after surging within 25 points of its all-time high, reached in October 2007.

    Meanwhile, the Internal Revenue Service announced that it would delay furloughs of agency workers until after the April 15 tax-filing deadline, providing another reason to doubt that the cuts would hit hard and fast enough to change GOP sentiment.

    I think it means weeks of (5.00 / 8) (#3)
    by Anne on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 11:42:36 AM EST
    one scary headline and news report after another, getting people so nervous about the apocalypse that it will provide more opportunities to push changes to the safety net programs.  

    And I'm so looking forward to the sequester meeting the next debt limit crisis so the politicians and the media can take the whole manufactured thing to Defcon 5.

    This is not leadership - it is governance malpractice - and it's across both political parties.

    I'm still waiting for someone in the media to just ask, "why?"  Why do we have to do this if no one wants to do it?  Why can't the Congress repeal the law?

    I guess it's a good thing I'm not holding my breath.

    I (5.00 / 6) (#5)
    by lentinel on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 12:28:55 PM EST
    have never felt more than I feel at this moment that we have a one party system with two heads conjoined to a monstrous carcass.

    In your world, Jeralyn.... (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by magster on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 03:56:19 PM EST
    will there be less money for court appointed counsel. I don't know how they could do that given it's a constitutional right, so fewer prosecutions?

    Furloughed magistrates? clerks?

    A possible answer (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 04:15:58 PM EST
    to your question (discounting any hyperbole)

    When combined with an emerging decline in bankruptcy filing fees, these staffing cuts would have a significant and devastating impact on the operations of the federal courts and the federal bar. How bad would it be? The following outcomes are already being forecast:

    Hours of operation in the clerks' offices in the federal courts would have to be sharply reduced. Filings and motions would take longer to process, which would lead to delays in court proceedings. It would also take longer to issue payments to jurors serving on petit and grand juries.

    The federal courts would be unable to properly supervise thousands of persons under pretrial release and convicted felons released from federal prisons, thus compromising public safety.

    Payments to panel attorneys in Criminal Justice Act cases would have to be suspended. The impact could extend to panel attorneys in thousands of such cases. Dismissal of criminal trials could occur because of many sole practitioners' potential inability to accept appointments without compensation.

    Even more alarming, federal judges would have to suspend all civil jury trials because of reductions in their jury fees accounts.

    Staffing cuts would extend to roughly 10 percent of the court security officers. Reductions of this magnitude could create security vulnerabilities throughout the federal court system by impairing the ability of the U.S. Marshals Service to provide adequate security for court facilities, court personnel, and the public.

    Improvements in court security would be considerably delayed. A significant reduction in court security personnel, coupled with a funding shortfall for systems and equipment, could necessitate the closing of some courthouse entrances, which would result in long security screening lines for jurors, litigants, and the public as well as delays in court proceedings.

    Humans "terrified" of their own creation (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by Dadler on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 05:35:20 PM EST
    And those in the know using it cynically against those with less power for no other reason than greed.

    Change you can bereave in.


    NPR yesterday. Less drug arrests. (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 11:40:33 AM EST
    And FBI won't be able to investigate as much or as quickly.

    A (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by lentinel on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 12:27:27 PM EST
    silver lining.

    Fewer drug arrests.

    Happy days are here again.


    I'm with Jeralyn... (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 12:44:56 PM EST
    I too bet against the sequester having any positive effect in the tyranny sector of government...it ain't gonna open no cages or leave tyrannical drug laws unenforced.  

    DEA, FBI, ICE, etc are just trying to scare law-n-order types into forcing a deal to avoid cuts to their precious budgets...much the same way the Dept. of Ed is trying to scare bleeding hearts.


    This may not be something that ... (none / 0) (#7)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 02:28:47 PM EST
    ... we'll see conclusively in the short term. It's those potential and longstanding consequences and ramifications down the road that most concern me.

    If these cuts are allowed to remain in place, we'll be feeling the serious effects of them about 18 to 24 months from now, once various state and municipal fiscal reserves are drawn down and the wells start to run dry.