Critical Services to State Residents Could Be Devastated
“It was designed as a fiscal doomsday device, a last-gasp budget-slashing initiative so onerous it would jolt a bitterly divided Congress into reaching agreement on a plan to cut U.S. spending.
Now, with no accord in sight, that bomb goes off in eight days, triggering across-the-board reductions in the federal budget and sparking growing alarm in New Jersey, where local officials, advocates and government experts warn of mass layoffs, slowdowns at airports and cutbacks in a vast array of services.”
Layoffs of police officers and firefighters whose salaries come through federal grants i.e. the Mayor of Irvington estimates that 19 of the towns 114 firefighters would be laid off;
Fewer college loans;
Cuts to Head Start;
Cuts to hospitals and nursing homes – institutions that have already been suffering financially; and
Slow downs at airports due to furloughs for safety inspectors and air traffic controllers – the Atlantic City airport could face a temporary closure.
“’What was unthinkable now is increasing likely,’” said John Weingart, associate director of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University. ‘It’s hitting government services with a sledgehammer, not with any surgical precision.’”