After Senate Vote, the Slashing Begins

Pentagon and state, local governments will take hits
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2011 8:00 AM CDT
Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) gives a thumbs up when asked whether a deal has been reached.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – The national debt is 15 hours away from careening into its ceiling. Luckily, a vote on the debt deal is only three hours away from hitting the Senate, and the AP reports that the legislation is "virtually assured" to pass. President Obama has promised to sign it into law, and from there ... the budget cuts begin. The New York Times sifts through the confusion swirling around the specifics of the cuts (noting that there are "so few details" in the deal), and tries to get a handle on who will bear the brunt of them.

  • The Pentagon: The good news is that next year's budget will only see "minimal or at least modest" cuts, reports the Times. But that doesn't last long. Analysts have determined that cuts could clock in at $550 billion over the next decade; Obama in April requested just $400 billion in cuts. And should the "trigger" get pulled, military spending would be chopped another $600 billion.
  • State, local governments: Anxiety is high on the local level, notes the Times, again citing the haziness of the deal's details, which it says won't become clear until later this year. But aid will be cut. "It’s often poor people, the young, and the elderly that get the short end of the stick," says the mayor of Oakland, Calif. "Somehow I don’t think the Defense Department is going to suffer as much." Adds Tallahassee's mayor, "There’s no question it’s going to come down to the cities."

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