So, we are in the post-sequestered era. What happens now?

Bob Woodward

First of all, let’s deal with the craziness. The Obama administration has been accused of threatening legendary journalist Bob Woodward. I think that this falls into one of the common themes facing Barack Obama – he’s from Chicago. Because Barack Obama’s from Chicago he must be part of the Chicago, “rough-and-tumble” political machine. Yet, we’ve seen no evidence that Barack Obama plays politics this way (well, it may be an overstatement to say that we see no evidence). Personally, I doubt that the Obama administration has threatened any journalist, let alone Bob Woodward. it appears that the truth is that the superficial political website, Politico, is playing this up in order to drive hits to their website. It is probably also true that Bob Woodward is playing this up in order to drive book sales. The fact that he went on Fox News’ Hannity, where the discussion turned from this latest flap to Sean Hannity’s favorite topic, Bill Ayers, says everything that needs to be said.

What has been lost in the sequester flap is that the sequester has started. Across-the-board spending cuts are going into effect starting today. The spending cuts will have real consequences.

From the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities:

  • The roughly 3.8 million long-term unemployed workers receiving federally funded unemployment benefits will face nearly 11 percent cut in their weekly benefits, according to the Administration. This will translate into a cut of roughly $130 per month for jobless workers.
  • As we explain in a new paper, the WIC nutrition program for low-income pregnant women, infants, and young children will have to turn away an estimated 600,000 to 775,000 women and children, including very young children, by the end of this fiscal year.
  • We estimate that more than 100,000 low-income families will likely lose housing vouchers.

More later.