Sequester: 5 ways the public will be affected by the spending cuts

( March 1, 2013 - President Obama and congressional Republicans are deeply at odds over how to tackle the country's $16.6 trillion debt, and they have been battling over that issue since the opposition party regained a majority in the House of Representatives more than two years ago. The spending cuts are now due to come in after congressional leaders and Mr. Obama failed to reach a compromise.

Civilian Workers - With $85 billion in cuts set to take effect on Friday, civilian employees of the U.S. government are struggling with how to cope financially with an expected 20 percent cut in work hours and pay. 

Military Towns - "Small businesses are telling us that their government contracts are either frozen, not being renewed or canceled in anticipation of budget cuts," said Kelly Manning, state director of the Colorado Small Business Development Center network. Colorado Springs is dominated by military installations. These include Fort Carson -- the third-largest army base in the country -- Peterson Air Force Base and the United States Air Force Academy. 

Public schools - Just a few years ago, federal stimulus measures boosted funding for schools. Now, sequester cuts could lead to layoffs of teachers, administrators and support staff, plus lost funding for transportation, school maintenance and extracurricular programs. Most education funding is local, but a considerable portion trickles down from the federal government. 

National Parks - Campground and cave closures in the Southeast. As examples of the belt-tightening required of every park to achieve a 5 percent cut, Director Jarvis picked the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where five campgrounds and picnic areas will be closed; the Blue Ridge Parkway, where seven contact stations will shut down; and Mammoth Cave National Park, where a portion of the cave tours will be eliminated. That may be good news for the bats, but not for the hundreds of thousands of visitors who explore these caverns each year.

The Blue Angles - Blue Angels shows scheduled in more than two dozen cities between April and September are expected to be canceled as part of the cuts, said the team's spokeswoman, Lt. Katie Kelly. The Navy intends to cancel the four shows in April -- in Tampa, Fla.; Corpus Christi, Texas; Vidalia, Ga.; and Beaufort, S.C. -- but hasn't made a decision about the rest of the year


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