So cheers, sequestration! So glad you are here. Here's to our grim future, and to all we hold dear.
Thanks to Congress' failure to reach a compromise today, the staggering federal spending cuts of the sequestration are upon us. Even if you're one of the 59 percent of people who thinks the sequestration will only have a minor impact on your life, you should expect to see what the Washington Post calls an "era of deeper austerity" and a "phase of uncertainty for Americans who rely on the government for employment or services." And that includes a hit to much-needed education programs, too.
Indeed, American Federation of Teachers head Randi Weingarten says "Tens of thousands of children will be kicked out of Head Start, child care and other high-quality early childhood education programs, losing out on an experience that would put them on a solid path for success both in school and in life, and inflicting additional financial pain on working families."
Ironically, on a day when cuts to education programs and services for kids have become a reality, it's also Read Across America Day, the nation's largest reading celebration honoring that champion of literacy, Theodor Seuss Geisel—Dr. Seuss. Today millions of students and volunteers connected with each in schools and public libraries, enjoying books by Dr. Seuss and a slew of other children's authors. What would Dr. Seuss say about the dysfunctional political bickering that's about to deprive kids of much-needed services?
The savvy folks over at the National Priorities Project, a "non-partisan research group that provides clear, transparent federal budget information and catalyzes movement towards equitable federal spending" have an idea what Dr. Seuss' would say to Congress. They've crafted the clever—yet entirely heartbreaking—poem, "Oh, the Programs You'll Cut!":
I doubt many Americans want to head home tonight and read this poem to the kids in their lives. But maybe we should—after all, this is the future we're handing to them if Congress doesn't get it together soon.
Theodor Seuss Geisel image via Wikimedia Commons
Oh, The Programs You'll Cut Image via National Priorities Project