The fierce debates about the federal deficit, its origins, and how (quickly) to pay it down have affected almost every sector of the US population. The short-term problem of a government shut-down seems to have been pushed down the calendar by a couple of weeks, but only by pressing a host of cuts to the short-term/hold-over budget of Fiscal Year 2010-11.
Even somewith the proposed cuts, and the outcry has only grown as details about cutting programs for older Americans come to light.
SeniorHousingNews.com is reporting that some Unemployment and structural changes to the US economy are perhaps the most pressing issues discussed by government officials and the politically engaged. To cut programs meant to train experienced workers for the ‘new economy’ seems penny-wise-and-pound-foolish.for seniors. Some of those programs are to help train Americans over 50 to re-enter the workplace, which seems to be a particularly counterproductive divestment at this time.
The cut in training targets the(SCSEP) and would remove over half its budget for the rest of FY2010-11. If the program survives that cut, why not cut it still further when the real debate for FY2011-12 comes up in September?
In terms of the federal deficit (a stunning $8.2 trillion as of this posting), $500 million is a pittance. In terms of symbolism, the cut is a winner for Freshperson Congresspeople eager to show their Tea Party(esque) conservatism. In terms of help to the thousands of people who need it it, the blow will be devastating.
But even at the symbolic level, one struggles to see the longer-term benefits budget-slashers hope to achieve. The US population is aging, and the first Baby Boomers are moving toward retirement and Social Security. As they are making up an ever larger part of the electorate for the next couple of decades, it is unclear to me why they would return to office those who cut their federal assistance in the previous election cycle.