Budget Cuts Are Working, But Airlines Fear More Flight Delays
In exchange for an increase in the federal government’s debt ceiling, the Budget Control Act of 2011 mandated across-the-board, automated governmental spending cuts known as “sequestration.” Several congressional compromises — including the fiscal cliff agreement — pushed back the deadline for their implementation until March 1 of this year.
The budget cuts were implemented after congressional Republicans and President Barack Obama failed to agree on alternative deficit reductions. Domestic and military programs were pared down, which caused layoffs, furloughs, and service cutbacks. Slow economic growth throughout 2013 has been attributed to both January’s tax hikes and March’s $85 billion worth of budget cuts — but, for the most part, the dire sequester predictions made earlier in 2013 have failed to materialize in this fiscal year. However, the next fiscal year may be different. The budget cuts implemented in the next fiscal year, which begins October 1, are expected to have more impact this time.
Republicans continue to support keeping the sequestration cuts in place, especially since a recent report from the Congressional Budget Office showed that annual federal budget deficits will continue to decrease in the short-term because of the ongoing spending cuts and growing tax revenues due to the recovering economy.