'Sequester' budget cuts creating false fears?

"Sequester" budget cuts creating false fears?

TYLER (KYTX) - The deadline to stop massive automatic budget cuts is just a few days away. The president continues to send warnings about the consequences while republicans say he's making the cuts sound scarier than they are. A local expert says the cuts won't be that overwhelming.

This whole round of cutbacks is referred to as the "sequestration" - basically a big word for budget cut across the board. The dean of the Business School at UT Tyler says that's not the only thing Washington has made more complicated than necessary. He doesn't think these cuts are as threatening as politicians say.

To many, the threat of the March 1 budget cuts seems like the end of the world.

President Obama addressed governors about the cuts saying, "Companies are preparing layoff notices. Families are preparing to cut back on expenses, and the longer these cuts take place, the bigger the impact they'll become."

They're cuts across the board that would affect every state in different ways, but they can be stopped.

"These cuts do not have to happen," Obama said. "Congress can turn them off anytime with just a little bit of compromise."

Harold Doty, Dean of the UT Tyler Business School, says he doesn't see compromise on the horizon.

"I would argue that neither side is doing their job," Doty said. "This was put together because it was supposed to be so scary that the two sides together simply wouldn't let it happen. Apparently, people have decided they are willing to let it happen because my prediction is that we will have the sequestration cuts at least initially."

He says that may be because the so called "devastating and brutal" cuts may not be that scary after all.

"The predictions I'm seeing say kind of the worst case that this will cut about a half a percentage off of our Gross Domestic Product growth so it's going to slow things down a little bit," Doty said.

However, he says even that will take time.  

"In fact it's cuts over a year so there's still time to adjust it," he said.

He hopes if the cuts do take effect Friday, republicans and democrats can find a way to compromise and make change. He says if that happens soon enough, we may not see effects at all.

Republicans like Rep. John Boehner say tax increases are out of the question. However the president and his followers say tax increases on the wealthy along with budget cuts are necessary.

Experts who predict there will be a great impact by the cuts say you'll see changes like layoffs in the defense department. They also say there will be flight delays, reductions in funding of medical research and even huge cutbacks at federally funded schools.



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