UM-Flint Prof. says sequester cuts will have minimal impact in Mid-Michigan

$85 billion in cross-the-board federal spending cuts â?? known as sequestration â?? are on the horizon, but there's no compromise in sight on Capitol Hill.

"That was supposed to happen January 1st, as part of the fiscal cliff deal, those cuts were postponed until March 1st. And here we are, a day away from March 1st.,â?? Prof. Chris Douglas of UM-Flintâ??s economics department, said.

President Obama has warned these cuts will result in thousands of lost jobs, not only in military programs, but in other areas such as education and the Transportation Security Administration. But Prof. Douglas says, while these cuts sound scary, theyâ??ll have minimal impact on Mid-Michigan residents.

â??I have a very hard time believing that the typical Flint resident is going to notice a five-percent reduction in federal discretionary spending,â?? he said.

He adds discretionary spending is not enough to help in the long run. The big ticket items are entitlements like Medicare and Social Security.

But theyâ??re â??a tough sell politically,â?? Douglas said. â??It's not clear you could touch it without some sort of fiscal crisis happening first."

These sequestration cuts set to take effect Friday are merely a short-term remedy to a chronic fiscal health problem, Douglas said.