Sequester deadline nears

Posted at: 03/01/2013 5:42 PM
Updated at: 03/01/2013 7:17 PM

The countdown is on -- $85-billion in automatic spending cuts -- all but sure to take effect by midnight tonight.

This all started back in August 2011 when Congress failed to come up with a deficit reduction plan. In exchange for increasing the nation's debt ceiling, a group of lawmakers from both parties had to decide where $1.2-trillion dollars in cuts would be made. They had until this year to decide.

If that didn't happen, the last resort would be sequestration: an automatic $85-billion cut across the board. Now those lawmakers have until midnight tonight to come up their own cuts or the automatic ones go into effect.

All week we've been telling you stories about the real life impact of the sequester cuts from fewer meals delivered by Meals on Wheels to cuts in emergency unemployment checks. But after our story on Thursday, a mother of three called us to say there's another side of the story we need to tell. She says it's a story about your money too.

She's watched our stories where we've tried to pinpoint real people affected by the sequester -- a hundred dollars here, a thousand dollars there. But after last night's story, she just couldn't stay quiet anymore. “It was this kind of I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.”

Shannon Bones was watching our stories on the sequester cuts including cuts to federal emergency unemployment checks.

That's when she tweeted Berkeley Brean, “My family is paying $1,200 more a year in food inflation, $2,400 more in payroll tax and $1,500 in gas prices. Tax payers are suffering seems like you guys only care about people receiving government handouts and could care less about those of us footing the bill.”

So we called her and she talked. “Not that I’m mad because I understand people are suffering. I know people have lost jobs. I understand those difficulties. I just don't know if what we're doing is sustainable. “

Bones says she's worried about the future for her children, especially what the national debt is going to do to them. “My kids already at one year old, four years old and six years old each have about $40,000 worth of debt already just for being born.”

Every story this week, we asked people what they would say to the president, the speak and the senate president if they had a chance.

We asked Bonez the same thing. “I would tell them to be brave. Doing the right thing means they won't get reelected but they have to think of their children and their grandchildren.”

News10NBC will continue to track the latest on the sequester.