Despite having braced for a hit to our employment from sequestration (which everyone was calling “the sequester” until some know-it-alls told us that was sort of incorrect), Maryland has actually seen the unemployment rate drop to 7 percent. It dipped in Baltimore, too — down to 7.5 percent in the metropolitan area and a still-plenty-tragic 10.8 percent in the city. Pretty good, right?
Those numbers are heartening (hey, at this point it’s all relative), but sequestration still stinks. It has already forced Head Start to cut 57,000 children from its programs, made it harder for inspectors general to root out fraud, and ironically limited one court’s ability to sequester jurors. There are plenty of effects of sequestration that are minimally — if at all — reflected in employment numbers. Some cuts — like those to education, for instance — we may not see the effects of for decades.
D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray even wondered whether sequestration cuts made the Washington Navy Yard susceptible to last week’s tragic shooting. That may sound far-fetched, but a report from the Defense Department inspector general released Tuesday detailed how the budget cuts have “exposed its outposts to new security risks.”
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