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How Will The Sequester Impact North Carolina?

 No grand bargain has been reached between the White House and Congress on a budget, leaving some North Carolinians wondering how hard the sequester will  hit the state.According to the White House, the cuts may cost the state an estimated $300 million.  Half of the cuts will be from the military, which may see a projected 22,000 civilian jobs furloughed. 

But how will the effects of the sequester manifest?  And is the sequester just an act of political theater? 

"We’ve taken little Betsy out and we tied her to the railroad.  And then we save her!  But it was Congress that tied her there to the first place," Michael Munger said in an interview on The State of Things.  Munger is a professor of political science and economics at Duke University and the 2008 Libertarian Party Candidate for Governor in North Carolina. 

Munger went on to say that the sequester would not be enough to balance the budget. 

"No one is proposing to increase taxes," he said.  "If you don’t say that, you’re not serious about the deficit."

Lisa Sorg, the editor-in-chief of the Independent Weekly, says that voters may be too fatigued by the dire predictions to pay much attention to the sequester.  "I think the whole thing with the fiscal cliff may have calloused some people to this," Sorg said. 

But will voters ignore the  cuts that most affect them? North Carolina has the fifth worst unemployment in the country.

"People who want a job, because of this shiny object in Washington that is the Congress and White house fight, wont’ be able to get that help," said Gurnal Scott,the assistant news director at WUNC.

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Shawn Wen joined the staff of The State of Things in March 2012 and served as associate producer until February 2014.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.