The federal budget is settled—at least for the moment. But when the battle begins anew, the political fortunes of the Obama administration and Congressional leaders John Boehner and Harry Reid are likely to dominate the news. With unfortunate predictability, politics distracts our attention from the very real human consequences of the activities on Capitol Hill. We are expecting unprecedented reductions in spending for programs that serve the most vulnerable of our citizens.
Some cuts are obvious and immediately evident—when there are fewer beds in homeless shelters, the lines of people waiting to get in are likely to be longer—at least for a while. But they may, over time, get shorter, because those in need of shelter no longer bother to wait in line, only to be turned away.
Loss of hope is hard to measure.
By Toni Heineman