What’s the economic impact going to be? In the short term, it will be pretty severe. Goldman Sachs’ Alec Phillips thinks we could see almost a full percentage point cut off growth in the second and third quarters of GDP. The most visible initial impact will be civilian layoffs at the Pentagon and furloughs at defense contractors. Other impacts will be a bit harder to see. A nearly 10 percent cut in Section 8 housing assistance vouchers, for example, won’t directly lead to layoffs. But the hardship inflicted on low-income families will mean reduced sales for the businesses they patronize with downstream consequences. All told, the Bipartisan Policy Center thinks full implementation could lead to a million fewer jobs next year.
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