Deadlocked lawmakers and defense contractors alike have been raising alarm about the more than half-trillion dollars in defense cuts poised to take effect starting in January because of Congress’ failure to reach a more balanced deficit-reduction deal.

But there’s another side to that budget ax that rarely gets mentioned — another $500 billion in non-defense cuts that could do serious damage to education, research, safety net and other programs.

All those areas would be cut by nearly 8 percent over the next 10 years. Washington has already signaled drastic consequences for the automatic, across-the-board cuts known as sequestration, including the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office which says the cuts could stunt economic growth, increase unemployment and send the country into another recession.

 

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