Yale is concerned about the adverse effect that sequestration will have on programs across Connecticut. The 5.3 percent across-the-board cut will disrupt promising medical research, lead to cuts in education funding as serious school reform is taking root in Connecticut, and weaken services for the citizens of Connecticut.
The University is on record calling for a balanced approach to the federal budget. Congress and the Administration have already agreed on deep, long-term reductions in discretionary spending. They have committed to reducing discretionary spending by a cumulative total of more than $1 trillion by 2021. It is hard to argue that discretionary spending, which represents less than one-fifth of the federal budget, is driving the budget deficit.
Moreover, discretionary spending is shrinking relative to the economy. Total federal spending on discretionary spending unrelated to defense — research, education, meat inspections, and air traffic controllers, for example — is close to the historical average for the past 50 years. Under the spending cuts already promised by Congress and the Administration, non-defense discretionary spending will decline to 2.8 percent of GDP by 2021, compared to 4.3 percent in 2011.
Yale urges Congress and the Administration to develop a constructive, long-term plan that promotes economic growth while achieving a more sustainable federal budget.