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Monday, February 25, 2013
The Numbers Don’t Match: Obama vs Harkin on Hawaii Sequester Impact
By Andrew Walden @ 11:39 PM :: 12114 Views :: Education K-12, National News, Economy, Hawaii Statistics, Health Care

by Andrew Walden

Tracing the well-worn strategies of the Washington Monument Gambit, the Obama administration Sunday released a 50-state breakdown of the alleged effects of ‘Sequestration.’  But there’s a problem.  Sen Tom Harkin (D-IA) last July released his own 50-state breakdown on ‘Sequestration’ non-defense impacts--and the numbers don’t match.  Could it be that they are just making this up as they go along—much like the Obama administration’s notorious 'Stimulus jobs saved or created’ numbers?  

Here is a point-by-point comparison of the White House numbers for Hawaii and Sen. Harkin’s numbers for Hawaii

1 – Child Care

Obama: Up to 200 disadvantaged and vulnerable children could lose access to child care, which is also essential for working parents to hold down a job. 

Harkin: Child Care and Development Block Grant 524 fewer children receive child care subsidies

2 – Head Start

Obama: Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for approximately 200 children in Hawaii, reducing access to critical early education.

Harkin: 67 Head Start jobs lost and 320 fewer children served

3 – Domestic Violence

Obama: Hawaii could lose up to $29,000 in funds that provide services to victims of domestic violence, resulting in up to 100 fewer victims being served.

Harkin: FY13 Sequester Cut – $84,865 -- 127 domestic violence victims not served and 406 local crisis calls not answered

4 – Vaccines

Obama: In Hawaii around 760 fewer children will receive vaccines for diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough, influenza, and Hepatitis B due to reduced funding for vaccinations of about $52,000.

Harkin: FY13 Sequester Cut – $80,496 -- 1,178 fewer children receive MMR, Tdap, flu and Hepatitis B vaccinations

5 – Employment Service

Obama: Hawaii will lose about $111,000 in funding for job search assistance, referral, and placement, meaning around 4,130 fewer people will get the help and skills they need to find employment.  ($26.87 per person)

Harkin: FY 13 Employment Service Sequester Cut $194,261 / 4,324 fewer jobseekers served ($44.92 per person)

6 – Public Health Emergencies

Obama: Hawaii will lose approximately $130,000 in funds to help upgrade its ability to respond to public health threats including infectious diseases, natural disasters, and biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological events.

Harkin: FY13 Sequester Cut -- $205,589 Reduced ability to respond to biological, radiological, chemical, and natural emergencies

7 – Substance Abuse Treatment

Obama: Hawaii will lose about $380,000 in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse, resulting in around 200 fewer admissions to substance abuse programs. ($1900 per admission)

Harkin: FY13 Sequester Cut -- $590,946 -- 370 fewer admissions to substance abuse treatment programs  ($1597 per admission)

8 – HIV Testing

Obama: The Hawaii State Department of Health will lose about $76,000 resulting in around 1,900 fewer HIV tests.  ($40 per test)

Harkin: FY13 Sequester Cut $117,817 -- 2,945 fewer people tested for HIV ($40 per test)

9 – Meals for Seniors

Obama: Hawaii would lose approximately $189,000 in funds that provide meals for seniors

Harkin: $290,056 less funding to provide congregate and home-delivered meals to needy seniors

10 – Education

Obama: 80 Education Jobs Lost $6.7 million cut

  • Hawaii will lose approximately $4.7 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 60 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition about 9,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 20 fewer schools would receive funding.
  • Education for Children with Disabilities: In addition, Hawaii will lose approximately $2 million in funds for about 20 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities.

Harkin: 139 Education Jobs Lost $12,564,784 cut

  • FY13 Sequester Cut $3,297,663 -- Title I Grants to Local Educational Agencies -- 45 education jobs lost, 7,795 fewer students served, and 15 fewer schools receive grant funds
  • FY13 Sequester Cut $3,585,580 -- Impact Aid -- 54 education jobs lost
  • FY13 Sequester Cut $3,218,489 -- Special Education Grants to States -- 39 jobs no longer supported by Federal funding
  • FY13 Sequester Cut      $88,085 -- Special Education Preschool State Grants -- 1 job no longer supported by Federal funding
  • FY13 Sequester Cut    $125,289 – School Improvement Grants
  • FY13 Sequester Cut    $933,150 – Improving Teacher Quality State Grants
  • FY13 Sequester Cut    $440,170 – 21st Century Community Learning Centers
  • FY13 Sequester Cut    $169,868 – Special Education Grants for Infants and Families 
  • FY13 Sequester Cut    $275,648 – English Language Acquisition State Grants 
  • FY13 Sequester Cut    $430,842 – State Grants for Career and Technical Education

11 – Educational Opportunity Grants and Work-Study


  • Around 30 fewer low income students in Hawaii would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college 
  • Fewer students will get work-study jobs that help them pay for college.


  • FY13 Sequester Cut $32,467 – Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants 40 fewer students receive Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant financial aid
  • FY13 Sequester Cut $11,876 – Federal Work-Study 7 fewer students receive financial assistance



Sequestration’s Impact on Nondefense Jobs and Services  (Hawaii pg 102-103) A report by Sen. Tom Harkin, Chairman, Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies July 25, 2012

Impact of March 1st Cuts on Middle Class Families, Jobs and Economic Security: Hawaii  White House Sequester Fact Sheet February 24, 2013


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