Sequester Survey Reveals Widespread Concerns | Chemical & Engineering News
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Web Date: March 22, 2013

Sequester Survey Reveals Widespread Concerns

Federal Spending: ACS members working in government feel the impact of budget cuts
Department: ACS News | Collection: Economy
Keywords: sequestration

The automatic, across-the-board federal spending cuts, known as sequestration, are having a definite impact on American Chemical Society members—particularly those working in the federal government—according to an ongoing survey being conducted by ACS, which publishes C&EN.

As of March 18, about 3,800 ACS members—out of some 163,000 members total—have responded to the survey. Of those respondents, 500 say they are employed by the federal government, and of those federal employees, 82% report feeling an impact from sequestration.

Specifically, the ACS-member federal employees were asked how they have been affected by either sequestration or other recent federal budget restrictions. Sixty-eight percent say they have experienced restrictions on attending conferences and meetings; 59% cite restrictions on travel; 47% report having reduced support for existing projects, contracts, or grants; and 42% report having been furloughed.

“Our interest in cataloging [sequestration] impact is to be armed with solid data and facts,” says Glenn S. Ruskin, director of the ACS Office of Public Affairs. “The survey results will provide us with real-world data and reports about the cuts’ impact on the chemical enterprise, which we can share with policymakers on Capitol Hill and in the Administration.”

The ACS survey remains open and can be accessed at:

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Chad Brick  (March 25, 2013 7:49 PM)
We have the third lowest overall tax rates of the 34 OECD nations, only exceeding those of Mexico and Chile.

You get what you pay for, folks.
Jason  (March 28, 2013 1:09 PM)
And in March of 2012, US surpassed Japan with the highest corporate tax rate in the world amongst developed countries, at 39.2%, according to Reuters. Then of course, there is the issue of wages. We get paid amazingly well in US, when compared to say, China. Or, perhaps we better compete by dropping $100,000 salaries to comparable $6000 in China?

Greece has a higher tax rate than US, as a percentage of GDP. They are in far worse condition than US. Oh, and in Cyprus, >10% higher tax rate as percentage of GDP, well...they are seizing funds from bank accounts and restricting withdrawals to $300/day, of peoples' hard earned money. Perhaps we should use one of these countries as a model? To what point should we raise taxes? There is a limit you know - maybe you should familiarize yourself with Arthur Laffer's curve.

Social Security is on the rocks...unfortunately when it comes to politics, you don't get what you pay for, folks. Disappointing to see such a blasphemous oversimplification of sequestration concerns. You should save your political comments for a political blog.
Mike Harrass  (March 27, 2013 4:51 PM)
One hopes Mr Ruskin will pay attention to the details. Will the percentages cited really affect "the chemical enterprise"? Looks like about half the federal employees report some change - is the chemical enterprise driven by this sector? How does restricted travel translate to impacts? Any information about extent of "reduced support" or furloughs? These could be significant, but simply stating the percent reporting some change isn't a very convincing approach.
Granted, sequestration seems like a poor way to "manage" budget. But its not clear how the survey can stimulate political leadership at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue. Survey seemed to kick you out if you didn't answer questions the right way - probably reflecting intent to look at federal employee membership. But then, is it an ACS survey? Solid data and facts are good, but their limitations need to be acknowledged.
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