Some of automatic federal budget cuts that kick in Friday could sting quickly.
Jobless Americans receiving long-term benefits could see cuts in checks by mid-March. Local governments paying off loans for public works projects could see smaller subsidies. And government workers might be opening furlough notices by next week.
The timing of the cuts has real consequences for Americans, but it also has a political ramifications.
About 2 million long-term unemployed workers could see checks now averaging $300 a week reduced by about $30. Government payments that subsidize school construction and state and local road projects would get trimmed, putting a bigger burden on local officials. Government employees could get furlough notices next week, though cuts in their work hours wouldn't occur until April.
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