Okay, we talk a lot about sequestration but do Americans really know what it means? According to a TIME article, the answer is a resounding NO. Consider this from the article:
- While Washington officials and reporters are practically zombie-walking around town chanting “sequester” like “redrum,” a poll out from The Hill this morning shows that about two-thirds of voters don’t know what the word means. Some were even under the impression that sequestering involved pitching an elected official out of office. Part of the problem is that the word and its definition aren’t obvious bedfellows.
Sequester is set to become the fiscal cliff on 2013, yet this year’s buzzword lacks the figurative simplicity of last year’s. Yes, economists said that “fiscal slope” was a more accurate characterization, but the popular shorthand for those foreseen cutbacks in governmental financial support allowed people to get this gist. Fiscal = money-related. Going over a cliff = risky business. In The Hill poll, 25% of voters admitted that they don’t know what a “sequester” is. And almost 40% chose the wrong answer (e.g. an upcoming ruling on the federal budget by the Supreme Court).
- Continue reading the article here.
What does this mean for children's mental health advocates who are talking with their grassroots membership? When talking about sequestration outside the Beltway, advocates are encouraged to say “automatic cuts” to “mental health, education, science, infrastructure, public health,” etc…When framed this way, Americans oppose sequestration. Got it? Okay, now get to it!
- Check out the Sequestration Tool Kit here.