Debt Deal Squeezes Jobless, Defense

Where would the debt deal squeeze the most? The Defense Department, unemployed workers, and state and local governments are all in for belt-tightening. The Pentagon may have to cut $550 billion over 10 years, and if a congressional committee fails to come up with an additional $1.2 trillion in savings by November, the Pentagon will have to shave another $600 billion. States and local governments, meanwhile, are anticipating sharp drops in federal aid. Unemployed workers also face uncertainty: Emergency unemployment benefits expire at the end of the year, even though millions of Americans are still out of work. This fact has some liberal commentators asking why President Obama did not push for an extension of unemployment benefits as part of the bill.