California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters' fuzzy math set Twitter abuzz after she warned that if the sequester went through on Friday, Americans would see a loss of 170 million jobs.
"We don't need to be having something like sequestration that's going to cause these job losses — over 170 million jobs that could be lost — and so he [President Barack Obama] made it very clear he's not opposed to cuts but cuts must be done over a long period of time and in a very planned way rather than this blunt cutting that will be done by sequestration," Waters said at a press conference on Thursday.
There's a small problem. There aren't even that many jobs in the United States, as Twitter users were quick to point out.
Waters' exaggeration (there are estimated to be between 135 and 143 million jobs in the U.S.
) came in the midst of a last-minute sequester scramble. The $85 billion in budget cuts is slated to go into effect at midnight Friday barring any last-minute legislation to prevent it. The plan calls for nondefense programs to be cut by 9 percent, and defense programs to be cut by 13 percent, and would affect areas like air traffic control, meat inspections, and aircraft carrier deployments.
If carried out for 10 years as designed, the sequester would reportedly amount to $1.2 trillion.
Republicans, led by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, have criticized President Barack Obama's brainchild and want the public to know who to blame when they realize how drastic the cuts are.
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"Don't forget it's the president that proposed the sequester and designed the sequester," the Wisconsin Republican said on ABC News last week. "House Republicans twice passed legislation replacing the sequester with smarter cuts in other areas of government."
Obama himself has reportedly flip-flopped on the sequester, calling it a "really bad idea."
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