WASHINGTON -- The failure of Congress to slash the national deficit threatens to cascade from Washington straight into North Carolina's schools, stores and doctor's offices.
Automatic spending cuts - triggered by the lack of agreement in Congress over ways to reduce the more than $1.2 trillion deficit - will begin in 2013 and could mean:
An estimated 9 percent cut in the $417 million that Duke University gets from the National Institute of Health to research cures for diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer's, alternative energy and national security.
The loss of federal funds for public schools with large populations of low-income students. In Cabarrus County, for example, that means the school system could lose money that pays for a series of federal programs, including $210,000 in Title 1 funding, which helps low-income schools hire teachers and assistants to reduce class sizes, improve computer labs, purchase supplies, and increase teacher training.
And the death of mom-and-pop shops in military towns like Fayetteville that could lose $351 million in defense contracts and tens of millions in civilian payroll.
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