For anyone still confused by this fiscal cliff thing the country is about to crash into, or plummet over, or fall off of — here's a real, visible effect that could indicate our country is headed downhill: If the Congressional Budget Office can't find revenue and budget cuts to stave off federal budget sequestration on March 1st, the U.S. Navy will cut all funds for the Blue Angels acrobatic flight team. Which means no air show and possibly no Parade of Ships as well. Without all the military theater, what's the point of even having Fleet Week?
The Navy circulated an internal memo last month pointing out that the country's oldest aerobatic flight team, who have delighted eight-year-olds across the country for over 65 years now, aren't exactly essential spending in the country's defense budget. In a San Francisco Board of Supervisors meeting last week, Mayor Lee pointed out that Fleet Week without the air show and the Parade of Ships is practically no Fleet Week at all. Without the big draws, the city stands to lose revenue from an estimated one million visitors who come specifically for the event.
Naturally, this has the pro-Chamber of Commerce Mayor a bit worried. His spokeswoman Christine Falvey told the Chronicle, "[t]he mayor is hoping the president and Congress can reach an agreement to avoid these devastating cuts." If the federal budget cuts do kick in, the city stands to lose a lot more than just an air show, however: homeless advocates have also pointed out that the city will no longer receive $1 million in grants for the homeless and $800,000 in aid for low-income AIDS patients.