Oh, it is true that we will be discussing instances about the cumulative effect of sequester for some time, but when it comes to a wrap up, there is none better than from the Mann and Ornstein report. These two scholars are probably the best political analysts of our time. They are not “talking heads,” but thinking ones.
So sit back and relax to enjoy the conclusion that I serve up with the article post and slideshow prompt. That is one thing these guys need is more graphics support.
‘Worse than it looks’: Across-the-board cuts in discretionary domestic and defense spending
- Being self-destructive is worse than being inefficient
An open and festering wound lasting ten years is worse than a quick nick
1. Bipartisan bad idea: Boehner and Obama engineered the sequester so that Obama could get the debt ceiling raised. They got no help from antagonist, Eric Cantor. They created a super committee to craft a budget, and that failed. Obama never relented on the requirement to increase revenues through taxation and closing loopholes.
2. Discretionary spending was not out of control: “non-defense discretionary spending as a share of the economy will shrink to a level not seen in 50 years.”
3. Making matters worse: 2.7% spending reduction directed at departments with 7 months remaining in which to apply the reduction makes the percentage greater and squeezes discretion.
4. Long-term, they hurt. Sequester cuts may not seem so bad at first.
5. It is all about getting wealthy Americans to fork over their share. Now, Middle Class and poor are in the sequester hurt locker.
Read the full story at the link below.
“Five Myths About the Sequester
By: Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein
Editor's Note: Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein are authors of It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism.
Let's separate fact from fiction about the sequester and its impact.Identifying the origins of the sequester has become a major Washington fight. Bob Woodward weighed in recently with a Washington Post op-ed making the case that the idea began in the White House. He’s right in a narrow sense, mainly because he focuses on the middle of the 2011 negotiations between Obama and Republican lawmakers. If you look before and after, a different picture emerges.
The sequester's origins can't be blamed on one person—or one party. Republicans insisted on a trigger for automatic cuts; Jack Lew, then the White House budget director, suggested the specifics, modeled after a sequester-like mechanism Congress used in the 1980s, but with automatic tax increases added. Republicans rejected the latter but, at the time, took credit for the rest. Obama took the deal to get a debt-ceiling increase. But the president never accepted the prospect that the sequester would occur, nor did he ever agree to take tax increases off the table.
What runaway spending? The $787 billion stimulus was a one-time expenditure that has come and gone. Under current law not including the sequester, non-defense discretionary spending as a share of the economy will shrink to a level not seen in 50 years.
Defense spending grew substantially over the past decade, but that pattern has slowed and will soon end. Additional reductions must be achieved intelligently, tied to legitimate national security needs.The annual budget deficit is projected to fall by almost 50 percent in 2013 compared with the height of the recession. Reducing the deficit over the long term requires going where the money is—boosting economic growth, controlling health-care costs and increasing revenue to handle the expense of an aging population.
Deeper discretionary-spending cuts are counterproductive; immediate cuts, as Europe has made recently, could lead to a recession and bigger deficits.