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Sequester hype exposed

The sequestration has been buffeted by much hype and fear mongering by the president and his administration. As usual, America and the deficit will suffer without significant cuts.
Editorial Cartoon: Jason Clay Pope

Tomorrow, the mandatory budget cuts known as sequestration, will go into effect. However, much of the hype surrounding sequester is cast in demagoguery and fear mongering; primarily from President Obama, his cabinet, and democrat members of congress. You may hear statements such as, “Cut social services, lay off teachers and first responders, and we can’t deploy military assets;” the list goes on and on. The topics are provocative and the people only seem to understand that sequester will cost jobs, kill school lunch, and stop trains from running. That’s not the case at all. Let’s look a little more in depth.

The sequester is a 1.2 billion dollar cut to the defense and discretionary spending. It was put into place by Obama and the congress in an attempt to create such an unacceptable arbitrary spending cut that the congress and president would find better areas to make cuts. It hasn’t happened, and now the hoopla has been dialed up by the president to force congressional republicans to offset cuts with higher taxes.

However, the notion of a cut so draconian that it would force lawmakers to act is a mirage. The federal budget will grow despite any talk of cuts. That’s right. Even if sequester hits, the federal budget will increase and the deficit will grow; although at a lower percentage. Tax revenues are up and Washington can’t wait to spend us further into oblivion. Here’s how it works.

When politicians describe cuts in spending, they’re talking about cuts in the rate of growth of spending. So, let’s say that the federal government’s budget for last year was x and built in budgetary increases, to account for inflation and whatnot, calculate to 8%. We now have x plus 8% of x for this year’s budget. However, politicians will frame a decrease of that 8% growth as a cut. It may be only a 3% decrease but it’s still described as a 3% cut. Surprise! The federal government grows by 5%! This kind of trickery happens all the time in all facets of government. They cry doom and gloom as they cover their heads from falling pieces of the heavens.

Meanwhile, as we wait alarmingly for the sky to fall, the federal behemoth will grind along with more of your money as power-mad politicians spend away. The sequester will take spending (supposedly) to 2009 levels. Obama says everything will suffer, citing only the greatest heart-string tugging issues while billions upon billions of dollars in fraud and waste continue unchecked. Last time I looked, in 2009, planes still flew, teachers still taught, and boots still marched. Jane still received food-stamps and Jack still received unemployment. As it seems, little has changed since the 2008 election.

Here’s an idea. Cut all the fraud and waste and do the job for which you’ve been elected to do!

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