Does the average person understand what it means? Well, here is a definition and some information taken from www.about.com/U.S.Politics as used in reference to our federal budget. Sequestration is a term to describe the practice of using mandatory spending cuts in the federal budget if the cost of running the government exceeds either an arbitrary amount or the gross revenue it brings during the fiscal year.
A simpler explanation is the government using automatic, across-the-board spending cut when there is an annual budget deficit.
The official definition of sequestration is “a permanent cancellation of budgetary resources by a uniform percentage reduction which is applied to all programs, projects and activities with a budget account. They state, however, that current sequestration procedures provide for exemption and special rules.
The first time sequestration (automatic spending cuts) was considered was when the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, was put in place.
Sequestration was used in the Budget Control Act of 2011 in an effort to encourage congress to reduce the annual deficit by $1.2 trillion by the end of 2012. Failing to do so would result in automatic budget cuts to the 2013 national security budget.
A group of 12 members of congress (6 from the House and 6 from the Senate) were chosen in 20ll to identify ways to cut the deficit by the $1.2 trillion within 10 years.
The debate on sequestration in 2013 has been on-going and neither the House nor the Senate has been able to come to an agreement that would prevent it from happening. Actually the deadline is only hours away.
The president will meet on Friday with House Speaker John Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Minority Senate Leader Mitch McConnell to discuss across-the-board budget cuts to federal agencies. Republicans are wondering why the president decided on Tuesday to set the meeting for Friday, the day after the sequestration deadline.
One part of the sequestration that has been a topic for debate is the fact that the sequestration rules under the Pay As You Go Act of 2010 requires the federal government to continue to pay Social Security, unemployment and veteran’s benefits, as well as entitlements like Medicaid, food stamps and Supplemental Security Income.
Medicare is subject to automatic cuts but cannot be cut by more that 2 percent under sequestration. It is interesting to note that congressional salaries are exempt from sequestration. How would members of congress make it if their salaries would receive a cut? It’s almost unthinkable. That was just a little sarcasm that seemed appropriate.
Maybe this is a good time to give a little education on fiscal responsibility. Each fiscal year usually starts at the beginning of each quarter such as April, 1, July 1, or October 1.
Businesses may start their fiscal year at different quarters depending on the type of business or for tax reasons.
The federal fiscal year runs from October1 through September 30 of the following year. Since elected Congressmen begin their term in office in January, this gives them time to take part in the budget process for the up-coming fiscal year.
Usually, the president submits a budget for the next fiscal year by the first Monday in February. This gives Congress, including the newly elected members until September of that year to give their approval.
So what happened during the last four years? There’s been no budget proposals submitted by this president and yet, he has continuously had printed, borrowed and spent money we didn’t even have.
By doing this he has created a budget deficit greater than all other presidents combines. He has, because of his ineptness in providing a fiscal budget for Congress to approve over the last four years, created a debt that will be carried on the shoulders of our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
We are in 2013 and he has yet to submit a budget to the Congress for approval. So now, because he has not done his job and Harry Reid just lets House proposals sit on his desk, we are faced with sequestration.
Why has it come to this? The blame game has been going back and forth on both sides of the aisle; the president blaming the Republicans for refusing to accept a compromise that would include closing tax loopholes, while the GOP blames the Senate for not proposing a legislative resolution.
During a discussion about the sequestration on a Fox News video with Pat Caddell and Doug Schoen, they said that both sides are playing politics and the president is playing class warfare, using fear mongering, and attacking Republicans in an effort to destroy the Republican Party.
In that same video, a couple of senators said that the sequestration can prove harmful to states that have struggled to get their fiscal house in order and improve or balance their budgets.
Whatever the outcome, sequestration is going to happen. Will the spending cuts come with a mutual bi-partisan agreement, which seems very unlikely or will it be the president’s across-the-board cuts that he seems to be hell bent on passing? Honestly, he acts like a spoiled child who has to have everything his way. When is he going to grow up and lead like an adult? Oh, right, he’s getting his way so why should he change?
People of America, if we don’t soon unite to make the changes we want in our government, we are headed for a very sorry day. The Constitution gives us the power, not the government. Have you forgotten that or have you even known that? If your answer to the later part of the question was no, may I suggest that you locate a copy of the Constitution, read it and learn what it says. You might also read The Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. You can download these documents on the internet. These are very important documents, but they are in danger of becoming a thing of the past. We used to be looked at by other nations as a great leader in economy, military power and in the free market system. How do they look at us now?
We need a leadership that looks out for our best interests. A weak economy makes a weak nation. We need someone who will be strong enough and bold enough to stand outside the box and make the hard decisions so that we can become a strong and stable nation that is energy independent with a hard- working Congress that can get the job done they were elected to do and a strong military to keep our country safe. Is that too much to ask? It would be nice to think that could actually happen given all the problems that this administration has created for our country. May God see fit to bless our nation once again?
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