President Obama is on a mission to let us know that everything from air traffic control to education for “small children” along with massive layoffs will ensure if sequestration were allowed to occur. We are supposed to hope that this doesn’t happen and to that end look for the administration along with Congress to avoid it with an alternative plan.
So let’s do some math. The cuts amount to $85 billion. The budget will be close to $4 trillion for this year. If we pretend the budget were $400 then the cuts would be about $8.40. It’s a budget cut of less than 0.1%. With that "cut" the budget would still be an increase from last year’s spending, by far.
With such a small portion of the budget, can we reasonably believe that the sequestration is all that dire? Even if we assume the government needed to take drastic measures to keep services going, why not cut back on the sort of things that have less importance than air safety or education? If it is so vital and important for the federal government to do these things, then should there not be cuts in less essential items in order for it to continue to perform these tasks? Or does every dollar spent have a direct relation to not only our well-being but life and death itself?
And we know it doesn’t. But the president has gone on a campaign to tell us otherwise. His message has a familiar pattern: the government will run out of money. This will hurt the economy also people who are in some way indigent. The solution is to raise taxes on “millionaires and billionaires” and large corporations. Republicans don’t want to do this because they are on their side against the less fortunate and are willing to sink the economy for political purposes.
But let’s take the presidents word and allow for his doom and gloom prognostications. Should he not be in Washington negotiating a solution? Certainly what he describes is grim and if he’s right ought to do what he can to avoid it. So why fly off on a campaign trip when (at this date) the automatic triggers take effect in just three days? The trips themselves have to cost quite a bit, no? In the meantime the president has recalled an aircraft carrier from the Persian gulf because of impending “budget cuts” that haven’t even occurred, a decision the Washington Post Bob Woodward called “a kind of madness”.
It is hard to think that whatever the administrations says or does between now and the first of March is believable. Obama repeats he is looking for a “balanced” solution. With the expiration of the Bush tax cuts in the beginning of the year that “balance” raised taxes on wealth with no cuts, now he is calling for raising more taxes on the same but still no cuts. If he is true to his word when he mentions the word “balance” let’s find out what he would cut juxtaposed with his higher taxes.
Then the question becomes, what is the true purpose of what he is doing? The political divide continues to grow. Republicans are wrong because they are heartless. The Democrats are a bunch of socialists. Speeches after television appearances by politicians are about how rotten the other side is and the trick is to get the public to accept their point of view over the other guys. This is the end result of it all. Is this what Obama wants?