For the next week we viewers will be assaulted with endless coverage of the coming sequester. It is our duty as responsible citizens to separate the bull from the shit. To assist my readers I have put together this viewer’s guide to help understand sequester. We have been through this four other times and there still seems to be misunderstandings regarding what it is and what it does.
Starting with basics; sequester is a verb meaning to isolate or hide away, like to sequester a jury. Our current financial sequester or hide away money was created in 2011. The White House needed a response to the Taxed Enough Already Party’s (TEA Party) growing support. Rather than make any cuts they promised to make future cuts (after the election) in the growth of spending. Both sides agreed cuts were needed, but just not today and it became sequester. This time is the fifth time the promise to the American people has come due. The other four were either pushed off or used as an excuse to cut our spending thru tax increases.
How deep do these draconian, massive, to the bone cuts go? The actual cuts are 2.2% of the increase from last year’s spending. Yes you read that right 2.2% of the increase in spending not the original spending; just the massive increase over last year’s spending reduced by 2.2%. It could be referred to as slowing down the increase in the budget but budgets are so passé these last four years.
Is anything exempt from these minor cuts? Yes all entitlements are off the table and that equals two thirds of government spending. This means food stamps, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security disability payments, and regular Social Security. Just the fact that Social Security and Medicare are mentioned in government spending highlights the Ponzi scheme they became when the trust funds were spent.
What then actually gets cut? Since sequester was designed by Democrats 50% of the cuts are required to come from the one thing the federal government is responsible for, defense. The rest will come from discretionary spending like grants, loans, subcontracts, and all the useless government agencies. In other words politicians favorite vote builder.
How much money is involved? The figure you will hear is 340 Billion dollars. That is over nine years. The cuts faced this year are a paltry 85 billion. (2012 spending 3.796 trillion) The real figures are hard to come by since there is no real budget to go by.
If the cuts are so small why is the news making such a big deal out of it? Because they were told how to shape your opinion. On February 21 Obama and major news reporters met in an “off the record” session. Now they could have been discussing Obama, Tiger Woods and Reggie Love’s golf scores or successful marriage advice but then why off the record?
So keep these facts in mind when your local newscaster tells you a 2.2% cut in growth won’t help the deficit but cutting your spending by 5% through a tax increase will. Ask yourself why teachers, firefighters, first responders, and police will be hurt when they are paid from your local taxes. That giving more money to Washington will cure their spending habit. Then ask yourself why are they lying? What else might they be deceiving us about?