All content, of both the original and this blog, is written from my point of view and is my opinion. I believe it to be accurate at the time it is written. ~ Kyle Prast, Brookfield resident since 1986

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Obama's Sequester Spending Cut Disaster Charade Continues

We've known it was coming. The very idea came from the White House. He approved it a year and a half ago, and in November 2011, insisted it be done. What is it? Why the Sequester, of course.

What is a sequester? Automatic spending cuts triggered to go off in 2013, after the 2012 presidential campaign. Sequester was a gimme the money now, I'll economize later deal.

And here is a graph of that Sequestration deal. Nothing cut from present levels of spending, just $85 billion cut from 2 years of* FUTURE spending! Take a look here. (Put your reading glasses on or you might not notice the change.) *Correction: About $44 billion cut from this year, remaining cuts spread out over the next 7 years.

Now our Spender in Chief doesn't want to go through with Sequester cuts and threatens the sky will fall if we don't increase the increase in government spending on Friday. So much for his famous last words from November of 2011 regarding welching on the deal: “Already, some in Congress are trying to undo these automatic spending cuts. My message to them is simple: No. I will veto any effort to get rid of those automatic spending cuts – domestic and defense spending. There will be no easy off-ramps on this one.”

But then our President seems to enjoy running our government in sky-is-falling-crisis mode, or as Peggy Noonan just wrote, "Government by Freakout". And to make sure you freakout, Obama's Federal Immigration officials just approved 100s of illegal convicted criminal detainees released from prison for emphasis on how these budget increase cuts will affect us. Now the President could easily find $85 billion savings by eliminating redundant programs, fraud, and wasteful pork spending but instead chose this avenue to make his point.

Refreshingly, for once Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner is not negotiating this one in advance but is challenging the Senate to 'Get off its [posterior]' to propose other cuts if those in the Sequester deal are unacceptable. Reason being, the House has come up with 2 proposals thus far with no response from the President or Senate. Hope the Republicans stand firm on this.

One reason the president might be balking is that he again is talking about increasing revenues in any substitute sequester deal: "So when the president asks that a substitute for the sequester include not just spending cuts but also new revenue, he is moving the goal posts.

Increasing revenues could be the real reason for Obama's flip-flop. Incidentally, $85 billion in sequester cuts funds the government for about a week and a half--hardly worth freaking out about.

And here is another heads-up: The debt ceiling/government shut down could come at the end of March, so I would avoid planning any extensive vacations touring our National Historic Sites and Parks until later in the spring. Like a school district facing a budget cut with the threat the cut will eliminate the music program, government threatens to close the Washington Monument* or Grand Canyon, etc. (We had an extensive National Park trip tour planned for the last debt ceiling crisis in April 2011! Rangers told us they put up barricades to block park entrances the eve of the debt ceiling agreement--just in case. That agreement was reached at the 11th hour, 11pm our time.) 
*Washington Monument is presently closed for repairs.

More Reading:
Bob Woodward: Obama's sequester deal-changer
President Obama in 2011: 'No Easy Off-Ramps' on Sequester
Noonan: Government by Freakout
Federal Spending Without and With Sequester Cuts
Boehner tells Senate to 'Get off its [posterior]
Immigrants Released Ahead of Automatic Budget Cuts

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