About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sequester Cuts - A Start In The Right Direction

Regular readers of RTE know that sequester updates & reports have been posted on the blog right from the beginning of the series of cliffs & crises that resulted from the standoff between Congress & BO regarding raising the debt ceiling on July 28, 2011 & continued all through 2012 & right up to today – just hours before the sequester's mindless across the board spending cuts are set to take effect.  Of course Congress & BO have not put forth an effort equal to raising their little fingers to sensibly prevent the sequester let alone done one substantial thing about it in the last 19 months.  It would take about two hours to figure out a better solution than the sequester if both political parties were really interested.  Pitiful how we the people allow this to happen to our future, isn't it?
Now you can just imagine how surprised I was (as well as any of you who read these messages closely) to find out that the overwhelming majority of Americans have no idea what the sequester is or have never even heard of it.  I hope everyone who works in the defense industry as well as everyone concerned about our military readiness made their voices heard when it counted.
The original August 2011 debt ceiling crisis resulted in four flashpoints for the Republicans to take on BO's socialist policies – 1) the fiscal cliff of the 2013 New Year's night when BO got his tax rate increase, 2) the late January round that raised the debt ceiling until May, 3) the start of the sequester on March 1 that calls for $85 billion in across the board spending cuts through September 30 on the 40% of the spending plan that Congress controls every year, & 4) the reauthorization of the Continuing Resolution (CR) on March 27 that funds many government agencies.
To paraphrase Nancy Pelosi we had to come to this point of crisis to find out what the sequester means to people:
1. Conservatives have become fond of saying that the sequester cuts are only about 2.4% of total federal-government spending & this is true as far as it goes. However, the 60% of the spending plan that is on auto pilot (e.g. Social Security) as well as other programs & agencies such as the Federal Reserve & Post Office are exempt from the sequester cuts. This means that only a portion of the total spending plan is affected by the sequester & accordingly it is estimated that the cuts will be 5% to 13% of the portion being considered.
2. The $85 billion 2013 FY sequester cuts are made up of about $44 billion of budget reductions that will take place during the rest of FY 2013, which ends September 30, with the remainder lagging by months or even years in the esoteric Washington budget processes.
3. The sequester cuts will be divided into about 1,200 federal programs & then further divided into tens of thousands of subprograms & projects. There are three main categories:
A. Defense spending constitutes about half of the total cuts with many individual programs cut about 13%.
B. Nondefense spending.
C. Medicare payments to hospitals & doctors are projected to be cut 2%.
It has always been obvious that BO has no intention of cutting any spending whatsoever other than from the DOD.  We have to be careful that we aren't fooled by the old Washington trick of proclaiming financial responsibility by only cutting the rate of growth of planned spending while not actually reducing the absolute spending level.  In fact after this first round of sequester cuts federal spending will increase by over $15 billion in FY 2013 & after the entire ten years of the $1.2 trillion sequester program is enacted federal- government spending will increase by $7 trillion.  So although there will be some pain from time to time overall federal spending will increase after implementation of the sequester program.
But BO made one of his few political mistakes when he suggested & signed the sequester into law nineteen months ago.  All the Republican House has to do now is nothing & the sequester cuts will go into effect @ 12:01 AM on March 1.  Accordingly the hurtful sequester, as distasteful & mindless as it is, is the last chance we have in the foreseeable future for our elected reps to show any financial responsibility whatsoever.
Since BO does not want to enact the nondefense sequester cuts this entire matter is very aggravating to him because it diverts his attention from the programs he really is interested in regarding the completion of the socialization of America (comprehensive immigration reform to grant citizenship to future Democrat voters thereby ensuring that no Republican ever wins the White House again, minimum wage increases to shore up the union vote, & stricter gun controls to further disarm the citizenry).  Accordingly BO is trying to put forth the worst front possible regarding the sequester & it will not all be good – some people will lose their jobs.  The biggest point for all of us to understand regarding BO's position is that if we cannot cut $85 out of every $3,528 that the government spent in FY 2012 we have no hope of ever achieving any financial responsibility going forward. 
My hope is that this infinitesimal amount may just resonate with some people who are BO supporters & that a little chink develops in his armor.  If BO proposes a starting point by making dreadful cuts of the most strategic programs Republicans can counter by showing where more sensible cuts could be made.  That is finally a start in the right direction.  We then have until March 27 to lock the sequester cuts into the CR & a whiff of financial responsibility will be in the air.  If we show support to get these politicians thinking in these terms the sequester can be replaced by the type of budget control thinking that goes on around every kitchen table in America.
On a historical note the first sequester legislation was the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985.  Coincidentally the first sequester under Gramm-Rudman took effect on March 1, 1986 – exactly twenty-seven years ago to the day.  After a few attempts @ spending restraint Gramm-Rudman was watered down by subsequent legislation until it disappeared & really has been long forgotten. 
There is a meeting @ the White House on Friday that Boehner has been invited to – nothing good can come of this & Boehner has sworn off negotiating with BO.  The survival of this current sequester legislation will depend on the outcome of this meeting. 

1 comment:

  1. Great post sequester. Incredible BO has gotten away so far with so many lies about sequester.

    But I hope His picking a fight with Woodward will backfire. Mr Watergate may bring on SequesterGate.