On March 1st, the so-called sequester which is a series of automatic spending “cuts” that were agreed to in 2011 are supposed to take effect. The “cuts” are supposed to be around $1.2 trillion over 10 years spread equally among defense and non-defense spending. Democrats are complaining how women, children, and old people will be (insert one or more of the following here) starved, made homeless, and/or impoverished by the “cuts” in social welfare programs. Republican defense hawks are claiming that sequester will destroy the US military. Both groups also claim the sequester will put the economy back into recession and/or maybe even a depression. Indeed, both groups say that the sequester should be avoided at all costs and that we should “raise revenues” which is Washington speak for raising taxes to cover the amount that was supposed to be “cut”. However, if we are ever going to get our nation’s fiscal house in order, we have to allow the sequester to take effect.
Why I Hate The Sequester
Although I do believe that the sequester must be allowed to take effect, I don’t like it. For starters, $1.2 trillion in “cuts” (which are not actual budget cuts but instead are merely reductions in the rate of spending growth) is a very small amount when you look at how grave the nation’s financial condition is.
Secondly, the sequester does nothing to address entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare which are the two long-term drivers of future financial problems.
Third, the Democrats do have a point when they say the cuts fall disproportionately on non-defense spending. The Department of Defense is the largest single item of discretionary spending and all other agencies combined do not equal it. But the DoD is only taking 50% of the cuts.
Finally, this is the easy way out for the Ruling Class. Instead of making the hard decisions to going through the budget and eliminating failed programs and looking to shift responsibility back to state and local governments in some cases, they come up with this lazy solution.
The Sequester Is Best For The Country
Right now the sequester is the best of bunch of bad options. For starters, 77% of all Americans received a tax increase at the beginning of the year. It is simply immoral to tax Americans even more when Washington will not sacrifice. Also, while the sequester itself is kicking the can down the road, here’s the chance to make some modest reforms in government and a chance to streamline it. Government departments have the opportunity to maximize efficiency and cut wasteful and unneeded programs.
The Sequester Is A Political Test
This sequester is a political test for those of us who want to cut the size and scope of government. Here we have $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts set to take place. All Congress has to do is nothing for them to happen. If we can’t get Congress to do nothing and let $1.2 trillion in cuts take place, how are we going to pass the deeper spending cuts and entitlement reforms we need to rescue our country from financial ruin? Finally, here is a chance to take on the sacred cow that is defense spending. If we cannot make these modest defense spending reductions, how are we going to take the hard look at our foreign policy that we desperately need?
This is one time where Congress can help the country by doing nothing. They should not act and let the sequester happen as a small first step to getting the nation’s financial house in order.