Are Sequester Cuts Designed to Make it Hurt?

Was the sequester made to hurt as much as possible?  There are a lot of people who thought so.  After all, how does a three percent cut across the board result in a 20 percent cut in the income of civilians with the Department of Defense?  Well, new information has surfaced that seems to confirm what a lot of people are thinking.

From the Washington Times:

The Obama administration denied an appeal for flexibility in lessening the sequester’s effects, with an email this week appearing to show officials in Washington that because they already had promised the cuts would be devastating, they now have to follow through on that.

In the email sent Monday by Charles Brown, an official with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service office in Raleigh, N.C., Mr. Brown asked “if there was any latitude” in how to spread the sequester cuts across the region to lessen the impacts on fish inspections.

He said he was discouraged by officials in Washington, who gave him this reply: “We have gone on record with a notification to Congress and whoever else that ‘APHIS would eliminate assistance to producers in 24 states in managing wildlife damage to the aquaculture industry, unless they provide funding to cover the costs.’ So it is our opinion that however you manage that reduction, you need to make sure you are not contradicting what we said the impact would be.”

“This email confirms what many Americans have suspected: The Obama administration is doing everything they can to make sure their worst predictions come true and to maximize the pain of the Sequester cuts for political gain,” said Rep. Tim Griffin, Arkansas Republican.

It’s not overly surprising.  After all, I found $85 billion in actually spending cuts - and not these pathetic cuts in the growth of spending - in about 20 minutes with a Google search.  The cuts aren’t nearly as difficult to find as the White House has made them out to be.

Now, Administration officials are denying the accusation, which is hardly surprising.  However, just look at the kinds of things they have claimed would have to be cut.  Thousands of teachers, out of work.  Furloughs for DoD workers that have been told to expect to lose a fifth of their income.  Longer lines through TSA security checkpoints at airports.  All of these are things which impact the every day folks, while cutting expenditures elsewhere won’t up the pressure on Republicans to give President Obama everything he wants.

Folks, these cuts are a drop in the bucket of federal spending.  I have an incredibly difficult time to believe that there aren’t places this money could have been cut without people losing jobs and/or income.  Even if the Administration didn’t orchestrate this, it’s not hard to imagine managers finding ways to make the cuts suck the most in an effort to prevent the cuts from actually happening.

 
 


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