Federal spending this year, even after Sequester, will rise by $15 billion. Such is the nature of disasters in Washington, D.C. There are no actual cuts in spending over last year. All they’re fretting over is a decrease in the increase.
The Pentagon announced they would have to furlough 800,000 civilian workers (Sequester does not allow cuts to active military personnel). However, a closer look reveals that those 800,000 will be furloughed one day a week for 22 weeks in the budget year ending Sept. 30. Hardly a layoff but it is 22 days of lost pay. However, if you’re on the Pentagon’s civilian payroll, and living from paycheck to paycheck, then you have your own personal budgeting problem that needs dealing with.
The Sequester was last used in 1984, which is why so many politicians and media people don’t understand it. They were not around the last time it was used.
Former White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew along with the White House’s congressional liaison sold President Barack Obama on the idea. It was the White House, not congressional Republicans, which gave birth to this unwanted baby.
Many believe that under Sequester the president has discretion on where to apply the cuts and will therefore make it as painful as possible so he can eventually get his way. Apparently Obama thought that too.
Sequester requires across the board cuts, good with bad, with no presidential discretion. Its purpose is to bring the administration to the point of proposing cutting deadwood and useless programs or making everyone suffer. Conversely, Congress could raise taxes to restore revenue to the deadwood and useless programs but since taxes were raised in January, that option is not available.
Washington is in a tizzy over all of this. In the last 20 years they have managed to loot the rest of the country to the point that the three counties in the immediate Washington metro area are now the three wealthiest counties in the country. Any interruption or slowdown of this non-stop looting should not be tolerated and should cause all of us great concern, according to them.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan, whose agency is the poster child for deadwood and useless programs, announced that thousands of teachers would lose their jobs because of the Sequester. Funny Arne, we can’t find one local teacher anywhere in the country that works directly for the federal government.
True, the education agency does fund programs that in turn hire so-called teaching personnel for a designated federal role. However, we remember education in this country being of higher caliber and more thorough before President Jimmy Carter created the agency in 1980.
Obama stated that thousands of firefighters and emergency responders would lose their jobs if the Sequester kicks in. Again, we scoured the country and couldn’t find any emergency personnel, other than Sequester-exempt military members, that are directly employed by the federal government.
The inconvenient truth is the federal government has grown beyond its enumerated constitutional powers to the point of being an invasive behemoth that will have to be dragged, kicking and screaming, back to within the bounds it belongs.
In the meantime, liberal politicians will proclaim that the world as we know it will end unless we send them more money to squander.
It’s the same old story: In order for liberals to succeed, ignorance must prevail.
Allan Von Werder is publisher/editor of The Daily Review.