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Sequester – Rude Awakening or Terrible Tragedy

March 3, 2013

There are those who would have you believe that the sequester is a tragedy of epic proportions.  They would tell you that the spending cuts enacted will affect drastic change in all of our lives, and that this change will happen in the near future.

On the other side of the proverbial fence are those who believe that our nation is in such drastic need of spending cuts that these are worth whatever ills they may cause.  While the cuts are acknowledged as real and possibly painful, these people believe that our need to balance the budget merits almost any action.

How drastic are the spending cuts enacted by the sequester?

The figure I have heard thrown around is 85,000,000,000 (85 billion) dollars in spending cuts.  While that looks like a huge number to the average american, lets put that in perspective by comparing it to another important number relating to our economy.  The President’s projected national deficit (after “discretionary” spending cuts which may never happen) is 1.33 trillion – 1,330,000,000,000 dollars.  This tells me that the spending cuts effected by the sequester amount to less than one fifteenth (1/15) of our very optimistic estimated budget deficit for this year.  So while the numbers sound and are huge, they don’t come anywhere close to balancing the budget.

How quickly will we feel the effects of the sequester?

According to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, the effects of the sequester will be felt gradually.  He claims that while we won’t feel the full brunt of the sequester right away, the cumulative effect will be significant, particularly to those affected by the cuts.

In my experience, anything new is felt primarily by those directly affected.

Average Americans are going to be feeling two new stresses on their wallets this year.

One is the tax hike that President Obama fought for and won.  The tax hikes championed by this administration are already being felt across the board.  In the factory where I work, insurance costs went up drastically this year as a direct result of President Obama’s first major tax hike – also known as Obama care.  Our President has shown repeatedly that he does not care for the vast majority of Americans, both in his speech and his actions.

The other is the sequester.  The sequester cuts funding “across the board” in equal dollar amounts.  As a proportion of budget, spending for national defense is hit the hardest.  There will be people affected.  These will come from many walks of life.  However, these cuts will not directly affect every wallet in America like the tax hikes do.

So is the sequester good or bad?

It is both.

The sequester is bad

because it was intended by its creators (the Obama administration) to hurt people.  It was planned out in a way that would benefit a certain political party, at the expense of anyone in the way.  The sequester is bad because it represents the vast divide and partisanship in our government today.  The sequester is bad because it represents an unwillingness to work for the good of the country and lay aside personal pride and ambition.

The sequester is good

because it could represent the (painful) first step back towards financial responsibility as a nation.  The sequester is good, because we need learn to tighten our belts and live within our means.  The sequester is good, because it might just be the rude awakening we need.  We have been mortgaging our future for far too long.  Its time to take a serious look at drastic measures to both balance the budget and pay down the deficit.

Thanks for reading my thoughts – please feel free to share yours,



From → Politics

  1. I vote “more bad than good”. Yes, spending reduction is absolutely necessary, but this is “dumb cutting” as opposed to targeted. Instead of closing loopholes in the tax code, or slashing in places where everyone knows there’s waste, like speculative weapons programs, this is across the board. It will hurt people in haphazard, unexpected ways, and it isn’t enough of a cut to help the problem of overspending. The pain will roll out in slow motion, but unless they begin passing targeted cuts it WILL happen, and people will lose their careers and homes, and the effects will reverberate into the next election cycle.

  2. I agree Mike. If understand correctly the cutting that is taking place was designed by the Obama administration as a “poison pill” of sorts to use as leverage in passing the budget they wanted. That’s where the “dumb cutting” came from. I agree that there will be jobs lost, but I think there would be jobs lost with targeted cuts as well. I’m not saying that one is less painful than the other, just that there will likely be jobs lost either way.

    I also think that if we can’t do something soon about the massive overspending, there will be drastic and unavoidable consequences for our entire nation. As a side note, even with the sequester, our government will spend more this year than it did last year. There hasn’t been a year to year decrease in government spending since the early 1990’s.

    Thanks for taking the time to read and respond. I appreciate it.


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