“The sky is falling not” • Fred Johnson
I’m sure you have heard the many claims of the effects of sequestration such as three-hour waits at airport security, prisoners released from jails, airport control towers closed, federal meat inspectors pulled from processing plants, school children going hungry, border patrols cut, teachers laid off, and the list goes on and on.
Several actions have happened even before sequestration. Illegal immigrants were released from jail, 800,000 civilian defense workers face furloughs and the aircraft carrier, USS Harry Truman, has been held in port in Virginia rather than deployed to the Persian Gulf. The Harry Truman joins five other U.S. aircraft carriers that, for some reason, have been in port for months all lined up in a row similar to Battle Ship Row at Pearl Harbor.
One thing you may not have heard about sequestration is that it only amounts to an $85 billion cut in the $3.35 trillion federal budget this year. The cut amounts to a little over 2 cents on every dollar spent. Another thing you may not have heard is that even with the $85 billion cut, the 2013 federal budget is higher than the 2012 budget.
To put this in perspective, sequestration is equivalent to a family receiving a nice raise in wages but must cut spending after the raise by 2 percent. If the family decided that they must cancel their charitable contributions, turn off their air conditioning, put their car up on blocks and cancel Christmas to save 2 cents on the dollar, you would have to say they overreacted. But that is exactly what the administration is doing with their blustering and threats over sequestration.
Another thing you may not have heard about sequestration is that it was President Obama’s idea in the first place. It was intended to be a way to force Republicans to agree to tax hikes. The good news is the Republicans did not respond to the threat. The other good news is that even a minuscule 2 percent cut in spending is, at least, a step in the right direction for our nation.
Printed in the March 7, 2013 edition