San Diego — Tomorrow the world as we know it ends.
At least that is what the whiner in chief and his sycophantic minions are telling us. When the sequester — that was his idea in the first place, which, in an interview in October with the Des Moines Register, he said was part of the grand bargain that included the cancelling of the Bush tax cuts and would set on a balanced road to stability – kicks in he is now trotting out his department heads to prophesy everything from closing school to closing airports to cutting back on military capabilities to having to set free illegal aliens held in jails for other infractions.
But in order for that to happen, or even come close to happening, one of two things would have to occur. Either the laws of mathematics would have to change significantly or the administration would have to make specific choices and decisions designed to bring about the greatest harm to the country while ignoring solutions that really should have an effect only on those wasting money or defrauding the system.
Since I am skeptical of the first option occurring, I am left with the second. And why would I say that? Simple… I own a calculator.
We have a current debt of about $16.6 Trillion dollars (which is currently much higher than it was when Obama first proposed the sequester idea as a means of forcing action which was, to his enormous surprise, accepted by the opposition. But that increase and the increases currently planned are extra-budgetary meaning they are planned by the administration but are not contained in any budget initiated or approved by congress which is what the Constitution requires for a budget to be valid.
We have not had a budget for over 4 years; the lack of which allows the President and his departments to sneak in spending increases under the radar and such is the case with the increases currently being proposed. They have never been approved by congress. Nevertheless the President proposed and congress accepted a plan to decrease the RATE OF INCREEASED SPENDING over the then $15 Trillion debt by 2% across the board, exempting those areas that, by law, cannot be cut without specific congressional approval.
What is critically important for you to remember is that was not 2% of the total budget; it was 2% of the rate of increased spending being planned over the current expenditures. Now the debt is up another $1.6 Trillion from the data of that plan’s acceptance. Money being committed for which there is no budget and no revenue to cover it.
When one factors in that by the time this happens what was calculated to be a total decrease in increased spending of $85 Billion is actually only about $44 Billion, and not a penny of that cuts into the budgetary base line, it still works out to a reduction of the national indebtedness figure of about 2 cents per dollar.
Additionally we are told that all cuts must be made equally “across the board.” But that is not precisely true. The bill itself the cuts to be equally made across the non-exempt DEPARTMENTS’ budgets but makes no mention of any restrictions on how, WITHIN a department the cuts are allocated. Those decisions can be made sensibly with a sort of economic triage or they can be made based on politically desired outcome.
The Defense Department spokesmouth said, for example that Coast Guard rescue missions would be cut. But later the commandant of the Coast Guard said he could find the money from other non-essential areas.
FAA talks about cutting air controllers but does not even look at such things as a subsidy they pay for snacks on flights (you thought the airlines paid for that, huh?). The FDA talks about health issues but does not talk about cutting subsidies for tobacco growers while the Health Department then also pays huge amounts for anti-tobacco campaigns. Or how interior pays some farmers to NOT grow a crop it pays others TO grow.
And if ANY part of the government is able to be called “non-essential” why are we paying for it anyway?
Bottom line even if all of the apocalyptic cuts are made as prophesied, we will still be spending more in 2013 than we did in 2012 because we have only cut the rate of increase not the actual existing budget items.
So get a grip people! And hold your elected folks’ feet to the fire to allocate the cuts wisely, as you would expect. As it is now, it is as if an individual had a cable contract but when their bonus check was cut, they decided to deal with it by cutting back on food for their kids and leave the TV offerings alone. But when the government does an exactly analogous thing it is OK with you and you just accept it because you think the enlightened folks leading it have an imprimatur from God to act wisely in all things?
In the end it is all in YOUR hands. You can tell the representatives that how they allocate money and how the President’s minions allocate money in their departments is going to have an effect on your voting. And if you do that I can nearly guarantee things will get better.
If you don’t, if you remain minimally informed about the details of these things that can, if used poorly – or maliciously – have a very bad effect on you, then you have only yourselves to blame for whatever the outcome will be.