I’ve been asked a lot over the past few weeks why in the world the US Congress would allow rather unfocused budget cuts to come into effect.
New to the term Sequestration? CNN explains it for us nicely.
It’s a series of automatic, across-the-board cuts to government agencies, totaling $1.2 trillion over 10 years. The cuts would be split 50-50 between defense and domestic discretionary spending.
Another cliff! (I will avoid the obvious Lemming/cliff connection…)
Yes, Sequestration is the same sort of poison pill packaged we just witnessed with the tax portion of the fiscal cliff.
And letting these cuts happen, when they were designed to be so painful that nobody ever envisioned they would be allowed to transpire, seems borderline insane. Congress was supposed to come up with a real, targeted plan of budget cuts. They did not.
What’s worse, is that letting these cuts happen will most certainly have a negative impact on a economy that is precarious at best. Lawmakers know this.
But here we go again anyway.
Politics of blame looking toward 2016? Certainly.
A sign of the incredible disfunction now crippling Washington? Absolutely.
Will damage to the economy through these cuts help the GOP in 2016 and the next Presidential election cycle? They think it will.
But it really boils down to this:
Republicans, led by Paul Ryan, want to “Starve The Beast“. That is, to shrink the Federal Government to its smallest possible size and allow the private sector to take over the vast majority of public services.
One needs only to look at the wonderfully low cost of healthcare to see how this would look in the Education Department, the FDA, the EPA (likely DOA) and so on.
The Republican dream of a country run by the markets would be realized all via a trojan horse.
And how does this impact you?
Well, the folks at the Washington Post have an excellent breakdown of each State and what is at stake.
It is a must read.
And you shouldn’t be surprised that it will be felt hardest in the area of education. Cuts to school budgets mean the real loss of teachers and the elimination of programs that benefit the youngest and neediest. (Education should be any country’s greatest priority, for the benefits are indisputable.)
But hey, why should that bother lawmakers? It certainly won’t be felt by their families.
So bravo Congress!
Keep up the good work.