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Todd’s Thoughts

| Gazette, Opinion | March 29, 2013

The sequester – coming to a town near you.

If you have picked up a paper or watched television lately, I am sure you have heard about the “Sequester.”  The sequester was originally passed as part of the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA), better known as the debt ceiling compromise.

It was intended to serve as an incentive for the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (aka the “Supercommittee”) to come to a deal to cut $1.5 trillion over 10 years. If the committee had done so, and Congress had passed it by Dec. 23, 2011, then the sequester would have been averted. Obama told Congress he would veto any attempt to stop the sequester but, obviously, that didn’t happen. On the first of March the sequester went into effect.

Not only did Obama lie to the American public, saying in a debate with Romney that “the sequester will never happen.” Obama never told the American public that it was his idea. Then Obama  surrounded himself with a group of emergency responders whose jobs, he said, were on the line. He said the looming “sequester” of $85 billion would weaken national defense, disaster response, health care, education, energy development, medical research, border security, FBI investigations, federal prosecutions, air traffic control and airport security. All this and he naturally blames the republicans for the disaster he claims it will cause.

With all the misinformation, exaggerations and downright lies about sequestration, it’s time for some actual facts.

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Fact 1: The sequester doesn’t cut federal spending at all. It only limits projected future spending. Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute points out, “Even if the sequester goes through, the federal government will spend more every single year. In fact, in 2023 it will be spending $2.39 trillion more than it does today.”

Fact 2: While the president claims the sequester would “cut” $85 billion in spending this year, because of ongoing federal contracts that can’t be touched, spending would be reduced by a paltry $44 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office. That’s just over one percent of the federal budget.

Fact 3: Entitlements won’t be impacted by sequestration. Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are exempt from the reductions in future spending.

Fact 4: Discretionary spending will be impacted the most. Even still, with a reduction of only eight percent, the sequester “would leave domestic discretionary spending, after adjusting for inflation, at roughly the same level as 2009,” according to Tanner.

The real problem with sequestration isn’t that this invented “crisis” will destroy government’s ability to provide services for Americans, it’s that it doesn’t go far enough in cutting unnecessary spending and reducing the size and scope of government.

President Obama, now that the sequester has gone into effect, has tried to hurt the American public. Congress has given him the ability to lead the country and make cuts where they would “hurt the least,” however Obama has chosen to let the cuts hurt us all. A perfect example of that is that he allowed 2,600 criminals to be released from jail without even warning the public. This happened before the sequester even took effect. He told us thousands of teachers were being laid off, but after further investigation it was found that two teachers were laid off and not because of the sequester. He even closed the White House to tours by school children.

We as Americans need to stop allowing our president to lie to us and hold him accountable. The truth is, this kind of politics has no place in our great country. The sequester, plain and simple, is a two percent cut in an increase of spending. It is not an actual cut. America will spend close to a trillion dollars more this year than last year. Our national debt is almost 17 trillion dollars and we have a president who tells us all we don’t have a spending problem.  America will be $20 trillion in debt by the time Obama leaves office.

This is not a Democrat or Republican problem. This is an American problem. This is a moral problem. America’s next generation will bear the burden of our politicians out of control  spending today. They will have less opportunity, freedom and that is unacceptable.

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