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In 2011, Congress passed the Budget Control Act, which required Congress to reduce deficit spending in the range of about one trillion dollars.
If Congress didn’t meet this goal, which to no one’s surprise ended up being the case, the bill set mandatory spending cuts, known as a sequester, of a similar amount of money that would go into effect in January 2013.
The closeness of this date became scary, so the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 reduced the cuts to 85 billion dollars, to be split evenly between defense and non-defense spending, and pushed the deadline back to March 2013.
With this new deadline now rapidly approaching, the players in Washington cannot declare fast enough how terrible an idea the sequester was and are rapidly trying to shift blame to their opponents.
Here is the issue, though: while no one likes this idea, it will accomplish something. The cuts to defense and social security are not only a small fraction of those two budgets, but are necessary.
Defense and social security are the two biggest expenditures in the federal budget, and we cannot balance the budget without some cuts to both.
This spending cut may hurt, but any real step to decrease the deficit will hurt in the short term.
Listen folks, I am a social democrat who is two bad days away from being communist, but social programs do not help anyone if they become unsustainable and threaten economic ruin.
It is better to face hardship in the present for a short while than to face it in the future for a longer time.
Where are all the fiscal conservatives who should be celebrating this financial day of reckoning?
Everyone wants to cut entitlements until we start talking about the present.
On the other side of the aisle, as much as the president may wish it was, this is not a problem that closing a few loopholes can solve.
I understand that cutting spending in a recession can be bad news — see earlier comments about my socialism — but one need not be a cynic to wonder if the rhetoric against the sequester stems not from economic concern.
The sad thing is there is nothing we can do about the spending cuts.
No one in Washington wants it, and I cannot say what I hope to happen, so until next time, write your congressman. You know he worries when he doesn’t hear from you.