Sequester is unhelpful


Pete Costanza


Picture an Elephant and a Donkey betting each other to do something horrible and both agreeing out of spite. Neither one wants to do it, yet both are perfectly willing to do it just to see the other suffer. Now picture yourself being between them and the worst of it happening to you. Whatever horrible circumstance your imagination cooked up, now apply the name sequester.

If you are unsure as to what sequester is, an article by Matt Smith entitled ‘CNN explains sequester’ will provide an overall picture.

In short, sequester was devised in the fall by the Elephant adherents or the Republicans who strong-armed Obama into agreeing into it in 2011 over the debt ceiling. He agreed to a 2 trillion dollar budget cut, half of which was pushed off until March 1st and then March 27th. A committee was formed to find a better way of making cuts in a less drastic fashion than the sequester.

No solution was found which created a situation former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta referred to, as “legislative madness” in the Smith article amounting to horrible cuts that no one in the capital wanted.

In essence, the idea of the sequester seems to amount to a doomsday financial scenario, which should have had the same effect as the threat of nuclear winter. However, the government failed to act before March 26th when Obama signed into a stop gap measure which left in place 85 billion in cuts, but eases some of the sequester burden until September 30, according to an article published by the Huffington Post.

According to the Smith article, 500 billion dollars of the sequester would have been for defense department and the rest for domestic spending such as national parks and food testing.

The full impact of the sequester cuts in our daily lives in its present and future forms probably won’t be known for sure until they happen. Federal domestic spending represents things such as jobs through government contracts and aiding state programs meant to support the disadvantaged.

No matter what political affiliation you claim, our representatives cannot continue to behave as animals bellowing at each other about reducing spending and urging for more taxes. The simple unvarnished truth has to be realized. At some point they have to stop talking over each other and help the country move forward.

Somehow, the essential must be discovered in the federal government and the state. Spending cuts should be coupled with taking steps to ensure the money spent is done so efficiently.

What can we as citizens do? We can band together and vote the people out of office who allow these situations to continue. Government by crisis and blaming the so-called other side cannot continue because the impact always lands on the people they are meant to represent.