Chop, Chop or not….

chop
This past weekend I was reading the Charlotte Observer, as I always do on the weekend, and came across an article about efforts of some local school districts to revive the art of writing in cursive.  Once a staple in education, this “language” seems to have gone the way of the do-do bird.

So there I was, with the realization that the coming week’s news media was going to be filled with nothing but the issue of sequestration and its impact.  I realized that I (along with a lot of other folks) really don’t know what the definition of that word is.  So out comes another staple in education, this one though seems to have gone the way of Google…the dictionary.  Here is what I found:

Sequestration – Removal or separation; banishment or exile

I can only guess that someone in our government decided that the best way to bring both parties to the negotiating table was with the threat of broad cuts to many diverse areas, so that the choice of making targeted cuts that could be supported by both parties would be a better choice than sequestration. Who came up with this plan and why is it now, such a bad idea?  Or is it really that bad?

Here is one thought to the first question:  As reported by Bob Woodward in his February 22, 2013 column for the Washington Post Obama’s sequester deal-changer  “The government came up with this solution. My extensive reporting for my book “The Price of Politics” shows that the automatic spending cuts were initiated by the White House and were the brainchild of Lew and White House congressional relations chief Rob Nabors — probably the foremost experts on budget issues in the senior ranks of the federal government. Obama personally approved of the plan for Lew and Nabors to propose the sequester to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). They did so at 2:30 p.m. July 27, 2011, according to interviews with two senior White House aides who were directly involved”

For the second question: Is sequestration really a bad idea?  Consider the size of the potential cuts, the size of the deficit, the fact that this country has run without a fiscal budget for all four years of Obama’s first term and Congress, as a whole, cannot seem to agree on much.  Maybe a little tough medicine, in a small dose may be a good thing?  For full details click here to read the CBO report on sequestration on the cuts.

To state the obvious, the deficits will not go away by themselves and there is waste in Government spending.  To put this statement in context: think of your own household budget/expenses; can you continue to buy things after the money runs out?  Well, yes you can, but then you create personal debt that should eventually make you nervous.  Do you teach your children that after the allowance runs out, they can come back to the Bank of Mom/Dad for more?  The difference between, we the people, and our government, is that they have an unlimited supply of funds and we do not.  Borrowing more to pay interest on money already borrowed is not sound financial practice, at any level.

Bottom Line:  With a $16 trillion dollar deficit and growing, will a targeted reduction in spending of $1.2 trillion over 10 years or an initial sequester of $85 billion, really be enough to make a difference anyhow?  Do we really want to wind up as Greece?

Oh, by the way, Senate and House member’s compensation appear to be exempt from this bill.

As always, I welcome your thoughts and comments

photo credit: babasteve via photopin cc

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