May 15, 2013

WHAT SEQUESTER?:

Sequester 'Armageddon' Has Been President Obama's Y2K (David Davenport, 5/14/13, Forbes)

Do you remember what was said when the budget sequester took effect more than two months ago?  President Obama warned in February that, thanks to sequestration, "all our economic progress could be put at risk."  I guess the operative word was "could," like the weather reporter's 10% chance of rain that actually occurs.  Cabinet officers issued such dire warnings that Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood felt obligated to add: "We are not making this up."  John Adler, president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association put in his two cents:  "The road to a lawless society is currently being paved by the congressional sequester."  Even this week Treasury Secretary Jack Lew was still referring to the "reckless across-the-board cuts" of the sequester.

It turns out that, like Chicken Little's fear that the sky was falling when it was only an acorn hitting his head, the sequester has been a bit of a non-event.  The 2013 automatic cuts of $85 billion are less than 2% of the federal budget.  And what senior manager of a large organization (almost certainly with a lot less fat than the federal government) hasn't survived the implementation of far deeper cuts than that?  Not only has the economy survived, but housing prices are up, jobs are still growing modestly, and the stock market (including government contractors expected to be hurt the most) is at all-time highs.  A recent Gallup Poll indicates that most people don't even know whether the sequester has helped or hurt, or even whether they have been impacted by it.  Representative Billy Long of Missouri says his constituents actually want more sequestration, not less.

Posted by at May 15, 2013 4:34 AM
  

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