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Sequestration – The Can Gets Kicked Down the Road – Again

Sequestration - We The Sheeple

“We the Sheeple of the”

The U.S. Government hasn’t just kicked the can down the road; they’ve punted it into the next county! So if you’re concerned about the government shutting down, you no longer have to worry about that, at least not until September.  On March 26th, President Obama signed legislation that funds the Government through September 30th of 2013. Yep, that’s correct they gave the budget a good hard punt, putting off the necessity of actually creating and passing one for another five months. Please take note that this is NOT a budget, this law simply allows the government to keep spending money until September.

Sequestration – Act Two

What this means is that sequestration will continue until the end of this fiscal year, September 30th. Congress and the Senate have until then to establish and pass a budget for the 2014 fiscal year. There’s a possibility that the Senate and the House will reach some kind of budget deal by then, but I think it’s a slim one. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t be placing any bets on it.

The overall cuts imposed by sequestration will remain the same (at least until a budget resolution is passed). There will still be a reduction in spending of 85 billion for fiscal 2013.  But the impact of the sequestration will be somewhat softened.  Many agencies will have more flexibility in selecting what gets cut within their respective agencies.  Maybe we won’t see any more “scary” articles about illegal immigrants being released from jail due to lack of funds! FoxNewsProbably not. I think the cuts have been intentionally aimed in areas that would create public outcry.

The biggest irony is that even though we are a month into sequestration, nothing seems to have changed much for the average American. Granted, I lost my job a few weeks ago but I would be hard pressed to blame that on sequestration. But, spring is still coming, the sun is still coming up every morning and life goes on!

Does Anyone Care?

Quite frankly, what amazes me is that this extension of sequestration was barely a blip on the radar screen of American news. I don’t think the Citizens of this country gave it much attention as all (and neither did the media). Personally, I think that the villagers should have marched on the town with blazing torches and pitchforks. Sadly enough, they didn’t  Why is that? It’s because our expectations of responsible governance have been dissected and thrown out with the trash. We have become so immune to our Governments fiscal irresponsibility that this no longer surprises us.  As a matter of fact, we’ve come to expect it!

The Spending Problem

I can’t seem to grasp the fact the allow our Government leaders to act like a bunch of teenagers at the mall with credit cards that have no limit on them. Seriously, that’s about as accurate an analogy as I can think of to compare our government spending.

  • “Hey look at that”
  • “Yeah, that’s pretty cool”
  • “What is it”
  • “I dunno, but it’s only 3 gadgillion bucks”
  • “You gonna get it”
  • “Yeah dude, let’s get it and put it on top of your car”
  • “Awesome”

Here’s a fact that is both surprising and sad. The U.S. government hasn’t had a budget signed into law since April of 2009. Yep, almost four years of multi-trillion dollar uncontrollable spending with no guidance or direction. Is it any wonder the U.S. government is in so deep over its head? It kind of reminds me of a Dr. Seuss story, “Elephant’s, Donkey’s and Pork, oh my!” Pork, I could go on for pages about pork barrel spending. You couldn’t do a single post on it, you can probably dedicate an entire blog to that topic alone!

[countup date=2009/04/DD-29]

It has been [timer], Since the United States has had a Budget enacted into law!!
[/countup]

Both sides of the political spectrum have their ideological goals. The conflict between the two is obvious. Here is a boiled down version of what the two parties aim for. I won’t even name the two parties, I bet that any reader can put the names on the description with 100% accuracy!

Bigger Government, More Taxes, Spend More

Smaller Government, Lower Taxes, Spend Less

Quite frankly, I’m a bit fed up with the posturing and the wrong compromises. This extension of the sequestration was a bad compromise. Both of the parties wanted to avoid a Government shutdown. If you think that was for altruistic reasons, you’re wrong. They simply did not want to be labeled as the bad guys. Fell free to disagree with me on this point but A GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN WOULD HAVE BEEN THE RIGHT SOLUTION FOR THIS IMPASSE.

The last time we had a Government shutdown was during President Clinton’s administration. The first was from November 14th through November 19th in 1995. Although short lived, it was quickly followed by another shutdown that started December 16th, 1995 and lasted to January 6th 1996. The net of that shutdown was that they hammered out a balanced budget. Remarkably, the next four years produced a balanced budget as well!

One interesting result of that shutdown was that the iconic President Clinton stated in his 1996 state of the union address,”The Era of Big Government is OVER”. That seems to have been completely forgotten by the modern “Progressive” as this administration and it’s supporters have been steadily herding the Sheeple of this country towards bigger government. Sadly enough, the majority of us have just been nodding our heads in blind agreement and marching towards the pastures of Big Government.

Related Reading:

 What are your thoughts on the Sequestration? Do you think that the Government should have shut down or did the Government to the right thing by extending sequestration?

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John Schmoll is a Dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry. He's passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes so that they can live lives free from the shackles of debt and empowered to make their money work for them. You can check out his other sites: Frugal Rules, for ways to improve your financial literacy; and Sprout Wealth for tips on different ways to make more money. John has been featured on Forbes, Lifehacker, Yahoo Finance and US News & World Report and more. If you're wanting to grow your blog, check out my blog coaching services to see how I can help you take your site to the next level.

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26 comments

  1. “We have become so immune to our Governments fiscal irresponsibility that this no longer surprises us. As a matter of fact, we’ve come to expect it!”
    This is quite true for me. I used to read a ton of political websites/books and their economic counterparts. I helped do a few things for a certain nominee’s campaign last election. Heck, I even blogged on politics for a while. I just got tired of the complacency and lack of change.

    I’m all for smaller government, lower taxes, less regulation (written by lobbyist), and fewer public assistance programs. The problem is, this country is full of people who actually believe that the government owes them something, offers them something, or can improve their life. So the cycle continues.

    Great post my friend!

    • It is an unfortunate, downward spiral we are in. Once those that get more from the government, outnumber those that provide for the government. the game is over!

  2. The news scares that you point out are an absurd method of prolonging the crisis of bullheadedness we have right now. The really scary thing is that the longer sequestration gets kicked down the road, the more of a fallback status quo it becomes. Great insight in this post, as always, Jose.

    • Thanks Tony, This is one of those topics that gets written out of frustration. Four years without a budget! If any one of us did that we’de probably end up in bankruptcy court.

  3. Sometimes I wish the government would just shut down. Congress is overpaid as is and the president is worthless. When promising all this change, I would have thought it was supposed to be positive. They need to eliminate the congressional pension plan and let the social security fund absorb the remaining amount. The federal government should be forced to plan for their retirement based on the laws they have passed for each citizen as well as use the same obamacare they have set forth.

    • I agree 100%. They should let the Government shut down. the last time it happened we had four years of balanced budgets and Clinton declaring that the era of big Government was over! One thing that should happen is that the Senate, Congress and the entire presidential cabinet shouldn’t be paid unless they have a balanced budget! Personally, I think we should just fire them all and start over but that will never happen.

  4. Well said Jose, this is when a good President who was SERIOUS about moving this country forward and doing the right thing would step in and negotiate with both sides, instead he wants to play political football. So here we are with no road map, no leadership, and certainly no honesty from these politicians who have been elected to speak on behalf of the people. Pitiful!

    • It is pitiful. I wish there were term limits on the Senate and the House, that would get rid of the career politicians who are half the problem. But if wishes were horses…..

  5. I agree with the above comments. Our congress is such a joke, and a bad one at that. I think we should take Warren Buffet’s advice and fire every congressperson if we don’t have a balanced budget, that’s actually stuck to.
    If we did that I’ll bet our country’s financial situation would get better in a hurry.

  6. The fact that there hasn’t been a Budget in nearly four years is unbelievable. Maybe the US should adopt a more parliamentary system on this issue — if spending wasn’t passed in a budget, and it isn’t specifically approved, then the spending is illegal.

    • It is unbelievable. Four years! I think their salaries should be frozen for a period of a year and if there still isnt a budget, they should lose their jobs!

  7. You hit the nail on the head again, Jose. This whole scenario is absolutely ridiculous, and it’s terribly sad that we as citizens have so come to accept this trend of irresponsibility as normal that we just shrug our shoulders and move on to the next story of the day. If the government were my husband, I would’ve divorced him long ago for taking down our family like that.

    • I like the concept of divorcing them, except we should divorce our representatives and Senators and get them out of office. One reason we have such a mess is the fact we have career politicians in office. Why in the world we don’t have term limits is completely beyond me!

  8. Does the majority really care? The foxes are in charge of the federal hen house, and there’s no reason to change. Change has to start at the city, county and state level, and eventually make DC as irrelevant as the Post Office.

    • Good point! Your tax dollars give your real perceptive services at the local level. the higher up the government food chain you go, the less value you receive on a day to day basis (and ironically enough, the more you pay). there’s something terribly wrong with that!

  9. This is all depressing and sad- but you’re right. We’ve come to expect it and are immune to it.

  10. Sometimes, I do wish the government would shut down, but I like getting paid when I see Medicare patients and when I work at the government clinic. We are immune to all the political crap that goes on and we wonder why no one turns out to vote? Does it really even matter?

    • I think it does matter Kim, it seems like most of us that are of a like opinion have grwon immune to the idiocy that goes on in or government. I vote every election, even if the outcome isn’t always favorable!

  11. I am so sick of this. Party politics trumps the good of our country every time. No one wants to make hard choices. I do not even think anyone in Congress knows right from wrong. Is there any question that citizens should not have assault rifles? There is just so much wrong mindedness and digging in one’s heels on issues that there is no way anything gets done. What can be done here? How about Congressman only being able to serve one term, then maybe they would vote based on the merits not political position?

    • I think Congress and the Senate should both have term limits. Two terms should do. One to learn the second to do something constructive.

  12. I’m glad to see you discussing this. I keep an eye on the machinations of the Fed. It’s frustrating, but necessary to try to get a clue as to how the economy might affect us personally. Unfortunately, it will affect us whether we pay attention or not. The markets today were all down. You have to admit it’s interesting!

    • It’s an interesting topic and one that I can get emotional about! It’s amazing how citizens are urged to be responsible with their money yet the government is so fiscally irresponsible! It will be interesting to see what happens in September, I’m sure I’ll have a few more posts on the topic between now and then!

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