Based on the dire warnings from our leaders in the U.S. government, you would think the end of the world is at hand. Maybe it is, for them! I started this as an informative post but quickly realized that it was as much a rant as anything else. My rant is NOT because there will most likely be a sequestration. It’s more about what the leadership is telling the citizens of the U.S. The warnings we are hearing from the highest levels of government all amount to scare mongering. Their intent being to sway the public in believing that sequestration is going to be an “Armageddon” event. More on that in a bit.
I’m starting to believe that sequestration will probably benefit us as a country more than harm us. The average American will see little to any effect from this forthcoming “Sequestration”. Our existing political elite will be seen for the procrastinating bureaucrats that they are. That, I think, poses a bigger danger to those that hold power in our government now than anything else that could possibly happen. Once “The People” realize and see first hand that the federal government does little to improve their life on a daily basis, their arguments for bigger government will rapidly begin to unravel, and about time too!
The sequestration will happen because our politicians are unable to come up with a BUDGET on a timely basis. Seriously, the jackals have picked the carcass clean and are unable to figure out where to get more food. Since they can’t come up with a budget, 1.2 trillion in mandatory budget cuts (spread out over ten years) will kick in. This budget impasse started as early as November of 2010 when republicans gained control of congress, ostensibly on a promise of smaller government and less spending. The History between that point and now would fill a novel, so I’ll skip to the last major fiscal “apocalyptic” event, the Fiscal Cliff of 2012.
That debacle was bought to closure at the last minute when the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 was signed into law. One of the results of that legislation was that a delay in sequestration was put into place until March of 2013. Or, as you may have heard, “The can was kicked down the road”. Well, March is upon us and there is no sign of any negotiations or any other activity to indicate that we are anywhere near a resolution. So I fully expect the sequestration to go into effect.
What do they Want?
To be as brief as possible, the Republicans want spending cuts and the Democrats want higher taxes, preferably on higher income Americans. I’m sure there has to be a fair compromise, but both sides seem unwilling to budge in this essential difference between the two political Ideologies. If I were forced to pick a side,I would lean towards spending cuts. In 2012 the U.S spent $3,600,000,000,000 (trillion) and had an income of $2,469,000,000,000. To put that in perspective, that’s the equivalent of a $65,000 a year couple spending $94,000 a year. How long will that couple be able to sustain that rate of spending before having to file for bankruptcy?
What will be the Effect of Sequestration?
When sequestration goes into effect, the U.S. Treasury will “sequester” funds intended to go to certain agencies and quite simply, not release then to be spent. The number that has been floating around is 85 to 100 billion Dollars. The White House has made some public statements on what to expect as a result of sequestration. Here are some of the things we’ve been told to expect. Of course I feel compelled to add some commentary on these effects 🙂
- FBI agents Furloughed 3 week estimate
- WD – I’m sure that the crime rate will go through the roof, Thankfully the civilian population has not yet been disarmed, so they’ll be able to look after themselves
- NICS Background checks cuts will see a cut in staffing
- WD -This means that U.S. citizens will see another impediment thrust in front of them when attempting to purchase a firearm. Dealers may not be able to complete a NICS check or may have to wait a long time to get someone on the line for a prospective customer.
- TSA and ATC cuts
- WD – The airlines collect a 9/11 fee of $2.50 per “enplanement” up to a maximum of $5.00 per one way trip. The TSA estimates that it would need to charge $8.00 per passenger to fully cover their costs. So, every passenger that boards a plane is indirectly paying $ 8.00 for the inconvenience (and questionable effectiveness) of being harassed through security. Think about that the next time yo fly somewhere within the U.S.
- Reduced staffing at IRS
- WD – Yaaaay! Let me repeat, “Yaaaay”. Well, wait a minute, does this mean there will be a delay in my refund?
- Cuts in military assistance to Israel, Jordan and Egypt
- WD – Seriously, Why are we giving Jordan and Egypt military assistance anyway?
- Furlough of 800,000 Civilian Pentagon Employees
- WD – I feel bad for them individually, they may end up just getting a free vacation, the last time we had a Government furlough the affected employees eventually got paid for that time retro-actively.
- Meet Inspector Furloughs and resultant food shortages
- WD – I have a freezer full of meat and a hen house full of chickens, I’m not in the least bit worried about this.
- Reductions in Embassy Protection and Border Patrol
- WD – If this means that the level of protection provided to our Embassies will fall below the exemplary levels of protection provided to our diplomats in Benghazi then this might be something to be concerned about. Considering that the level of protection in Benghazi was as close to zero as can be imagined, I don’t think this has any real meaning.
- WD – Reduction in border patrols, those guys need a break anyway. They probably have one of the most unrecognized yet difficult law enforcement jobs in the U.S. Government. Besides, a break in patrolling the borders will make their jobs so much more fulfilling later when they are asked to track down all the illegals that came in during the “Sequestration”.
- Cutting the Persian Gulf Naval Presence from two Aircraft Carriers to One
- WD – This one puzzles me, aircraft carriers and their personnel don’t get put away in a closet until needed again. I suspect that the costs to maintain operational readiness in people and equipment are fairly close whether the ship is deployed in the Gulf, “steaming” towards a destination or in a home port. Granted, I’m sure there additional expenses in deploying a ship rather than having in a home port, but how much more is it?
- Fewer Police and Firefighters on the Street
- WD – This is my personal favorite. The last time I checked, a big chunk of the cost of law enforcement and emergency responders was being paid for out of my real estate and sales taxes. None of which have anything to do with the federal government. I know there are federal grants to increase law enforcement on the streets. Hah, That’s really funny……Here’s what I understand one county in North Carolina did with that grant (hearsay only!). They reduced their county’s funded headcount in the Sheriffs department by one. They then added the headcount back to the Sheriff’s department using federal funds. Net results, more money for the county to spend on other things and a net increase in Law enforcement of zero.
The biggest irony is that this pending sequestration is just the beginning. What can potentially happen at the end of March is a complete Government shutdown (Not really, but they like to call it that). This is not something new, President Clinton experienced two Government shutdowns during his term as President. 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 result of that was that both sides claimed victory, Clinton proclaimed the end of the era of Big Government and the next four consecutive budgets were actually balanced, not a bad outcome at all!
What Is Sequestration And How Do I Get Rid Of It? CriticalFinancial.com
President Obama’s Sequester Remarks
Trivia – Did you know that amongst a few more names (Troop, Tribe and Flange) a group of baboons is also called a “Congress“?