Why we should not worry about the sequester
Published in The Fiscal Times (22,2013) by Josh Boak and Eric Pianin, the article offers 5 reasons for not to worry about the sequestration or reductations that the White House is to propose in orer to raise the debt ceiling.
"President Obama and his team warn of government services getting even worse if the $85 billion of across the board cuts in fiscal 2013 are allowed to kick in next Friday—cars stuck idling at under-staffed border posts, furloughed bureaucrats, fewer police and firefighters, thousands of hungry children kicked off government nutrition programs."
"Right up until the last minute, both the president and the Republicans are going to try to make the most hay out of the issue and make the other guy look bad," said Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense. "It's almost like they would rather have the issue than the solution. And I think it's unfortunate for taxpayers, I think it's unfortunate for the government, but this is the reality of politics today."
Two things to be always kept in mind
1) "First, there is a growing consensus that sequestered cuts totaling as much as $1.2 trillion over the next decade won't lower the national debt.
The main drivers of the deficit – Medicare, Medicaid and other entitlement programs—have been exempted from cuts.
2) The second is that while the sequester may use a feckless "meat cleaver" approach to trim spending on defense and many domestic programs it's not enough to put the whole economy through a meat grinder."(...)
The 5 reasons
No Recession Coming – For all the fear-mongering about hundreds of thousands of furloughs and reduced services, government officials aren't hyping the possibility of a recession. In a $16.4 trillion economy, the sequester just isn't big enough. (...)
The Cuts Are Really Less than $85 billion – Politicians keep talking about $85 billion in spending cuts. Technically, you should halve that figure because agencies can draw from stockpiles of unused funds from past years. (...)
Federal Employees Get Screwed – The one warning that echoes across the government is that personnel-heavy agencies can't use accounting tricks to escape the sequester. (...)
Congress Could Give Pentagon Some Flexibility – If lawmakers really dread the hollowing out of our armed forces, they could grant the military more leeway in transferring cash among its operations and maintenance accounts, according to a recent analysis by Amy Belaso, a specialist in defense policy and budgets for the Congressional Research Service. (...)
March 1 Isn't Set in Stone – The sequester roars in like a lion on March 1, yet it could easily be modified as part of an agreement on funding the government—the continuing resolution expires at the end of next month—or with a deal to raise the debt limit before May 18.(...)