Thursday, February 21, 2013

Is the Sequestration Irresponsible?

The sequestration is looming, and it doesn’t seem that anyone in our government is going to do a dang thing about it. The President is just returning from a golf outing, and most of Congress is still on break.  Because of uncertainty, some contractors in the federal government are already losing their jobs. Dialogue about the sequestration is finally starting to heat up. The news organizations are starting to pay attention…unless they are distracted by Princess Kate’s baby bump. I know that by next week there will be countdown clocks and dramatic music leading up to zero hour. All for an act that is by far the most irresponsible fiscal crisis that I have ever witnessed. The bottom line doesn't have to happen!

The sequestration is a totally manufactured crisis. It was set into place by, allegedly, the White House to goad Congress into passing a budget. It was thought that surely the draconian cuts that were mandated by the sequester, would certainly motivate our representatives to pass a budget for the United States. Well, needless to say, it didn’t. Now we are looking down the barrel of the gun.  Some of the most drastic budget cuts in  history are about to happen. But why…why in the first Obama administration have we not been able to get a budget approved?

My observations is that the “do nothing” Congress that we have elected has done just that. They have done nothing. While the nation still hums along, and citizens go to work, raise their families and pay their bills, Congress has continued to do nothing. Polls have shown opinion of Congress at its lowest level, ever. But those under the dome seem oblivious to that. All that this Congress seems to practice is obstructionism and opposition to anything that the President proposes.

OK, I can see that if you are in the opposite party you are almost obligated to oppose the President…that’s all a part of the political game. I understand that. It’s actually what makes the “game” more interesting. What I cannot understand is why Congress would want to drag the whole nation down, because some members of the House and the Senate disagree with the President.

The effects of the sequestration will ripple nationwide. The most drastic cuts will be felt by the Department of Defense, which has been pretty  insulated from cuts in the past. ( if you don’t count the BRAC that is) Everything from weapons systems to research and development to personnel will be slashed if the sequestration is allowed to happen.  Furloughs will be likely. The defense cuts will  be felt by local governments, private business and will  more than likely affect the stock market.

My major question .….is this the way we run  a government? Do we run it by lurching from crisis to crisis (debt ceiling…..fiscal cliff…sequestration…..who knows what else?), or do we try to compromise and negotiate for the greater good. What is in the psyche of this Congress that prevents them from accomplishing that?

As critical as this blog may sound….I do believe that our government will come to its senses and pass something at the eleventeenth hour to prevent the sequester. If nothing else, I think that they will come up with some type of proposal that will (ugh) “kick the can down the road.” I really don’t believe that although extremely unpopular, Congress will deliberately turn their backs on the American people. To do so would be totally irresponsible.  Besides…..I’d rather concentrate on watching Princess Kate’s baby bump, than  worry about the economy taking a nose dive.

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