The mainstream media and The White House are warning of a coming apocalypse brought on by “draconian” spending cuts in the budget sequester that is to kick in on March 1. And “draconian” spending cuts at the federal level are a bad thing? Are they seriously telling us we’ll be OK if we keep spending like we are ???
Here in North Carolina, we’re getting stories about how the sequester will surely wreck the economy for the Fayetteville area — home to Fort Bragg and the 82nd Airborne Division.
Many of you may not know, but folks in government have a different definition of “budget cut” than those of us in The Real World. When politicians raise taxes — causing more money to be withheld from our paychecks — we have to actually spend less on some things than we did prior to that tax hike. That’s not the case in government budgeting. Government budget writers tend to figure in an eight percent spending hike per line item for each budget year. If you increase spending for a study on, let’s say, cow flatulation by only FIVE PERCENT in 2014, that is considered a budget cut. Even though you are spending more money on the study than you did in 2013.
The sequester agreement — pushed by Obama during the 2011 battle over the debt ceiling — calls for equal cuts to defense and welfare spending if Congress cannot agree on a budget by March 1, 2013. Well, here we are — without a budget. Now Big Barry — and all those folks in Congress who voted for the debt ceiling increase and sequester — are now not liking this sequester idea so much.
It’s disappointing that congressional Republicans agreed to a deal that put the military on equal footing with welfare spending. According to a recent Heritage Foundation study, federal welfare spending has grown from $50 billion in 1964 to $890 billion in 2010. That is in spite of (1) the announcement of The War on Poverty in 1965, (2) Reagan “slashing welfare” in 1981, and (3) Clinton “ending welfare” in 1996.
Heritage predicts entitlement spending will more than double between 2005 and 2050. In 1965, the feds were spending 2.5 percent of our GDP on entitlements and 7.4 percent on defense. In 2010, entitlement spending was at TEN PERCENT of GDP while defense had fallen to FIVE PERCENT. In FY2012, defense spending accounted for 19 percent of all federal spending. Entitlements accounted for 58 percent.
We are here because DC has failed in its constitutional responsibilities. The president is to submit a budget. The work on spending issues begins in the House. It goes to the Senate for approval, then to The White House for a signature. Big Barry has not submitted a budget this year. Speaker Boehner says The Senate needs to make the first move on spending — despite what The Constitution says. Instead of having the House GOP majority pass a responsible budget, and the Senate GOP minority beat on Harry Reid to follow The Constitution, we’re getting a lot of finger-pointing and attempts at political self-preservation.
Sure, we’ve got a mess in Washington. But we, the voters, share a lot of the blame. We voted for these people. In the long run, it will be seen as a good thing to cut back on DC’s spending.
This is a lot like cutting up those credit cards in your wallet and going cold turkey. It may be tough going at first, but in the long run, it’s good for you.