The horror stories have been dominating the front pages and the web sites for two weeks now: Friday, 3/01/13 is the Apocalypse as far as federal funding and spending and millions of jobs. Border jumpers are already being released, DoD will furlough most of its people, gun background checks will be delayed indefinitely, FBI agents will go home and criminals will have a field day, teachers and aides will be laid off, people won’t get food stamps (and so start), children won’t go to Head Start (and grow up ignorant) and all the rest. The GOP won’t cave, so the stories go, and the White House and Congressional Democrats are trying desperately to stop the disaster. People won’t be able to find out if they have AIDS – 850 in South Dakota alone. Ships will not deploy on “vital” missions. The elderly will starve because federal subsidies to meals on wheels and food banks will end.
IT IS ALL GARBAGE.
“The first thing to note,” writes Reason’s Nick Gillespie, “is that the $85 billion figure that gets bandied about overstates this year’s cuts due to sequestration by about $40 billion.
“According to the Congressional Budget Office in its February 2013 report on the budget outlook, ‘Discretionary outlays will drop by $35 billion and mandatory spending will be reduced by $9 billion this year as a direct result of those procedures [sequestration]; additional reductions in outlays attributable to the cuts in 2013 funding will occur in later years.’
“You got that? When President Obama scaremongers about national parks closing and TSA lines getting longer — and when Republicans b**** [whinge] and moan about the military having to set up bake sales to buy bombers — they are already misstating basic facts. The sequester will slice $44 billion off this year’s budget, not $85 billion.”
The second thing? If nothing is done by tomorrow and the sequester “cuts” kick in, the fedgov will spend a total of $3.553 trillion in fiscal 2013. You know what? That’s actually $15 billion more than in 2012. Federal spending is going UP – again! Closely related to that, is that even if there WERE actually $85 billion being cut, the federal spending from March 1st on is STILL more than the Federal spending in 2010.
Third? At the same time as both parties are condemning each other, and the White House is whinging about how Congress isn’t playing the game, there is more and more evidence that BOTH parties are refusing to deal with each other, and insiders report that the word is down to the Democrats AND Republicans that there is to be no compromise – tomorrow is nearly here. The occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania does not WANT a solution.
Fourth? Remember that the White House originally drafted and urged passage of the sequester and urged the two-month extension in January. Ask yourself why. For months, nothing was done except to posture.
The entire thing is about as legit as that guy behind the curtain in the palace there in Oz. Once more, the American people and businesses are being lied to and taken for a ride.