Republicans should be embracing the sequester. Yes, it
would be better for policymakers to make thoughtful trade-offs,
killing really stupid programs while protecting genuinely essential
outlays. But Congress won’t do that. And outlays have
to be cut somehow.
George Will points out the silliness of the claims of doom
and gloom being peddled by the Prez and his allies:
Even during this desultory economic
recovery, one industry thrives — the manufacture of synthetic
hysteria. It is, however, inaccurate to accuse the Hysteric in
Chief of crying “Wolf!” about spending cuts under the sequester. He
is actually crying “Hamster!”
As in: Batten down the hatches — the sequester will cut $85 billion from this year’s
$3.6 trillion budget! Or: Head for the storm
cellar — spending will be cut 2.3 percent! Or: Washington chain-saw
massacre — we must scrape by on 97.7 percent of current spending!
Or: Chaos is coming because the sequester will cut a sum
$25 billion larger than was just shoveled out the door (supposedly, but not
actually) for victims of Hurricane Sandy! Or: Heaven forfend, the
sequester will cut 47 percent as much as was spent on the AIG bailout! Or: Famine,
pestilence and locusts will come when the sequester causes federal
spending over 10 years to plummet from $46 trillion all the way
down to $44.8 trillion! Or: Grass will grow in the streets of
America’s cities if the domestic agencies whose budgets have increased 17 percent under
President Obama must endure a 5 percent cut!
It is worth noting that the same arguments apply to military
outlays, which also have raced upward over the last
decade. The Pentagon appears to be playing the same game as
the Prez. Notes Will:
The Navy’s participation in the political campaign to pressure
Congress into unraveling the sequester is crude, obvious and
shameful, and it should earn the Navy’s budget especially skeptical
scrutiny by Congress.
The Defense Department’s civilian employment has grown
17 percent since 2002. In 2012, defense spending on civilian
personnel was 21 percent higher than in 2002. And the
Truman must stay in Norfolk? This is, strictly speaking,
Spending needs to be cut across-the-board. There can be no
sacred cows when outlays continue to race upwards for virtually all
programs under both parties. If Congress can’t be trusted to
craft a better set of cuts, so be it. Viva la Sequester!