Many on the right side of the political aisle are properly making fun of the sky-is-falling claims of the Obama administration regarding the sequester.
I believe that if we have competent managers within the executive branch (which we probably mostly do among the high-ranking career civil servants, but most certainly don’t among Obama’s direct appointees), the sequester need not have a major impact on the operations of government, possibly excepting the Department of Defense.
Of course a major question remains whether Obama will give marching orders to his henchmen to cut the most visible and popular government services and try to blame the Republicans, but that is an extremely high-stakes game which even this Chicago-thug crowd might not risk.
So, I believe that the sequester will soon be forgotten, but none of the above is the main reason I think it will be forgotten.
The main reason is that coming up in less than four weeks, March 27th to be precise, the government’s current funding will expire.
The navel-gazing and hand-wringing about what will certainly be a furious political debate, along with the pros and cons of even seriously threatening a government shutdown, will make the sequester debate seem small. In fact, it will make the sequester actually be small.
One thing that will come up regarding the sequester will be Democrat cries that the sequester fulfills any promise or responsibility they have to cut spending, and they will use the upcoming funding debate to argue for higher taxes.
Republicans will somehow, and I’m not optimistic that they have the skill to do this, make a solid case to the American people that what must be done now is neither tax hikes nor major discretionary spending cuts (though there is certainly more room to cut there as well), but rather entitlement reform.
They must make a case that is not just based on numbers and spreadsheets and terminology that would put an accountant to sleep, but a practical and moral case based on the actual impact on actual people of a gargantuan government devouring economic opportunity and our children’s futures.
In less than a month, I expect almost nobody will be talking about the sequester…