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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • Will sequestration happen?

  • As I’m writing this column, I don’t know if the sequestration is going to actually take effect or if there will be some kind of deal made at the last minute to once again forestall the inevitable. As of now, the president has ramped up the political rhetoric and Congress is blaming the president. So, the world is pretty much the same this week as it was last. What a shame.
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  • As I’m writing this column, I don’t know if the sequestration is going to actually take effect or if there will be some kind of deal made at the last minute to once again forestall the inevitable. As of now, the president has ramped up the political rhetoric and Congress is blaming the president. So, the world is pretty much the same this week as it was last.  What a shame.
     
    I am really having a hard time wrapping my mind around the devastation that this 2.8 percent budget cut is supposedly going to have on this country. To put the whole scenario into perspective, the sequestration will cut $85 billion out of a $3.6 trillion budget and according to the left side of the political spectrum; the results will be cataclysmic and could put all of us in peril for our very lives.
     
    Last year, our budget deficit was a little more than 1 trillion dollars.  That means we spent 1 trillion dollars more than we took in. And that was just in one year. The total cut required by the sequester over a 10 year period is supposed to be around $1.2 trillion, so the plan is to basically cut how much debt we accumulated in one year but do it over 10. It would be nice if my banker would give me a sweetheart deal like my Uncle Sam is getting.
    At every turn I hear the liberals railing on how bad these cuts are going to be and that our national security could be at stake. And then I hear that Homeland Security held a week long seminar on training for a zombie apocalypse. I am dead serious — there are some things that you just can’t make up. I would hate for the government to have to cut such an important training session.  I am really concerned about zombies attacking.
    Enough is enough people.  When are our national elected politicians going to stop playing at leadership and start truly leading?  And, when are we, as concerned citizens going to have a frank and open discussion of what exactly we expect out of our government?  Obviously some people want a whole lot more than we can afford, but isn’t that usually the case when there are no consequences?
    But the fact is that there are consequences in spending almost a third more than you bring in and then raising cain over cutting 2.8 percent. Unfortunately, the consequences are not always immediate or even obvious so we just keep sticking our head in the sand and hoping that the realities of the world will go away and leave us be.  That doesn’t work in anyone’s reality and we have to stop thinking that it does in the political world.
    Page 2 of 2 - You know, we can’t really hold our politicians to blame for this mess because they are just reacting to what their constituents demand and reward.  It’s human nature to want to get something for nothing and for many people that’s what government spending represents — getting something for nothing. As one commentator said on a program I was watching — our politicians are a reflection of who we are.
    Too many people don’t pay any income tax but yet get a refund (that’s called redistribution of wealth). So they are not really vested in the discussion about cutting government spending unless the redistribution they receive is reduced. And, even people who do pay their fair share really like some government involvement when it benefits them directly. Our problem is that we cannot agree, at any level, what the role of our government should be in our daily lives and how we should pay for it.
    That fundamental question has existed since the very beginning of our republic and there will always be competing answers.  But, never in our history have we been so dependent upon government assistance that the thought of cutting less than 3 percent of the budget results in warnings of fiscal armaggedon. If we are having this much gnashing of teeth and wailing of impending doom with a cut of less than 3 percent, can you imagine what it would be like if we actually had to make some tough decisions?
    We are going to continue this ongoing spectacle until we get to the point where we can no longer sustain our increasing hunger for more and more government programs.  And, then what are we going to do?  Where are we going to turn when we have reached the end of the road and the cliff is in front of us and the wolves of our financial decisions are behind us? 
    Mark my words, until we actually reach some kind of consensus as to how much is too much to spend, we are never going to get our financial house in order. And who will we have to blame — no one but ourselves.
    Kevin Wilson writes a weekly column for the Daily News.
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