Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Of Course the Sequester is Going to Happen

Despite the caterwauling on the horrible impact of sequestration that those wascally Wepublicans foisted on the poor President, it is going to happen.  A friend of mine saw Paul Ryan on Meet the Press towards the end of January and immediately concluded that the Republicans were not going to be blackmailed over defense cuts.  Ryan's performance is masterful and worth taking the time to watch, he schools David Gregory. Ralph Benko predicted that the Republicans want to actually have the fight over spending when the Continuing Resolution expires on March 27.  The Republicans will have the leverage that comes from the need to continue funding the government.  When the House puts forth a budget that keeps the government running, the Democrats will be hard pressed to allow the government to shut down.  This gives the Republicans the opportunity to more permanently reduce government spending by passing a budget for the rest of the fiscal year.

Meanwhile, I know from first hand knowledge that one of the reasons the sequestration is going to hit the Department of Defense particularly hard is that Obama directed the Department of Defense to spend at last year's level of funding through the first half of this fiscal year.  As a result, when a budget cut of 10% has to be executed over half the year, it looks like a more drastic 20% cut.  I suspect, but lack the proof, that the President did this for political reasons.  First, he did so not to lose votes in places like Virginia.  Second, he got the additional benefit of making the cuts to defense appear more draconian because they must be executed over a shorter time frame.

Meanwhile, most of the country is going to yawn at the actual effects of sequestration.  There will be pockets of pain in cities with a high concentration of defense civilians, and maybe some longer lines at the airport.  I think this works to the advantage of those who want to cut spending because the over-reaction to sequestration will be seen as "crying wolf."

1 comment:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.