Opinion

The Sequester – Once Again a Failure to Lead

by Ed Farnarn –

Sequester. Since we are getting bombarded with the word, I decided to look it up to see what it means in the dictionary.

In its noun form, it is a general cut to government spending.

In the verb, it means to isolate or hide away. In this case I think its use is the verb and the truth is hidden away.

In order to get the Republicans to agree to avert the fiscal cliff/debt ceiling crisis two years ago, the President said he would be glad to cut expenditures…in two years. So the President came up with a deal and it was called sequestration. Well the two year period is up and the cuts will occur in two days.

Like all of the other fiscal cliffs and debt ceiling crises we have been exposed to for the past 4 years, nothing gets done until the last minute. There is no leadership, no one at the helm to bring all of the parties together and hammer out a deal.

Obama’s sequestration included cuts to the military that he figured would be revolting to Republicans and they would eventually agree to compromise with him. But the Republicans seem willing to go along with these cuts, the wars are winding down and there is less pressure on the military.

This reaction from the Republicans was unexpected to the president.  In his sequestration he had also included cuts to many social programs his base relies on…cuts he never thought he would have to make.

President Obama has taken to the road to try to drum up outrage against Republicans to pressure them to cave in on the sequestration cuts.

President Obama treats the sequester like it was created by others, as if he was the innocent bystander and had nothing to do with it… But award winning journalist Bob Woodward, blew the whistle & firmly placed paternity rights to sequestration in Obamas corner.

But in this case “sequester” hides the truth.  The truth is that these so called “cuts” are only a pinprick to the growth of government spending.

Both sides are equally guilty of protecting their pet projects and sacred cows which automatically grow fatter each year under baseline budgeting.

Senator Tom Coburn who knows better than most what the game is about, said the other day: “There’s easy ways to cut this money in ways the American people will never feel. What you hear is an outrage because nobody wants to cut spending.” Senator Coburn has documented billions in waste and fraud that could be cut from the budget…read his excellent, 2012 Wastebook. But none of this is being addressed in the “sequester.”

The CATO Institute did an exhaustive study on how we are spending 100 billion on corporate welfare.  But none of this is being touched with the “sequester” either. Here is their excellent report: Corporate Welfare in the Federal Budget.

The people and the children who will have to shoulder the burden of this out of control spending are tired of having the truth about the debt and deficit “sequestered” away by their leaders.

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Poppy Delevigne

Great web site. A lot of useful info here. I’m sending it to several friends ans also sharing in delicious. And of course, thanks on your effort! Poppy Delevigne http://endlessblue.jp/blog/2012/01/-astrocottus-matsubarae-1.html#comments

Robin C.

What is interesting about that 47% who think he is wonderful and are riding on the backs of hard working Americans, is that gravy train can run out when there is no more blood to be wrung from those working. I think they will become poorer than they ever dreamed. All of those in power in Washington should have to live as the real world does, the reality of a budget and how it works must be a foreign language to them. To cut the budget realistically would be to start with the problem, their wages, perks, insurance, retirement, anything that they now recieve which any blue collar worker does not have they should lose. They are no better than the the majority of us. And are not above the laws they create. All of those laws should affect them first. Firing them would be a good place to start.… Read more »

anna patti

It could’nt be more simply put. You hit the nail on the Mr Farnan. Thank for the “sequester” explanation..

Joe

This so-called president is a joke but I’m sick of all politicians. Their ONLY mission is their self-preservation.

Phil

Keep pounding away at your representatives what you expect of them and help them keep in mind they can be easily replaced.

BillG

Given that government agency heads are paid six figure salaries, I want to know why they cannot be told, ‘You’re getting x% less; figure out the best places to make your cuts.” Apparently, they don’t have that capability, as bills to allow this were introduced. If they can’t manage as an exes, what do they do to earn these fat salaries?

The Federal Govm’t has grown like a cancer and needs surgery, chemo and radiation. Some amputation is required as well !

PAUL KNOWLES

Mr. Obama has one glaring problem — no executive experience! He thinks flying around the country, giving more and more speeches is how you govern. He has no clue and it has never occurred to him he should sit down with the Congressional leadership, on a frequent basis, to hack out some deals. He has meet with John Bohner ONE time this entire year. If he understood how to be a President, he would actually meet with the leadership weekly if needed to get some things done. Mostly, he is just an ignorant person who happened to get elected because a lot of stupid people voted for him – and had no clue as to why they voted for him. I expect the same thing for the next 4 years — God Help Us All!

Denny Kiko

The sequester spending cuts were so small its like a 3 hour shave. The government spends more every year and a lot in the form of interest payments( crazy when interest is about 0 percent). We just spent on hurricane Sandy the amount we saved on the Sequester and Bernenke is spending about 80 bil a month buying bonds. We better pray we dont have a hick up in interest rates. We pay about 40 cents on the dollar for interest now. What will it be if interest rates go up even just a little? It would be devastating. Don’t worry the gov isn’t going to do anything with social security but they might just change the currency and that my friend would be the hair cut of a lifetime.

Denny Kiko

This spending cut in the form of a sequester is nothing more than a 3 hour shave . It probably will be unnoticeable. We spend more money every year. We just spent 50 bil on Sandy and Bernanke is spending 80 bil a month buying bonds along with all the quantitative easing a tiny spending cut is not what we should be worried about. Don’t worry the Gov is not going to cut social security that’s the last thing they would do however if we have just a hick up in interest rates it could be devastating to our economy. Think about it we borrow money from the FED at almost 0 percent if interest rates would go 3 percent we would have run away inflation. That’s when we will have the hair cut of our lives in the form of a currency change.

Martha

I looked up the word also, and then realized we were in bigger mess than I realized. We were given a video of a documentary made by Joel Gilbert, that seemed to explain a lot. Does anyone know if his work is truly factual or for
entertainment? Seeing it helped us to understand what has been happening. But I need to know if it is true before
sharing it with others. The cuts should definitely start with cutting at least in half the salaries of President on down, and definitely stop the lifetime salaries, even for the spouses. How many people set their own salary, bonuses, etc. Aren’t they supposed to be working for the people???????

Tim

Why are my heard earned tax dollars being spent on pension plans for government workers when I should be able to save those dollars for my own retirement?

Son of a Gun

yes, total lack of leadership skills on behalf of the President. Classic inexperienced and incompetent. Appears ‘old school’ discipline has died – Obama is more about the image, the house and the helicopter, and the skill ‘if you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull&hit.”

Bonnie

I’m fed up with all of Washington from Obama on down. We all know he is unethical at best and possibly criminal. I do think, though, that the real problem lies in the Senate and Congress. They do nothing but try to line their pockets with OUR money. How did Harry Reid become a millionaire? The House has the power to bring impeachment charges agains Obama but lacks the guts to do so. What are they getting out of this mess? If the Big 0 and his wife take one more vacation (and pay for their friends to go with them) on my money I’m going to lose it. I wish I could afford to go to Florida to play golf or Aspen to ski! I will be lucky to pay my taxes this year (I’m self employed). There are so many was to cut spending as have been stated… Read more »

E. Smith

The Pres has waltzed around Congress to have his way (Obamacare) and that is why I am concerned about his third term. I know, everyone tells me there are policies against a President having a third term, but I’m sure he will slither around those and lie, cheat, steal and bamboosel till it happens. This country is in deep yogert if that happens. The jerks in Washington DC are too worried about their own behinds to think of those they represent. One Nation Under God, needs to be remembered.

ANNETTE ROMAN

Sorry to be so negative but I think we’re too late with too little. Our schools have been busy dumbing-down our children for ‘generations’…..either no American history or a watered-down history and certainly no teaching on how our government works. Therefore, it looks as though Obama is using the old story of ‘how to cook a frog without him realizing what is happening’. My vote is for all those who have money, skills, businesses and recognition of the ultimate aim of big brother., to take their wherewithall and move to Canada, Panama, Brazil, etc. All those who are mesmerized with Obama and his ilk can stew in their own juices!!!
Hmmmmm…Ian Rand and the French Huguenots would understand this!

Tim Farrell

Excellent commentary and analysis. Thanks, Ed.

Donna Sprague

If the President spent as much time sitting down and working with both parties to come up with a reasonable budget for 2013, his time would be bettter spend then using taxpayer dollars to go on these road trips to try to brainwash the public into thinking the fault is all the Republicans. There is plenty of blame to go around…the Republicans as well as the Democrats have done their fair share of over spending, but it is time to curb that now. But it is time for the President and members of Congress to put their idiologies aside and do what is best for the nation and her people! I think a good start would be for the President to give up his pay for the next four years and the members of Congresss to give up their pay for the next four years…Lee Ioccoa did that when he… Read more »

Georgia {Danly}

I agree withDennis Young and Lynda.
I think they should start at the top, cutting spending.
Military with the retrieed generals, and cut salaries of the militaryat the top.
Then cut all of Wash DC {president, senate, representives, and fire 1/2 of
their office help.
Don’t send our money to our enemies
We paid into our SS amd Medicare.
Our presidents keeps saying {WE} he did not cut his income..

Joyce D.

Spending cuts, Yes; but not on what the “King of Everything” has chosen to cut. Foreign aid would have been a good beginning choice. Most of the nations receiving it hate the U.S. but they sure love our money. Then there are all the illegal aliens who are just accepted now — no problem – the taxpayer will take care of them.
The first four years of this admnistration were the beginning of the end of democracy. The next four years will be the final end. Where — oh where – are those who are supposed to be representing the taxpayers of this nation; i.e., our congressmen and senators?

DaveP326

Why drum up outrage against the Republicans? Sequestration was HIS baby. HE brought it to the table. The Republicans agreed to it, thinking maybe this time he’s serious about spending cuts. A few months back, there WAS a deal…until Obama made some last minute demands that he knew the Republicans would never agree to. Rather than go over the “fiscal cliff”, they caved. This time it’s Obama who doesn’t want sequestration, but since he thought up, his only move is to to what he does best….blame the Republicans. I don’t think anybody’s buying that this time. Even the very liberal Bob Woodward called him on it, and was told he “woult regret that”, by one of Obama’s lackeys.