By Bob Jentges, North Mankato
With the commencement of sequestration federal spending for fiscal year 2013 will be limited to about $15 billion more (yes more) than last year. Put another way, so you can call it spending "cuts" if you prefer, it eliminates about 2.3 percent of $3.6 trillion in projected federal spending in the face of an approximate $17 trillion debt. Targeted "cuts" would have been preferable to automatic across the board "cuts." But that is not what the Obama administration proposed, Congress passed, and the order signed by President Obama says. Notwithstanding the order, eliminating waste, duplication and ineffective programs alone should keep spending within the sequestration goals.
If the sky does not fall as a result of the automatic across the board "cuts," or subsequent targeted "cuts" for the same grand total legislated later, more people might recognize government has been spending more than necessary. How much more would still be an open question.
On the other hand, in the unlikely event no waste, etc., was found and sequestration results in the Armageddon some are predicting, more people might recognize we are far too dependent on government spending to control our daily lives. I see either result as a convincing argument for the principles of the limited federal government set forth in the Constitution.
The January tax rate increase to avoid the fiscal cliff crisis is behind us. February's sequestration crisis is, too. Crisis fatigue may result in avoiding the end of March continuing resolution crisis. But crisis addicts, take heart; the debt ceiling crisis is around the corner, again.
In the meantime the borrow, tax and spend crowd remains in perpetual motion -- and they can multi-task.