Friday, March 01, 2013
Sequestration: bring it on.
Sequestration is the greatest disaster ever to befall the world, and it is unlikely that America will ever recover from -- um, uh -- oh, forget it. The sequestration panic -- which seems largely confined to the mainstream media and the more left-leaning members of the political class -- is idiotic. The sequestration cuts -- and for a change there actually do seem to be a few cuts -- are tiny relative to the federal budget. It's very possible that even with sequestration total federal spending this year will exceed last year's.
Admittedly, the Obama regime is likely to do what it can to maximize the pain. Obama has already claimed that policemen, firemen, and school teachers will be laid off -- doubtful -- but if true an indictment of what has happened under his reign. Police, Firefighters, and school teachers are not federal employees and the federal government does not have Constitutional authority to be running and financing state and local governments.
"We" at Unforeseen Contingencies are in favor of sequestration. While it is unfortunate that sequestration does nothing about the primary federal fiscal threat -- entitlement programs -- at least a large share of the cuts come from the bloated U.S defense budget. It's hard to imagine Congress getting together to design and vote for cuts in defense spending, and I'm quite surprised and pleased that this is happening. Every person I've asked who is connected with the military can identify wasteful spending to the point of absurdity. And much of what the military is doing that isn't wasteful it has no business doing. Cut away!
More generally, there has been almost no one in government willing to engage in genuine cuts of spending -- by which I mean cuts, not reductions in the planned rate of growth, or reductions as a share of GDP, or similar nonsense. Anything which breaks this pattern is welcome. When the sequester fails to bring down the sky, perhaps a few more people in Congress will actually be emboldened to push for real and substantial cuts.
It's a slim hope and I'm skeptical, but this seems like the best chance for fiscal responsibility we've seen in a long time.