The Politics of Fear and Sequestration

Posted on February 25, 2013. Filed under: Politics | Tags: , , , |

Sequester, sequester, sequester.

That’s all I’ve been hearing all weekend long, and frankly, I’m tired of hearing it.

Oh, and the Oscars. I know a lot of people watch them, but I could care less about Hollywood patting themselves on the back and handing out gold statues.

The media is playing the Sequester up like the world is ending, and we are about to spin off our axis and hurtle straight into the sun. They are also playing up the White House narrative that this will be the Republican’s fault if it goes through.

It doesn’t matter to them that the idea originated from the White House. It doesn’t matter that in a budget of $3.6 Trillion, the cuts only amount to 2.36%, or $85 billion.

Chart from

Chart from

The White House has released a list of things that would be cut if the Sequester goes through this Friday.

The thin red line represents the Sequestration cuts. See how small they truly are?

Of course, as any good government official does, they immediately threaten to cut everything domestic.

They never take the time to look for places they could cut from instead of threatening the easy cuts.

It’s laziness. Neither side wants to look for cuts that make sense. Instead, they want to collect their nearly $200,000 paychecks and pretend they are doing something. They won’t cut their own pay, because it will make their jobs less dignified, according to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

This administration governs through the politics of fear, or as Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan put it, “Government by Freakout“. Living in Oregon, I am well versed in living with the politics of fear. Every time the state thinks it doesn’t have enough money to cover everything, they immediately call for more revenue, implementing a sales tax (while keeping the income tax), raising the gas tax, sin taxes, and increasing fees across the board.

If they don’t get that, they threaten to cut police, fire, let murderers and rapists out of prison, and cut mental health services, instead of investigating welfare for fraud, and looking for other areas of waste.

The truth is, we are all going to have to feel some pain, in one way or another. I’m not any happier about it than anyone else, but this is what happens when the Federal government spending gets out of control.

Education in this country has been on the decline ever since the Department of Education was formed in 1979. Is education something that we need controlled on the national level? I understand the need for standardization, but standardization has been fought tooth and nail for at least the last decade. So, if we don’t need standardization, why not get rid of the whole thing and let it be handled  at the State and local level? Federal programs come in one size fits all, and one size does not, obviously, fit all.

In a bit of irony, FEMA has been a disaster, and has always been a disaster. Katrina, Sandy, Andrew, blizzards, the midwest flooding, you name the disaster, and they have been slow to react and vulnerable to fraud and waste. And we are paying for this?

The Constitution, as it was originally written, did not allow the government to tax incomes. They knew that taxation was a form of control over the people, after all, they had dealt with the taxes of King George. Once the Federal government started taxing people and sending the money back to the states, they began to manipulate the states with funding. If a state did not want to implement one program, they would be denied money for another. I really wouldn’t mind if my state taxes went up, if Federal taxes went down, because I would know my tax dollars were paying for programs where I live.

I remember back in the 1980’s, under both President’s Reagan and Bush that people were complaining about leaving so much debt for our children and grandchildren, and Clinton was the only one who tackled the problem. Now I am a middle aged adult, and we are doing the same thing. We learn nothing from history. There are those who think that in order to pay off our debt, we simply need to print more money. Ask the Weimar Republic how that worked for them.

It is the job of the government to reign in spending and waste, but they never seem inclined to do so, instead seemingly to find more ways to waste our money. The Heritage Foundation, back in 2009, found 50 examples of government waste. This was written towards the end of 2009, but the example is still valid, as a lot of this waste is still going on. In 2011, the General Accounting Office identified at least $100 billion wasted on duplicate government programs.

Instead of creating more programs, Congress needs to have an audit on government programs, and consolidate/eliminate these programs. Then the Sequestration cuts won’t scare people like the current administration is trying to do. It won’t solve the problem, but it’s a start.

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[…] Just 2 days ago, in her article ‘The Anti-Confidence Man ‘ (guess who that is?), Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal columnist, wrote: “Their whole approach is still stoke and scare—stoke resentment and scare the vulnerable…” “The White House is, as always, confident of its strategy: Scare people as much as possible and let the media take care of the rest”, she declared the week before.  Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal advises the President to “… stop sending out your cabinet secretaries to scare the American people.”  “Then the Sequestration cuts won’t scare people like the current administration is trying to do.” (“The Politics of Fear and Sequestration” ) […]

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