TAMPA, March 1, 2013 – Imagine this: You’re behind on your gas and electric bills. It’s Friday. Unless you make a payment on Monday, your utilities are going to be shut off. Your house will have no heat and your only option for light after sunset will be candles.
Now, imagine you borrow the money to pay the bills, but instead of paying them, you go out on Friday night visiting friends and handing the money out. “Don’t bother to pay it back!” you exclaim. “We’ve got plenty.”
Monday comes and you can’t pay the utility bills. Your suppliers shut off your electric and gas.
You’re either so crazy it’s stupid or so stupid it’s crazy. Probably both. That’s where the U.S. government is. Crazy stupid.
Despite hysterical warnings of economic collapse, sick children without healthcare, cats and dogs living together – you name it – as a result of sequestration, the U.S. government still plans on taking $50 billion dollars that it could use to pay some of its obligations and handing it out to other governments who supposedly need it more. Some media are frantic that it might be cut by 5 percent.
Let’s not forget that these aren’t “cuts” by any definition of the word outside the District of Columbia. A cut would mean that if you spent $1 billion on a particular program in 2012, you will spend $900 million in 2013. The sequester cuts don’t work that way.
Sequestration merely cuts planned increases in spending under D.C.’s “baseline budgeting.” In other words, if you spent $1 billion in 2012 and planned to increase that to $1.2 billion in 2013, sequestration means that you only increase it to $1.1 billion. You still spend more than the year before, just not as much more as you planned.
These are “draconian cuts” in D.C. (Delusional City).
Even if the cuts were actually cuts, it is scary to think that some people really believe that $85 billion in a $3.6 trillion budget would make a difference. For those who do, Nick Gillespie at Reason has some real estate he’d like to speak with you about.
But before you head for the bunker or put a down payment on a famous bridge, I’d like to offer some sensible alternatives to sequestration calamity. Here are three that would solve the sequestration problem with billions to spare: