Mainstream Media Goes Tilt Over Sequester: Budget Cuts Would Mean End of America

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The lamestream media is going full-tilt over $44 billion in cuts to budget outlays, blaming “Washington” or the “GOP” for failing to spend more compromise. Again, the “sequester” was President Obama’s idea.

The $44 billion that is actually at stake in the March 1st deadline is about what the government spends in money it doesn’t have every 11 days. It’s less than half of a percent of the Obama average yearly deficit of $1.3 trillion. It’s a speck of dust compared to government spending of $3.6 trillion.

This is Speaker Boehner’s retort to the media’s “finger-pointing” at Washington or the Republican Party for the looming budget cuts:

Republicans passed a bill with smarter spending cuts (twice), but the president’s Senate hasn’t passed it (or any other replacement bill). Senate Democrats haven’t passed a budget in four years either. The House voted to replace the president’s sequester in May 2012 and again last December. Each bill targeted waste and fraud, and would help put us on a path to balance the budget in 10 years.

Government spending is the problem. No one should be talking about raising taxes when the FAA spends $500 million a year on consultants; the EPA has sent more than $100 million in grants to foreign countries; the IRS has a $4 million-a-year TV studio; and more.

The Republican Party, naively, thought that giving the president his tax increases in the fiscal cliff deal would both taint his image with his cult-like followers and give the GOP leverage in the sequester negotiations. Except that the very next day after raising $600 billion in tax “revenue,” while making virtually no spending cuts, the Democrats were asking for $1 trillion more in tax increases.

The payroll taxes that went into effect after the fiscal cliff deal dismayed taxpayers across the country. And President Obama’s popularity actually went up.

So why should Democrats compromise at all if the Republican Party always caves in the end? If the American people are going to hate you no matter what you do, might as well try the right thing for a change. You never know, some people might actually support it.

The major objection by the Republican Party to the sequester has been defense cuts. But Byron York of the Examiner points out that the defense budget will grow regardless of the “sequester”:

The major objection most Republicans have to the coming sequestration budget cuts is that the cuts will fall disproportionately on the Department of Defense.  That’s true; defense spending is about one-fifth of the federal budget but will take about half of the sequester cuts.

But even for the Pentagon, the cuts are only to the rate of growth for the defense budget in coming years.  They are not actual cuts that make spending decline.

All this doomsaying about not spending what amounts to be a pittance of the national debt of $16 trillion completely lacks perspective. The largest budget cuts in the last eighty years by percentage came after World War II, when the U.S. slashed spending three years in a row. The biggest cut was a whopping 40% slash in 1946.

FactCheck has the basic point:

…there was a sharp decline in spending after World War II. Beginning in 1946, Congress cut spending for three straight fiscal years. The biggest drop occurred in 1946, when spending dropped by $37.5 billion or about 40 percent (from $92.7 billion to $55.2 billion). That $37.5 billion would be worth $425.4 billion in today’s dollars — making it the largest cut in adjusted dollars.

So what happened? Mobs of zombies roaming the street? Dogs and cats sleeping together? Mass hysteria? Not quite. What resulted is what has been referred to as the “post-war boom.”

Now, the world is globalizing and becoming more capitalist, which has alleviated poverty according to the UN’s own Millenium Challenge reports. Except the U.S. is apparently doing everything possible to restrain responsible growth (i.e., not allowing the “creative destruction” of the market to work).

While nations are fleeing central planning, the U.S. government is embracing the model as some kind of brand new thing that will bring “hope and change.” Except that authoritarian economy is actually older than dirt, and it doesn’t work.

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