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Sequestration? What Sequestration?
Posted By T. Elliot Gaiser On July 2, 2013 @ 11:34 am In Economics | Comments Disabled
President Obama claimed  that millions of Americans would suffer if Congress failed to prevent the $85 billion in automatic budget cuts known ominously as “sequestration.” But according to David Fahrenthold and Lisa Rein of The Washington Post , sequestration “has not produced what the Obama administration predicted: widespread breakdowns in crucial government services.”
One reason the predictions did not come true is because the sequestration cuts reduce the increase in federal spending by only 2.4 percent  over 10 years. As Heritage President Jim DeMint described  it, the cuts are like reducing a “Big Mac meal by 2 percent—pushing aside a couple French fries and gobbling up the rest.”
Agencies did find room for the sequestration cuts by trimming millions in non-essential spending or through saving gimmicks. For instance, according to the Post:
However, some of the cuts have weakened  the military. “At the Pentagon, officials had predicted that they would reduce training for the Army, flying time for the Air Force, and ship deployments for the Navy. They did all three,” write Fahrenthold and Rein.
While future cuts can be redirected to avoid gutting defense , the Environmental Protection Agency , Transportation Security Administration , Department of Energy , Department of Education , and National Institutes of Health  all have room to shrink.
Yet again, doomsday predictions from Washington politicians have proven mostly overblown. However, rising debt  continues to pose a real threat to economic growth. Instead of trying to preserve government largesse through overwrought warnings, President Obama should take the lead in real spending reform  to save the American dream .
Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News Blog from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org
URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2013/07/02/sequestration-what-sequestration/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://blog.heritage.org/wp-content/uploads/ObamaShipyard_120227.jpg
 claimed: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/02/08/fact-sheet-examples-how-sequester-would-impact-middle-class-families-job
 The Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/they-said-the-sequester-would-be-scary-mostly-they-were-wrong/2013/06/30/73bdbbfc-da7a-11e2-8ed8-7adf8eba6e9a_story.html
 2.4 percent: http://blog.heritage.org/2013/02/24/chart-of-the-week-sequestration-cuts-2-4-percent-out-of-total-spending/
 described: http://blog.heritage.org/2013/03/01/obama-spending-taxes-sequestration-obamanomics/
 one flight per week: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/in-oklahoma-tiny-airport-attracts-federal-money-but-few-planes/2013/02/25/914057e2-7c39-11e2-9e84-3fbb5d2ef2a9_story.html
 weakened: http://blog.heritage.org/2013/05/22/house-appropriations-plan-delivers-sequestration-cuts-and-protects-defense/
 avoid gutting defense: http://blog.heritage.org/2013/01/28/dont-gut-our-military-150-billion-in-commonsense-proposals-to-prevent-sequestration/
 Environmental Protection Agency: http://blog.heritage.org/2013/02/28/environmental-protection-agency-no-room-for-sequestration-cuts/
 Transportation Security Administration: http://blog.heritage.org/2013/02/22/tsa-no-room-for-sequestration-cuts/
 Department of Energy: http://blog.heritage.org/2013/02/28/department-of-energy-no-room-for-sequestration-cuts/
 Department of Education: http://blog.heritage.org/2013/02/25/education-no-room-for-sequestration-cuts/
 National Institutes of Health: http://blog.heritage.org/2013/02/26/national-institutes-of-health-no-room-for-sequestration-cuts/
 rising debt: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/02/how-a-high-national-debt-impacts-the-economy
 real spending reform: http://blog.heritage.org/2013/02/27/demint-on-kudlow-balanced-budget-and-sequestration/
 save the American dream: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/05/saving-the-american-dream-the-heritage-plan-to-fix-the-debt-cut-spending-and-restore-prosperity
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