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Sequestration: Do we really understand the impact?
Sequestration is a hot topic these days but does the general public really understand the impact if it takes effect which at this point appears to be a possibility. We have elected officials who have been kicking the can down the road as the phrase has been used to address issues our country has been facing for years. The current sequestration process ready to go in effect
March 1, 2013 will cause arbitrary changes in every government program currently on the books and may impact our national security based on the changes to be arbitrarily implemented.
Legislation enacting the requirements under sequestration has been in place around two years. Discussions have been held and legislation has been passed by Congress during this time but the real issue of how to control government spending has largely been ignored. This may not necessarily be the case but often the appearance of something can be as bad as the actual fact. I understand there have been tough times and issues which could not be ignored but resolving our country’s issues is the reason our elected officials in Washington were sent there. This involves not only Congress (Senate and House of Representatives) but the President.
Recent polls have identified a large percentage of the public feel government spending is out of control and is something Congress must understand and accept. The present perception being generated give the impression some members of Congress and this includes both parties have the opinion that revenue is the problem not spending. We cannot spend our way out of our fiscal difficulties. While it is hoped that sequestration will not take effect spending cuts will be required to address budget deficits.
There are many individuals who have been elected or re-elected to Congress that do get the message but they do not have enough support to get agreement between both houses of Congress. Both political parties must work together if the problems we are facing as a country today and the ones we will face in the future will ever be resolved. We have seen in other countries how inaction or the actions taken have affected them. Issues facing our country impact us as individuals and how much they impact us will clearly be seen if sequestration takes effect on March 1, 2013.
It is a fact that more revenue is needed to meet government obligations today and into the future but along with increasing revenue there needs to be a reduction in spending habits. It is time for our country and those we have elected to take the bull by the horns and come to some agreement to resolve the major issues we face as a country. I have confidence this can be done whether it is before sequestration takes effect or shortly after ensuring the sequestration process is not fully implemented. Legislation and the requirements under each will take time to have the full impact be felt.
The current sequestration process was part of an agreement two years ago hoping it would never come to the point at which it is at today but it has. Whether it was naïve of Congress to think this point in time would never surface is left to those who have elected those current in Congress to decide. Our system of government created when our country began is a great one and is one which we can express openly expressing our opinion. The impact of what happens in the coming week or shortly after will be felt come election time. Neither political party will be immune to the raft of voter opinion on how the issue of sequestration was resolved. It will not be the media opinion of the action (s) taken but voter opinion come the next election.
It has been stated that proposals have been put forth to resolve the sequestration issue but to a large extent have been ignored by the other House of Congress. Let me be clear that proposals being put forth to resolve the present crises must not be arbitrarily be pushed aside. They need to be properly evaluated on the merits they propose. Both political parties and even the President is not going to get everything they want, there must be a compromise. It is the details of the compromise and there will be one that will be forever imbedded in the minds of voters come election time.
Many private discussions are held behind the closed doors in the halls of Congress and this is sometimes necessary to get some agreement on issues rather than letting the media play one side against another. This can and does occur as it has become part of the political process. Getting our fiscal house in order will not be an easy task but having across the board cuts in all government programs is the wrong approach. Common sense regarding spending cuts and the need for increased revenue should be the approach. We all know that certain special interests can impact decisions made by Congress but special interest needs to be put aside and do the right thing for our country. Let us hope that an agreement will be in the immediate future to prevent sequestration taking effect. The present impression of Congress is that logic and common sense does not exist within the halls of Congress. Congress can dispel this impression at least for a little while by using common sense and logic to address our fiscal problems.