Last week the demagogues were out in force threatening the end to the nation if the US Government makes even the very small cuts called for in the sequester. Most appalling were government agency heads who were effectively threatening to punish the citizenry if they have their budget cut. This isn’t surprising since there are many in government who truly believe that the citizens are there to support the bureaucracy , rather than the bureaucracy are civil servants employed to serve the citizenry.
The sequester brings to the fore the problem for any meaningful reform of a system dependent on barrowing money to maintain itself. Every dollar cut from the budget or raised in taxes comes from someone’s pocket, and all those people have a voice. Well almost all, those children in the nursery who will have to pay for the barrowed money don’t have a voice, hence, they have habitually been the one’s forced to pay. All the rest form political action committees to flood the media with any argument they think might preserve their money, with no regard to truth. The one truth that matters is “Don’t cut my money!”
The factual argument that the sequester doesn’t cut the budget all, but rather only cuts the growth was countered by a piece in CNN online today that stated plainly that the government must spend more every year to counter population growth and inflation. That makes perfect sense to government employees and none at all in the private sector where doing more with less is the only way to say in business. I came from the public school system where even during the “budget cuts” of 2008- 2010, when all but he highest paid teachers got their automatic raises each year; but the teachers complained loudly when they did not get cost of living increases in addition to those raises. To those teachers, not getting a raise and a cost of living increase was unfair. To private sector employees, getting either is a reward to be appreciated. This highlights the difference in the two systems.
In the sequester, much is being made that the Department of Defense will be taking the first significant cut in years. Shame on the Nobel Peace Prize winning President for his demagoguery about how terrible it is that the US will build slightly fewer new warships if the sequester happens. It’s time to cut the defense budget, yet the Democrats who pretend to want to do so, are up in arms about the cuts.
A recent study of workers’ pay revealed that government workers make significantly more than their private sector counterparts who do the same jobs. Thus those who are paying those salaries make less than those receiving government paychecks. The most egregious pay differential is in the Department of Defense. Yes, the same DOD that is screaming that cutting their gigantic budget just a little will put US security at risk. Most amazing of all, the Republicans are willing to take this cut in defense spending. Why aren’t the Democrats jumping at this opportunity to do so?
Of course the reason why the Republicans are willing to cut DOD funding after fighting against such cuts for years and the reason the Democrats are fighting such cuts is the same. They both put potential political gain well ahead of their stated philosophical beliefs. It shows starkly that from President Obama on down, their only real value is winning.
I would hope that those running against these men and women, Republicans and Democrats, in the next election will hold up their hypocrisy. No Democrat who is demagogueing against DOD cuts deserves to win their primary. No Republican who next year says DOD money can’t be cut should be believed when they are supporting such cuts now.
This nation is acting immorally when we put this generations wants above the needs of the next generation. Both parties are guilty of saying “our core constituency should not have to feel the pain of the government living within its means” and we the voters should not expect to let someone else pay either. There is a reason the Democrats have not even passed a budget in years; they want to pretend no sacrifice is necessary. At least Ryan and the Republicans had the courage to spell out that they want people outside their core constituency to make those sacrifices. Their plan was wrong, but at least they had the nerve to write out a budget based on what they believe. To make the country fiscally solvent, we all should be expected to sacrifice. The rich will have to pay more and those 47% of us in the 0% tax bracket (that is me) should be expected to pay in as well. We will need to do more with less and accept that we can do all the good things via government that we would like to. As long as we pretend it is someone else’s job to sacrifice, we will continue to have crisis after crisis and in the end.
So, I say, let the sequester go forth. You can be sure that those with the most political voice will ensure their money is not harmed in the long run, but even a modest decrease of the debts shoved off on my unborn grandkids will be better than no decrease.