Webster’s New World Dictionary defines “sequester,” in part, as “...to remove, lay aside, separate, set off or apart, segregate...” The more I listen to the machinations of various media notables and government officials, the more convinced I am that the only things that need to be sequestered are the elected federal government types and the associated political appointees. About all that is heard is how terrible all of these budget cuts will affect the country. They make it akin to Armageddon.
All of this started well over a year ago when the White House proposed this measure to force Congress into some kind of action on the budget and President Obama noted that he would veto any measures that did not contain the kinds of cuts that the sequester had. Of course when the House of Representatives passed budgetary measures, the Senate, as they had for some years previous, refused to pass any measures of their own and move the legislation to conference for a compromise. The infamous “super committee” just confounded the process, and now all those who actually could have done something to head off the impending “disaster” run around blaming the opposition for getting us into this mess in the first place.
If one listens closely, however, it slips out that there are in truth no budget cuts, rather just a modest reduction in the rate of increase of the federal budget. The president laments the loss of firefighters, police officers, school teachers, and others necessary to the smooth running of our communities; however, to my knowledge very little of their compensation or other budget actually comes from federal monies.
The Defense Department is crying about having to lay off thousands of civilian workers and the negative effect that the impending budget will have on their overall readiness. To an extent, this may be slightly more accurate because their budget is more deeply affected than that of other federal agencies.
I am beginning to believe that as we move into the sequester process, we will be faced with what one analyst described as the biggest thing to his this country since Y2K. Think about it.