Sequestration— An Unworkable Boondoggle?

April 28th, 2013 | by Morris Beschloss | Comments

Sequestration— an unworkable attempt at austerity hatched in the White House, and approved by Congress in late 2011, to keep from making hard fiscal decisions, could have instigated an aerial disaster, if left in place for the 2013 fiscal year and beyond.

In late April when the furloughing of air traffic control employees became operational, as part of the sequestration program, supposedly cutting chunks out of government spending, the Administration used air traffic control operations as a means of focusing the public’s attention on how Congress was squeezing the public’s interests for the sake of cut-backs–$55 million a year out of $3.5 trillion of annual government expenditures. With both Houses of Congress voting unanimously to revoke the ATC furloughs, and signed by the President, it was obvious that this farcical blame game between the two parties, was a hot potato, which none of the politicians wanted any part of.

Obviously, business fliers and tens of thousands of tourists, etal, were becoming increasingly annoyed by the aggravation of delays, and blaming all Washington, D.C. decision makers for this inconvenience.

My Washington contacts indicated that the greatest expressed fears by legislators and Administration officials alike were the extreme anger arising from the U.S. public in case of an air disaster taking place during the sequestration period.

During the following six months, while sequestration attempts could not be reached with Congress, the ad hoc steps being taken by the Administration to instigate cutbacks in both military and civilian sectors seemed more for show than for dough.

It’s painfully clear that the ATC cutbacks were meant by the Administration to irritate the public with Congress’s ineptitude, not taking into account that such politically motivated steps could easily backfire against the White House in times of crises.

Since the out-of-control debt-deficit crisis has been sidelined under the haze of immigration gun control, gay marriage and “right to life” debates, what seems to have conveniently been forgotten is that a redo of the out-of-date current U.S. tax system, and a frontal attack on the annual bloated entitlement balloon, is not in the cards during the current Administration.

With record tax collections of an annual $2.3 trillion lopsidedly from the top two percent, the American nation is stuck with a combination of Obamacare, Medicare, food stamps, debit cards, Social Security disability payments, etc. These comprise $1.3 trillion of the federal government’s annual outlay of $3.5 trillion. With the Defense Department’s $750 billion in second place, and a potentially explosive yield of a national debt eventually doubling in yield, and surpassing the military agencies in ongoing monetary outlays, a “crowding out” of federal expenditures by all other government agencies could occur sooner or later.

Those who have chosen to blind themselves to such federal neglect may wind up joining those that already acknowledged such government incompetence. That is identically the price that most European countries are paying now.

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