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Sequester Me With An Answer. Please...

Many no-doubt-sincere persons are Facebook-posting about their choice of "ruthless, lying villains" who are "responsible" for the Sequester "crisis" that is upon us.

Despite my overuse of those quotation marks, I'd sincerely like to join the chorus-- but despite no small amount of researching, and despite my earlier (also sincere) plea for assistance on Redroom, FB and other venues...

...I still cannot find a reasoned explanation of how an $88 billion cut (even if enacted) in a $3 trillion-plus spending plan --one which will spend $15 billion MORE than was allocated during the now-ended fiscal year (again, even with this relatively puny $88 billion "cut")...

...could in any way result in the litany of "disasters" that I am being told, ab infinitum and ad naseaum, will result.

None of these problems happened last year; with $15 billion more in the total spending-pot, why would --how could?-- so much catastrophe occur now?

It doesn't add up. At least, thus far I can't make it do so.

(chuckle) I'm asking for help with the math here, so please: let's eschew any partisan politics and/or ideological outrage (from either side of the divide). Let's see if we can engender that elusive "civil discourse" in search of an answer, okay?

-- Earl Merkel


A Faithful Reader Replies. Unhelpfully.

From Faithful Reader Bob (via Facebook): "oh earl, don't be a spoilsport. there hasn't been a decent disaster movie since titanic. people wanna worry about nothing. y2k was such a flop."

EM Response: And, even if true, that doesn't help me. (grin) Tho it IS an interesting theory to mull. Later. Whatever the outcome of the current issue.

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A Faithful Reader: "Assuming You're Serious..."

From Faithful Reader Tim (via Facebook): "Assuming you're serious, the problem seems to be these are not targeted cuts - they're across the board cuts that conservative estimates - not the individual stories you're hearing - say could result in as many as 700,000 jobs lost, and a percentage or so of GDP shaved off.

Depending upon how well the economy is doing at the time, it could slow or even push us into recession. I don't mind the idea of cutting back the government, but there's a legitimate debate about whether we should be doing it this way and whether we should be doing it at this moment."

EM Response: Admittedly, Tim, it's hard to know --ever-- if I'm being serious.

But I am, in this case.

I've been told that the "across the board cuts" you cite are limited to defense and "discretionary" spending programs; certainly, that would focus the amounts to be cut on fewer areas (with "entitlement" programs NOT included, that is).

Nonetheless --and it staggers me to say this-- $88 billion seems a mere bucket-drop, does it not? Yet I'm warned that "700,000 jobs" will be cut, meat won't be inspected, education will grind to a standstill, etc.

I'd agree that meat-ax cutting is seldom a good idea, but I also find it hard to believe that (a) ALL these dire consequences will result, and (b) there isn't $88 billion (and more) that can be removed from the government activities in the bull's-eye.

I'm willing to be convinced, but I do need facts, math, and (no offense, Tim) fewer echoed talking points.

As for pushing us into recession (or, some economic pundits say, keeping us in one), does not an increased push for "revenues" (removed from the "productive sector") provide an even more dangerous threat here?

I'm not trying to be provocative, but I do have some doubt that we're receiving an accurate assessment of the oft-stated Sequester consequences.

Don't you?