If sequestration, the latest buzzword in politics, sounds like a mouthful, do not be intimidated. It could really mean "mouthless" -- belt tightening measures that would literally and figuratively put less in our mouths. Now you have cause for alarm.
"Unless Congress acts by March 1st, a series of automatic cuts—called the sequester—will take effect that threaten hundreds of thousands of middle class jobs, and cut vital services for children, seniors, people with mental illness and our men and women in uniform," according to the White House's National Economic Council.
Some $1.3 million will be lost in environmental funding to ensure clean water and air quality, as well as prevent pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste. In addition,
Approximately 20,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $134.1 million in total. Army base operation funding would be cut by about $106 million and that for Air Force operations, by about $15 million.
There are more cuts that would affect children, the elderly and those with disabilities.
Our confused and confusing senators and representatives in Congress want the deficit reduced. But instead of plugging loopholes in taxes for the rich and thereby raise more revenues, they instead want to reduce expenditures for services that we should be getting.
We're barely out of recession. Many in business are still reeling from the economic crunch. Would-be investors that will provide employment and stimulate economic growth have been burnt from the effects of the recent mortgage debacle and are not doing business until they are sure that the economy will stay strong. Public spending must fill in where private investment is weak.
We've been there before.
The economic situation was worse during the term of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR). Many saw suffering during The Great Depression. The economy turned around due to FDR's spending policy, as called for by his New Deal.
"The New Deal increased U.S. GDP and resulted in a substantial decrease in U.S. unemployment, both during its initial phase (1933-37) and after FDR turned back 1937-38 Republican pressure to balance the budget (1939-41). The fiscal stimulus provided by the New Deal worked," according to Joseph Lazzaro, financial editor of Daily Finance.
Deficit spending is a double-edged sword that is uncalled for during times of boom and boon and dangerous during times lean and mean. such as that we're now in.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt must be turning in his grave as our representatives in Congress cuts our nose to spite our face. The least our esteemed politicians can do is to plug those loopholes for the rich.
|The 113th Congress - Source: hackcollege.com|
- Ariel Murphy