Sequestration: After All, It’s Only $85 Billion
Published: Friday, March 1, 2013
Updated: Friday, March 1, 2013 14:03
Today is the day when it all comes down to the wire. March 1, 2013. Cut the budget, or face automatic across-the-board cuts totaling $85 billion. Before we can thoroughly discuss the implications of Congress’ actions as well as their options in dealing with the budget crisis, we should first analyze how and why March 1st, 2013 officially became “doomsday.”
In 2011, amidst consistent disagreement from both sides of the aisle over a way to reduce the deficit, Congress hashed out a plan to once again raise the limit on federal borrowing. At the same time, this agreement mandated an agreed-upon date down the road when Congress would have to make a deal to comprehensively reduce the budget deficit or else face across the board cuts in all areas that economists and political pundits alike agree would harm the economy as well as national security.
I would argue that neither side deserves complete blame in this scenario. Republicans have rebuked President Obama for setting this “doomsday” date in the first place, but it should be noted that many of these same Republicans were quick to come to the table in 2011 and sign the very deal mandating a March 1st deadline in the first place because they wanted to avoid the deep military cuts that accompanied other various spending limitations.
That being said, an arguably bigger reason why neither side can be solely blamed is that neither side has yet to give in to a compromise that would allow for a deal. To protect the nation from big cuts to entitlements and other spending programs, Democrats need to agree to curb spending while still keeping some of the parts in place to push their policies. Likewise, Republicans face massive defense reductions if there is still no agreement when March 1st roles around.
Today’s deadline looms large and is very dangerous to the economic and national defense interests of America. However, the silver lining through all of this is the possibility that Republicans and Democrats come to the table and strike a bi-partisan deal not for purposes of rhetoric but for the good of the nation. What happened in 2011 is done. Today is the day to make it or break it, whether politicians on either side like it or not. For the state of the economy and our national defense, Republicans and Democrats should put ideological biases to the side and finally begin working together again, not for the right or for the left, but for the United States of America.