All this talk about the sequester is really starting to wear on me. The opinions on the matter range everywhere from “bring it on” to “let’s burn down the gub’ment!”, and, like always, some of those opinions included actual thought behind them while others were formed simply by the first blip to penetrate their brain static. As for myself, I can’t help to look at it from a more “real world” point of view.
Have you ever tried to establish a home budget? You know, a reasonable budget that you could feasibly live within that didn’t also include the maximum credit limit of 3 different credit cards. It’s one of those responsible adult (using the ad-uhlt pronunciation) things to do that most homeowners have to do once in a while, if not constantly. Now, have you ever had to tighten up your budget due to a cut in pay, loss of job, or increase in bills? I’ll assume you said “yes” since if you are still reading this, you are most likely human. Allow me to also interject that you are now overqualified to work in both the executive and legislative branches of our federal government.
This is where the sequester ties in. The government is overextended, I don’t believe there is an argument here, it’s just simple numbers. The sequester, which the president put into place 18 months ago, was designed to be radical across-the-board cuts to federal spending. Congress fails to come up with a plan to avert it and TA-DA! Sequestration is here. What’s the problem then, you said the government was over extended? Yes I did, and thank you for asking. The problem is the “across-the-board” part. let’s look at that from the home budgeting point of view.
You are faced with a drastic pay cut which inhibits your ability to maintain your current lifestyle, what do you do? WHAT DO YOU DO?!? If you take the across-the-board approach, you would simply reduce all of your spending by the percentage of your cut. Makes since, right? Explain that to your mortgage company. Actually, the across the board in the sequestration are done by category, so you could say that you now must cut your grocery budget, travel budget, entertainment budget, bill budget, etc, based on percentage. Are you starting to see the flaws yet?
Lets say we have to cut 10% of our spending, so we look at our bills budget and 10% would equal our electric bill…CUT. Now we look at our entertainment budget and 10% equals dinner and a movie…CUT. Wait, what if our entertainment budget is about the same as our electric bill? Wouldn’t we rather have a month of electricity than entertainment spending? Won’t cutting our electricity effect our ability for entertainment also? Doesn’t matter…so says the rules of sequestration. Wouldn’t it make more sense to begin by cutting out your spending on the things that aren’t actually necessary first?
Of course, we could probably accommodate the entire cut in pay by just simply not eating…ever. This bring me to my next irritation. Chance are, if you knew you were facing a paycut, you would probably be proactive and try to figure out how you would adjust your spending to live within the new parameters before they actually take effect. I doubt very seriously, in the days leading up to it, that you would take the opportunity to travel around the country by jet to it to tell everyone you ever met face-to-face about how you were no longer going to be able to afford to eat.
The truth is, any logical person could look at what is and isn’t being cut in the government spending plan and come up with a far more reasonable outcome. Unfortunately, logic and reason has no place in the Washington Bubble of Delusion.