I find it really interesting! The Obama White House came up with the idea of sequestration reportedly by Tresury Secretary Designate Jack Lew and with the explicit approval of President Barack Obama. But now that it looks like his idea will go into effect, President Obama is attacking it as the worst idea ever. Fascinating!
Let's look a little more closely at President Obama's idea. A couple of key things stand out.
- The first is IT IS NOT A CUT! it's just a small reduction in the projected increase in the budget. Even with the sequestration, federal spending this year will still be higher than last year just by not as much as automatically projected.
- The second is that the sequestration amounts to just a SMALL PERCENTAGE CUT in the PROJECTED INCREASE in federal spending. IT IS NOT AN ACTUAL CUT IN SPENDING.
And then there are the issues of how the sequester's "cuts" are laid out. This, too, is in a couple of parts.
- As the Obama White House designed it, 50% of the cuts are taken from defense which is less than 20% of the federal budget. That's a much bigger cut, in relative terms, than the cut to the rest of the budget. And ...
- The sequester does not specify where those cuts are to be taken. That specification is entirely up to the Executive Branch the officials of the Obama Administration.
This is what we need to keep in mind throughout the coming weeks and months. And to us all I say buena suerte.
UPDATE: Here's another view of the sequester's impact.