Why Can’t We Treat the Sequester Like a Family Budget?

  • Posted on: 9 December 2015
  • By: admin

Why Can’t We Treat the Sequester Like a Family Budget?

The scare tactics being promoted in Washington by all sides appear to significantly overstate the real impact of the mandated cuts to federal budgets.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the actual cuts for 2013 are lower than the $85 billion proposed, but they do rise to that level in following years.   Proposed spending currently stands at about $3.55 Trillion—a number difficult to even comprehend.

If we could treat government spending like a family budget, a family who spends $50,000 a year would have to cut between $1,000 (lower in 2013 than subsequent years) and $2,500 based on the most negative assumption.    Wouldn’t our hypothetical family likely make those cuts to areas where they had been a bit frivolous in their spending?   Perhaps Dad doesn’t need two $5 lattes every day, and Mom could shop at Walmart instead of Macy’s, but the likelihood is that cuts would not result in being severely detrimental to the family’s lifestyle.   The outcome would resemble “belt tightening” more than a major change.

I doubt that anyone would argue that there is no waste in government spending.   The best solution, it seems, would be to allow agencies to make their mandated dollar cuts where they see fit in order to reach the new budget levels AND not harm the most essential parts of their services.  

It is clear that the largest portion of the mandated cuts are to the defense budget—over 50% of the total cuts.   Still, because the defense budget is 24% of total federal outlays, it is likely that there are areas of excess and overspending which can be reduced.   Whether or not the cuts will result in harming our national defense is really unknown. 

The question is, does the government have the will to begin to fix what will be an ever-increasing deficit leading to an uncertain future?   Where is the leadership?   Where is the effort to unite the country behind common-sense solutions?    Stayed tuned!