Battleland

Countdown to Sequestration: Four Months to Go

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The law lets the President opt to exempt military personnel from sequester's impact. That means most other accounts will be cut by about 10% if it happens.

Gosh, we started this countdown five months ago, and darned if the nation’s “leaders” have made absolutely no progress toward dealing with the country’s fiscal mess. As you may recall, last year’s Budget Control Act set into motion this thing called sequestration.

What it means is that if the White House and Congress can’t agree by Jan. 2 (four months from today) on $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction over the coming decade – in the form of spending cuts, tax hikes, or some combination thereof – that much will be automatically cut from government spending.

Roughly half that sum – between $500 billion and $600 billion – will come from the Pentagon and other national-security accounts. If it happens, it’ll be a mess, inefficient and an indictment of leaders who can’t get the job done.

“You’ve been hearing some folks out there trying to talk about the budget and trying to scare you,” President Obama told troops at Fort Bliss in Texas on Friday. “Last year, you know, Congress pledged to find a plan to reduce the deficit, and they said if they couldn’t agree, there’d be big cuts across the board, including defense. But understand, nobody wants these cuts. That’s why Congress threatened them, to force themselves to make our decisions. Well, here’s the thing: there’s no reason those cuts should happen, because folks in Congress ought to come together and agree on a responsible plan that reduces the deficit and keeps our military strong.”

But even if sequestration takes place, it will pare defense spending back only to 2006’s level. It’s not going to be the disaster some predict.

But it has becoming increasingly clear: this problem is not going to be dealt with until after the election, if at all. If there’s a mandate one way or the other – doubtful – that could force Republicans to accept some tax increases. If not, look for a doubling in defense-spending cuts.

9 comments
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Justin Poppiti
Justin Poppiti

It's obvious that the defense budget needs to be cut...regardless of what happens. 

tea412
tea412

Why?

mtngoatjoe
mtngoatjoe

Why do we need to cut defense? Because we borrow 40% of our budget.

carlosvaldivia
carlosvaldivia

Because defense is by far the largest portion of federal discretionary spending. Oh, and we spend more on defense than the next 17 largest defense spenders combined. Most of those countries are our allies.

Bob King
Bob King

... Nobody is cutting nothing! The reason is obvious RIOTS, why do you think the Military coupled with local and state police are gearing up for RIOTS around the world? And we are naive enough to think, It Can't Happen HERE? You got to be kidding yourself. Why is nobody talking about what both parties don't want to talk about or DO? Either way come January the NEW or EXISTING Leadership will be caught UP in the ringer of SEQUESTRATION which is another word for CONSTIPATION and PROCRASTINATION. We'll see. We always do.

Gordon Adams
Gordon Adams

Defense budgets have not been cut, yet.  What Panetta and the administration did was pare out the projected real growth in the defense budget DOD previously projected.  Defense budgets today are projected to keep up with inflation, which is not yet a cut.  If sequester happens, it will be a cut, though over ten years far shallower than previous defense build-downs.

Jim Ridgway
Jim Ridgway

"""What it means is that if the White House and Congress can’t agree by

Jan. 2 (four months from today) on $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction

over the coming decade – in the form of spending cuts, tax hikes, or

some combination thereof – that much will be automatically cut from

government spending."""""

Then there will be no sequestration. Key words here are "agree by Jan 2".    Well, hell they agreed on sequestration too --- but might not implement it. So why not "agree" on budget cuts then decide not to implement that either. LOL

Read more: http://nation.time.com/2012/09...

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