The Great Sequester

Republican ElephantSince I was in first grade, I have been familiar with the terms “lamb” and “lion” referring to the month of March with the respect to the weather—it typically rolls in like a lion (a little more winter snow) and rolls out like a lamb (the coming of spring).  It would appear as though March 1st, 2013 is going to roll in like a lion of a very different kind.

Two major events are going to happen.  One is the first Papal resignation in six-hundred years will take effect as Benedict XVI call it quits and an unusual interregnum and Pope selection with the Benedict still living.  The College of Cardinals is not 100% sure how they will handle it.  The other thing which is the purpose of this blog is The Great Sequester; unless Congress and the President work something out, the draconian spending cuts, the second half of that fiscal cliff we averted on January 4th with an eleventh hour deal in Washington, will go into effect.

Congress went on vacation with no deal and the President is in Hawaii playing golf.  Looks like it is going to happen.  This morning (02/17/2013) on the CBS News show Face the Nation hosted by Bob Schieffer, Schieffer himself is convinced it is going to happen.  One of his guests from Mississippi was former Governor Haley Barbour (R) who was very adamant that although he would prefer to see The Great Sequester aborted, the Obama Democrats just want another excuse to raise taxes; and this is why Speaker Boehner cannot work with President Obama. OK, fair enough, the inability for politicians of different parties and ideologies to get along will ultimately be the spark will allow the sequester to happen.  But how bad is it really?

Keep in mind two things; first of all gridlock is supposed to the norm; constitutionally speaking, or Founding Fathers intended the Federal Government to be a very passive governing body.  Second, and extremely important, our Founding Fathers stood for what we now refer to as the concept of Limited Government.  The failure of the Articles of Confederation and Hamilton and Madison writing The Federalist Papers that ultimately led to our current Constitution made it clear to every generation of American from 1789 to the present that limited is small, but still a quantity greater than zero.

It is as clear as a freshly washed window that the budget cannot be balanced on the backs of taxpayers; all taxpayers in all classes—even the wealthy need to retain the wherewithal to create jobs if the American economy is going to flourish. With the exception of cuts to the military, and we do need a strong defense in Post-9-11 America with looming threats from Iran, Syria, and North Korea, it seems as though the best thing America can do is to press its proverbial reset button.  Kudos to the pundits on both sides who pointed out the negative side effects to the sequester including recession, but would you rather face it now or face it with a far more devastating thump when the American economy becomes insolvent beyond reconciliation?  The results will be to some extent tragic!  But tragedy is the only thing I can think up that can bring the two parties together.  9-11 brought Americans of all races and ethnicity together proudly displaying American flags and yellow ribbons.  More recently, the quaint town of Newton, Connecticut, where the horrific Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting took place brought a sense of community to big cities, suburbs, and small towns together in a way that had not been seen since prior to the John Dewey humanistic revolution of the 1920s; strengthening secularity and dampening spirituality.  The recent meteor hitting the ground in Russia leads us to believe that if a large meteor or other heavy materials from outer space hit land in America, partisan politics as we know it would come to an end and both parties would unite on how to rebuild this nation.  The tragedy of the sequester is tragic enough to bring people together from Washington to Wall Street to Main Street to Morning Glory Circle.  I am not thrilled with it, but it is what the doctor ordered; that elixir that tastes awful but works.

America’s best option is to get out of the way of The Great Sequester and then rebuild after it happens, understanding that most Americans do not have another spare penny to higher taxes and the ultimate realization that you cannot bring everything back and achieve formidable results.  This will bring both sides on board to sensible spending cuts where all will decide what is really important in terms of government services and entitlements and let the rest go.  As I have preached in past blogs, America is at the witching hour and limited government is a Hobson’s Choice.  Let’s not go the way of Greece, let’s face it head on!



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