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News Blog for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited "smaller" government, free markets, lower taxes, due process of law, liberty & individual freedom. Content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for or by this "Blog" - no paid ads - no payments for articles. Fair Use Doctrine is posted & used.
Blogger/Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, March 01, 2013

Sequester and Wasteful Spending

Public Notice: Out-of-control government spending has driven our country deeper into debt. Washington has been unable or unwilling to make the necessary spending cuts our country needs.

Now, with sequestration spending cuts went into effect today, both parties are still calling foul. Some Democrats warn across the board cuts could put a fragile recovery in jeopardy. Some Republicans say the cuts to the Defense Department put the country’s security in jeopardy.

How big are the sequester spending cuts? Based on the government’s spending from last year, the sequester represents the government cutting just three cents for every dollar it spends. The sequester isn’t perfect because it cuts spending by a formula, and a formula isn’t able to respond to changing circumstances. But it’s a start because it finally cuts spending. Until Washington takes out the red pencil to make the hard choices by making specific and equal cuts to spending, the sequester should remain in place.

We all recognize fiscal responsibility isn’t about gutting the essential services the government provides. It’s about finding and cutting inefficient, unnecessary, or duplicative programs. And there is plenty of waste in Washington.

Background Info
Sequestration was not intended to be the solution to our economic problems. It was put in place to incentivize the super committee to produce a substantive, actionable, bipartisan plan to reduce our long-term deficits as part of a deal to raise the nation’s debt ceiling in August 2011. Since then, we’ve had to raise the debt ceiling again. But we are still waiting for the cuts we were promised in August 2011. The cuts have been delayed once (the cuts were supposed to take effect on January 2, 2013) by Washington, and they shouldn’t be delayed again.

Bottom Line
Ultimately, the inability to prioritize and trim back just three percent of the federal government's annual budget is why we're still in this situation. Is cutting three cents on the dollar really as difficult as Washington says it is? It shouldn't be.

Relying on automatic fixes like the sequester to seriously address budget problems is our leaders shrinking from generating real solutions. But we have to agree cuts must be made. Spending cuts are the only way to spur a sustained recovery and get the economy back on track.

Waste is waste
While the government can’t seem to find three percent of the budget to cut based on last year’s spending, we have found plenty examples of waste in many government programs. These programs, funded through the taxes of hardworking Americans, are further instances of government overspending and inefficiency.

Here are a few examples:
While the Immigration and Customs Enforcement has recently released hundreds of people held in detention, allegedly because of the upcoming sequester spending cuts, the Border Patrol has wasted millions. Since 2008, the Border Patrol has wasted over $69 million, according to an independent Inspector General report released in March of last year.Where was there waste? One example is the agency bought more steel than was needed to build physical barriers along the border so it wasted millions in additional costs to store the steel in storage facilities.Amtrak, the government’s subsidized rail line, has wasted over $800 million on food and beverages over the last decade “largely because of waste, employee theft and lack of proper oversight.”

Waste and fraud in the healthcare system? Well, it’s true. The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced charges in 2012 for healthcare fraud that cost the federal government $450 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. In this instance, 107 people around the country were charged for their efforts to defraud Medicare, wasting millions of government funds in fraudulent payments.

These are only a few examples of waste in the federal government, waste that needs to be cut, because the reality is we have to cut spending. Americans know this. But up until now, Washington has been unwilling to make these necessary cuts.

Tags: public notice, sequester, government, wasteful spending To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 7:05 PM - Post Link


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