While it seems as if it was a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, actually the first big “debt” (which really means overspending) crisis between the current administration (this of course means I’m leaving the “stimulus” spending out of the discussion) and anybody who entertained any ideas of “gasp” reducing spending was about three years ago. I remember when the showdown between the Whitehouse and the House of Representatives was going on over raising the amount of spendin…, I mean debt ceiling. At that time a local political talk radio show was debating this issue, and I went on and said, “Hey, let’s not give in here and just let it hit the wall.” Well, you can imagine how that was greeted, they treated me politely, but it was clear they didn’t think that was a good idea at all.
Fast forward to present day, and here we are again arguing about another spendin…, ahem, debt crisis that was, and is, completely and totally manufactured by the federal government (I forget; is this episode VI, or a prequel?). So let’s see, according to most of the liberal media, the world is about to be destroyed by an evil death sta…, sorry, because of all the fiction involved, I keep mixing our latest political brouhaha up with a movie. Anyway, here we are again being threatened by another life-destroying shut down of the federal government.
I do have a lot of questions about the coming “sequester” (you know, if we’ve been arguing about this stuff so long that we now have to call it sequester, instead of debt or overspending, perhaps that alone should tell us we need to face this issue and solve it). First of all, since this isn’t even really a government shutdown, have we reached the point where even talking about a real government shutdown is more than we can handle? Are we so hooked on our intrusive federal government that we can no longer even conceive of doing without parts of it for even a few days?
Frankly, I’m a little curious why the people on the right who claim to be conservatives are so concerned about the sequestration. Granted, I also didn’t like this concept when it appeared that the military was going to be the main target of the cuts. I still think the military will be in the center of the bulls eye, and shouldn’t be, but as it turns out the supposed draconian cuts imposed by the sequestration aren’t going to be all they were cracked up to be. Apparently in percentage of actual federal (over) spending, the budget death star known as “The Sequester” will pretty much be a “failure to launch” when the switch is thrown.
On the other hand, if the administration makes sure reductions in spending are implemented in places where they result in the worst possible result, then we will notice the cuts. For example, let’s say that The Barack makes sure the budget for the FAA is cut ten percent, and on top of that, and this is how they (the left) are playing it right now, they take that ten percent cut out of the actual air traffic controllers. That probably would be noticeable. Personally, there are a lot of government agencies that could be cut to the bone, or even entirely eliminated (cough, Department of Education, cough cough, Department of Energy) before anybody anywhere would notice a negative effect. In fact, I firmly believe there are bureaucracies that could be totally eliminated (probably a majority of them in fact) and the result to the economy be positive. I know I could learn to live without Janet Napolitano’s private storm troopers (AKA Homeland Security). And by the way, for the people who think Homeland Security is necessary for, well, homeland security, 911 didn’t happen because we didn’t have enough government bureaucracies, it happened because the people who were supposed to prevent that kind of thing were protecting their bureaucratic turf and not talking to, or cooperating with, each other. Adding another layer of (expensive) government bureaucrats isn’t how to fix the problem of too much bureaucracy. It is however, a great way to waste a lot of money.
Anyway, getting back to the air traffic controllers. Who out there thinks the only possible way to eliminate ten percent of the budget for air traffic control is to lay off the people who are actually talking to pilots? Surely there are a few extra bureaucrats laying around the FAA offices somewhere who would be missed a whole lot less. In fact, why don’t we ask the controllers themselves if they (and remember, these are the guys who are producing the actual “product” of the air traffic control portion of the FAA) can come up with a plan to reduce the bureaucracy over them by twenty percent, and increase their (the controllers) safety/efficiency at the same time? Naturally, their reward for this would be an increase in pay. Of course considering all the bureaucrats these people have to deal with, they may offer to do it for free.
Personally, and this will probably be an unpopular opinion this time around too, I think we should go ahead and “hit the wall”. At the rate we are going, we are going to have a spending/debt crisis at some point. Just as it would have been better to finally hash this out two or three years ago, as bad as it may seem to do it now, the longer we wait, the worse it’s going to be.
Additionally, I think going ahead and letting the death star fir…, I mean the sequester happen, has a good chance of showing the American public that a little bit of government reduction has few, if any bad, side effects. Of course this is going to depend on how those cuts are handled. It’s very likely that the Obama administration will make sure to focus cuts on the most important people in the government (few as they may be), instead of the useless drones at say the Department of Energy, Department of Education, Transportation Safety Authority, and so on.
However; I have to wonder, if the Obama administration does as expected, if that might come with a strong public backlash. While making sure expensive and unnecessary entitlement programs and useless bureaucrats keep their funding at the expense of (the few) actually necessary government functions may sit well with Obama’s radical base, I have to wonder how the producing, taxpaying members of our citizenry are going to take it.
The Barack is spending a lot of time and effort right now trying to settle all of the blame for the sequester and cutting government services squarely on the shoulders of the right. How about instead, the right stands firm, holds to principles, and takes credit for cutting unnecessary government spending instead?