Tuesday/ The Sequester is coming

As the year 2013 careens toward March 1st, the US Congress’s latest self-induced budget/spending/deficit/call-it-what-you-will crisis (oh, it’s called ‘The Sequester’)  is about to kick in.   What is it?  It is $85 billion of spending cuts across the board.  So everything gets hit proportionally :  teachers and schools, work-study jobs, kids in Head Start, the military, law enforcement, child care assistance, vaccines for children, public health programs, nutrition assistance for seniors, the STOP Violence Against Women Program, clean air and water programs.    It’s a very dumb way to cut spending – but the United States of America has to find a way to start spending less money and at the same time get more money into Uncle Sam’s coffers through tax reforms.

Some perspective around that $85 billion amount of money.  I found this mouth-watering pie chart (or stomach-churning, looking at the numbers?) on the Investors Business Daily website. The artist is Michael Ramirez.  P.S. The pies are actually not comparing the same numbers.  Did the cartoonist know that in 2007 – with his comment in parentheses that the Republicans controlled Congress – President Bush’s two $1 trillion wars were still funded ‘off the books’, outside of the official budget?  Pres. Obama insisted in 2009 that ALL military spending be brought into the budget.  Hence the apparent percentage difference in the deficits shown in the two pies.

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