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2.2% ‘Cut’ Will Hurt Border Control And ‘Dignity’

From The Hill:

With 2 weeks until deadline, $85B sequester is looking inevitable

By Ian Swanson and Alexander Bolton | February 15, 2013

The question in Washington is no longer whether the automatic spending cuts known as the sequester will be implemented: It’s when and even if the spending reductions will ever be shut off.

And never mind that Obama told us in the final Presidential debate that there would be no sequester.

The $85 billion in cuts looming on March 1 would run through the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, leaving more than $900 billion in cuts for Congress and the White House to wrangle with over the next eight years.

It’s rare for any stories on the sequester to actually mention how big these so-called cuts will be. So bear that $85 billion dollar figure in mind. Meanwhile, none of the articles in the mainstream media ever mention how that the federal government is currently spending a year. Which is over $3.8 trillion dollars a year.

So all the sequester does is reduce the built-in yearly spending increases by a measly 2.2%. (85,000,000,000 divided by 3,800,000,000,000 = 0.02236842105.) We are getting all of this hysteria over a ‘cut’ of 2.2%, when there are larger spending increases than that already baked into the budget, thanks to ‘baseline budgeting.’

Pressure may intensify to pass sequester legislation in March as federal workers are furloughed and Pentagon and other government programs are cut.

There is no need to do any of this. Surely the government can get by on $3.715 trillion a year instead of $3.8 trillion.

The $85 billion in cuts would not all be implemented at once. They would be set out between March 1 and Sept. 30, when the fiscal year concludes.

That could give lawmakers time to turn a portion of them off before the end of September should political pressure for action builds…

Yes, after all of the apocalyptic changes that occur from a 2.2% reduction in the increase in spending.

And to get those fears going we have this, from the Politico:

Janet Napolitano: Sequestration could mean severe cuts to Border Patrol

By DAVID ROGERS | February 14, 2013

Automatic spending cuts due March 1 could pose a real setback for immigration reform by forcing the Border Patrol to reduce its workforce hours by the equivalent of 5,000 agents beginning in April — a nearly one-quarter reduction.

A 25% reduction because of a 2.2% spending ‘cut’?

That’s the upshot of testimony by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano before the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday. The number 5,000 is the most detailed public assessment yet by her department of the fallout from the threatened sequester…

“The plain fact of the matter is the administration has put record amounts of resources at the border. As someone who comes from the border, I can say that needs to be sustained and built upon,” Napolitano said. But the March cuts mean her department will no longer be able to maintain the level of border agents mandated by Congress, she said, and the number of detention beds maintained by immigration services would also drop below the target level.

“I can tell you that under sequester, we will lose in hours 5,000 Border Patrol agents over the next year,” the secretary said. Customs would be looking at “furloughs of 12 to 14 days for every port officer. … We’re looking at longer wait times, less security between the ports of entry.” …

The "plain fact’ is Ms. Napolitano is a liar. But she is not alone in her fear mongering.

Napolitano was one of three Cabinet secretaries called before the Senate panel by Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), who has pressed the White House to be more open about the impact of the cuts on its domestic priorities. Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter was part of the same panel, but the day belonged more to the likes of Napolitano, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan.

Representing the Office of Management and Budget, Daniel Werfel said that the best estimates now are that nondefense programs will be roughly 5 percent and defense 8 percent. But given that there are only seven months left to the fiscal year, Werfel said, the true impact will be closer to 9 percent and 13 percent, respectively…

No, the true impact will be 2.2% at most. As Obama likes to say, ‘it’s math.’ But these people will say anything to try to hold onto power.

Meanwhile, we also have this from the Washington Post:

Kerry says State Department cuts under sequester would impair vital foreign missions

By Lisa Rein | February 15, 2013

Secretary of State John F. Kerry on Thursday became the latest high-level official to caution against deep automatic spending cuts set to take effect in two weeks. In a letter to Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, he said the reductions would “seriously impair our ability to execute our vital missions of national security, diplomacy and development.”

Kerry said in the five-page letter that the sequester would mean $2.6 billion less for State Department programs, including humanitarian aid, military assistance to U.S. allies and security for the nation’s diplomats and facilities abroad. Of that, foreign assistance could be cut by $1.7 billion and State Department operations by $850 million…

You see? If we cut the budget (which already has built-in spending increases) by 2.2%, people will starve and we could have countless other Benghazis.

But there is still something even worse awaiting us.

From The Hill:

Pelosi: Congressional pay cut undermines dignity of the job

By Mike Lillis | February 14, 2013

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that she opposes a cut in congressional pay because it would diminish the dignity of lawmakers’ jobs.

"I don’t think we should do it; I think we should respect the work we do," Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol. "I think it’s necessary for us to have the dignity of the job that we have rewarded."

The comments were made in the context of the looming sequester, which would force across-the-board cuts affecting most federal offices, including Congress. With lawmakers nowhere near a deal to avert those cuts, federal agencies are bracing for ways to absorb them with minimum damage to programs and personnel…

What do they have to lose? Besides, doesn’t lying to the American people undermine their dignity even more?

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Friday, February 15th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “2.2% ‘Cut’ Will Hurt Border Control And ‘Dignity’”

  1. captstubby

    Janet Napolitano: Sequestration could mean severe cuts to Border Patrol

    with all the “welcome, no cover charge” door mats they buy will cut into her budget.

  2. yadayada

    Apparently for pelosi the biggest issue is not getting the pay raises for congress. It might effect their dignity. How about doing your job in a way that lends itself to dignify the office and the holder thereof? Oh wait……


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