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The Pain of 2 Pennies

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Like a breathless 13 year old girl at a One Direction concert, President Obama raced around the nation over the last week attempting to frighten Americans into opposing the modest cuts to the federal budget due through the sequester process on March 1. Never mind that the sequester was President Obama's idea. Never mind that these cuts amount to just 2 cents on every dollar of the federal budget. And, never mind that his Administration has made history, in a bad way, by running four straight trillion dollar plus deficits.


No, there was the President standing in front of "first responders" intimating that the upcoming sequester budget cuts would lead to rampant lawlessness in the streets and uncontrolled fires in every neighborhood. Then, the President's spinmeisters had the TSA declare that the sequester cuts would mean a doubling of the wait time at airport security lines. Next, Navy brass were brought out before the cameras to assert that those horrendous sequester cuts would mean that our carrier groups would have to stay in port because we would be unable to afford the cost of fuel and food to send them to the Persian Gulf. No doubt, in coming days we will be darkly warned that food inspectors will be off the job meaning all sorts of nasty items in our hamburger meat.

Let's hope the American people are finally immune to liberals using these threats and fears to stop even modest cuts from occurring to a dysfunctional federal government that spends too much and accomplishes too little.

Polls, such as Gallup, show that the American people know the government spends too much. They know the federal government is inefficient and wasteful. But, we must continue stressing a crucial fact that many of our fellow Americans have not yet considered: government overspending and the debt that piles up as a result is directly responsible for the lack of job creation and the stagnation of wages for millions of our citizens. Government overspending, and the inevitable regulations and red tape that come with it, choke off free enterprise, crowd out private sector job creation, and limit the ability of small businesses to create new products and services along with the resulting higher salaries and new jobs. This is the reason our current economic "recovery" is the slowest since the Great Depression. There's a reason our economy is growing at less than half the rate of other real economic recoveries in the 1980s and 1990s. That reason: government overspending.


Unfortunately, President Obama is demonstrating anew how he is the most ideological president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. During his State of the Union address, the President rattled off a long list of new big-spending projects which he termed “investments.” He made no mention of trying to lower the deficit, except to say, falsely, that he had already cut trillions. However, the President’s definition of “cuts” relies on creative accounting that would make Bernie Madoff blush. These so-called “cuts,” as recently profiled in a Washington Post piece, come from slowing the growth of federal programs rather than actual reduction or by simply claiming credit for projects that are already completed. For example, the Census Bureau received credit for a “cut” by not re-conducting the census in 2011. The Department of Transportation also got credit for a “cut” when it canceled projects that had never existed in the first place, and Congress got credit for not spending money to build the already-built Capitol Visitor’s Center.

House Republicans who have fought for spending cuts are now facing their moment of truth. The looming sequestration cuts, a mere two cents out of every dollar the federal government spends, are set to go into effect March 1st.

All House Republicans have to do is absolutely nothing, something Congress is usually really good at doing, thereby letting these modest spending reductions take effect.

It would seem that this moment of truth for House Republicans is not particularly difficult but already some GOPers are nervously suggesting that perhaps cutting 2 cents on the dollar from federal discretionary spending may be going too far. Every House Republican campaigned last year on the need to rein in government overspending in order to get our economy moving again. Now is the time for these elected leaders to keep their word and keep these modest cuts to a federal government that spends over $3.6 trillion a year.



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