Published DateTo the editor,
How does anyone understand the real impact of the "sequester"? Let's consider what the "sequester" would mean to your family budget.
If President Obama were in charge of the "sequester" for your family budget, he might tell you that you will have to cut the following: 1 1/2 meals a week, turn your thermostat down 5 degrees, cut your electricity use by 100 KwH/month, reduce driving 100 miles per week, and cut half the spending for other really important things in your life, e.g., medicine. It sounds pretty scary!
You wouldn't think it was so bad when you discovered that these cuts were all in President Obama's greatly inflated budget for your family's future spending. In that budget President Obama planned that you would add two meals a week, raise your thermostat 6 degrees, increase electricity use by 150 KwH/month, increase driving by 130 miles per week, and triple spending on other important things in your life.
President Obama's "sequester" wouldn't actually cut any of your current spending! In fact, your future spending will still increase!
The same is true with the national "sequester". While President Obama runs around screaming (figuratively), "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!", the "sequester" doesn't reduce current spending by a single dime!
Even if the "sequester" reduced the amount of money we currently spend, which it doesn't, that would only be a 2.5 percent reduction. In President Obama's economy most families have probably already been forced to make even larger spending cuts. Of course you could cut 2.5 percent of spending without eliminating food, medicine, transportation, and other essential things.
Although President Obama threatens to cut essential services, he could choose to cut less important spending. Rather than cutting services that harm middle and lower income Americans, he could cut waste, fraud, and abuse to easily cut the spending in the "sequester".
Why would President Obama cut essential services and cause widespread harm when no real cuts are required and while so many things could be cut without harming anyone? Why have 30,000 criminals already been released from jail so they can harm Americans again? Is it just to make Republicans surrender? Is it to have more money for rewarding his political supporters? Does he want to hurt middle income Americans? Since he proposed the "sequester" that he now opposes, is he just having fun manipulating the media and toying with the American people? Or, is it madness, as Bob Woodward suggests?
If the "sequester" harms any American, it is because President Obama chose to, but was not forced to, cut things that cause harm.