N.C. Policy Watch questions the notion of “sequestration”

From N.C. Policy Watch

If ever there was a lame and bureaucratic word that symbolizes the Washington gridlock, sequestration is it.

Seriously, who thinks up these terms? Who could possibly think that the use of such a word is the best way to convey to the American public what’s going to happen to the essential public structures and services upon which they rely if lawmakers can’t come up with a logical deficit reduction plan?

Nonetheless, that is the word that has been chosen. Under the terms of a 2011 law known as the Budget Control Act, Congress must reach a deal by the end of this year on an alternative plan to reduce the federal deficit or “sequestration” will be implemented.

Now, here’s what sequestration means in this real-world context: “Cut the hell out of.”

Absent an alternative agreement, the government will start imposing clumsy, crude, across-the-board cuts next January to defense and non-defense spending in the amount of $1 trillion over the next 10 years. Add to this the expiration of across-the-board Bush-era tax cuts that is also scheduled to take place in January of 2013 and it’s easy to understand why analysts are using the term “fiscal cliff” to describe what the economy is facing absent strong action.


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