Wednesday, February 13, 2013

On March 1, unless legislation is passed to stop it, the “sequestration” goes into effect after having been delayed from the original deadline of Jan. 2. The sequestration calls for reductions in spending over a 10-year period in defense ($500 billion) and non-defense ($700 billion).

Every effort toward responsible fiscal restraint has failed. President Obama and Congress — mostly the Senate — have ignored the recommendation of the Congressional Budget Office, the Bowles-Simpson plan as well as the Rivlin-Domenici Deficit Reduction Plan. Even the supercommittee set up by the Budget Control Act of 2011 failed to come up with an agreement. That failure set up the sequestration deadline for automatic cuts of between $1.2 trillion and $1.5 trillion. Now the consequences of intransigence are the sequestration’s across-the-board cuts.

Congress has failed to not only keep our spending in check, but the Senate under Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, has refused to even put a budget together for the last four years. A budget is the first step in examining where spending should go and where smart cuts can be made.

Having run a business for many years, I know that when reductions in spending are necessary, a careful analysis and plan of action can prune waste and weakness and will eventually result in a stronger organization. When forced, managers can find cuts that may hurt in the short term but strengthen the organization over the long term.

The GOP has failed to obtain spending reductions in every confrontation with Mr. Obama so far. This time, they have the leverage to carve out a spending-reduction plan that could spark smart policies. If the Democrats refuse to provide the spending cuts needed, Republicans should hold the line and let the sequestration take effect.



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