Sequestered, Again!

Sequestered, again!

I hate big words. I usually don’t understand them, and most of the time a shorter word would work just as well.  My pet gripe of the day is the current usage of the word “sequestration.”

Political pundit Daniel Horowitz, offers a very complicated article in  refuting Ron Paul’s (and Rush Limbaugh’s) position that the pending triggered “cut” in defense spending is really no cut at all, but rather just a possible reduction in proposed spending increases. . . should the next elected Congress agree to do so.

Fact Check: Ron Paul is Wrong About Defense Spending
Sequestration imposes real cuts on the military, not just baseline cuts
During last week’s foreign policy debate, Ron Paul won accolades from the crowd when he professed that there are no real pending cuts to the military, just reductions in baseline spending.
This statement is absolutely false. Sequestration will indeed reduce military spending from ‘actual dollar amounts’ of FY 2011 spending levels over the next seven years.

You will note that he repeatedly uses the word “sequestration” to refute Congressman Paul’s statement, and to describe (and confuse) the touted expense reduction process.  Being unfamiliar with the word, as I suppose many of you are, I looked it up.

se•ques•tra•tion/noun/ sēkwi.strāSHen/

The action of taking forcible possession of something; confiscation.

Now I will admit that sounds much more like what Congress generally has in mind, but for the life of me, I can’t understand how it relates to a cut in military, or any other kind of, spending.
The issue is complicated by the type budgeting used in most government accounting, including our own local county bookkeeping.  It’s called “base-line” budgeting.  It simply means that in planning for next year’s expenses, you start from what you budgeted or spent during the current year, whichever is the greater, and add whatever increases are politically expedient.  That is why you hear all the stories of governmental spending binges during the final month of their fiscal year, because the more they spend the more they will be allocated for the upcoming year.  Try that with your own household budgeting and see where it gets you.

Texas governor and presidential aspirant, Rick Perry, was soundly ridiculed for recommending that the Federal Government practice “zero-base” budgeting.  His concept is to start each year’s departmental budget at zero, and make each department head defend the need for getting anything at all.  If the proposed expenditure cannot be justified, then it isn’t budgeted.  Simple, huh?
But the Obama administration did them one better.  They just never created a budget.  So, if there is no budget, they can’t be accused of exceeding it.

But there isn’t any money either.  So the Administration, and Congress, just keeps increasing the National Debt Limit in order to not “shut down the government,” and then goes merrily along spending everything they can borrow from China and elsewhere.  Pretty slick when you think about it, realizing that most of our grandchildren, who will be called upon to replay the Chinese loans, are not yet of voting age.

But there is another definition for the word sequester when it is used as a verb.

se•ques•ter/verb/ (s -kw s t r)

To cause to withdraw into seclusion.

Now that’s more like it.  We sequester, or lock up, juries all the time to make certain that they are not unduly influenced by the media and others while they deliberate the issues before them.  Why not sequester our President, along with several choice members of Congress, isolating them from the influences of their re-election committees and the media, until they come up with a reasonable solution to the current economic crisis they have gotten us into.

Waterboarding might be a little harsh, but certainly a diet of bread and water while in deliberation should not be out of the question!

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1 comment for “Sequestered, Again!

  1. Pingback: DH Holman

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