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Congress’ Blunt Knife

Source: Washington Post

While everyone may be exhausted from hearing debates on the “fiscal cliff,” America still has a lot more grief ahead with the budget sequester. Congress may have found a temporary solution to the “fiscal cliff” by trying to solve the debate on tax increases, but it has put off spending cuts in order to have more time to avoid the budget sequester. A part of the Budget Act Control, the sequester was put in place during the negotiations of the debt ceiling in 2011 as a “last resort” that promised spending cuts both Democrats and Republicans would suffer from. This was considered a compromise for the debt ceiling (The Washington Post). This agreement was enacted in order to avoid a situation that Congress is currently in because if they don’t make a deal then the sequester will go into effect and 10% cuts across the board will hurt America greatly. The cuts in defense will devastate the Republicans whereas the cuts in other departments such as research and education will shock the Democrats (Forbes).

Currents events and articles on these topics have helped me to have a better understanding of what exactly is going on. In our “fiscal cliff” project, my group focused on both the tax increases and the spending cuts, but we did not understand that if a deal was not made on the spending cuts then the sequester would be put into action. We were unaware of what exactly the sequester was and what it meant for our nation. Now that solutions to tax increases have been reached at the end of 2012, Congress has until March 1st to come up with the solution to what seems to be the bigger problem of the fiscal cliff (Forbes). If they do not reach an agreement then severe budget cuts in departments such as defense and other domestic spending will devastate our nation and we will fall off the cliff even though it was temporarily prevented by the agreement on tax increases (Forbes). It is not smart to have across the board spending cuts of 10% in every department. The cuts need to be carefully negotiated. There is no doubt that there have to be cuts to lower our debt ceiling but it must be done surgically and cut where it will be least painful to our country. Making cuts evenly across the board will be like using a blunt instrument on our country to open it up and watch it bleed out in a recession.

Source: Forbes

Focusing on how current events are connecting to our government class, this story has helped me narrow my understanding of what the budget sequester is. While we were discovering the details behind the fiscal cliff, I had a lot of trouble understanding exactly what was going on. I leaned on my teammates to help further my understanding, but learning together as a class helped me push my mind to understand. This article about the budget sequester relates to our government class because while we have been discussing current events, the second part of the fiscal cliff, the budget sequester, has been brought up many times. It is a topic of hot debate and it is interesting to see everyone’s point of views on the possible decisions to be made. We see that it is time for our government to step up and lead our country out of the possible turmoil that is in our future if nothing is done, and in this government class, we are taught how to stand up and lead. We are taught how to be responsible upstanding citizens of this country and I believe that is something that directly applies to the situation that our country is currently facing with the budget sequester. It is time to stand up and be responsible leaders.

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  1. govjamieq
    February 21, 2013 at 10:45 am

    Great post. I like the picture of the graph and how it relates to your last paragraph. I like how you related the fiscal cliff project from class into your post. The only thing I have to critique would be to organize your thoughts a little better in your last paragraph. Overall, though, I think it’s good.

  2. goverikai
    February 21, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Very good post! I thought you clearly explained what the budget sequester was, which was helpful for me because I was also previously confused about what exactly that meant. Furthermore, I thought your analogy to surgery was very well put and was a great supplement to your explanation. The only thing I would suggest is to consider discussing president Obama’s role in all of this – how much influence does he have over what happens in this situation? Overall, I really enjoyed reading this post; great job!

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