Let’s all understand the facts about sequestration, since the President seems to have forgotten how we’ve come to this. As much as the president would like to convince the American people that Republicans are to blame for the cuts in spending, the truth is, he brought this on all of us.
Setting the record straight
When we look back at when all this began, in the summer of 2011, President Obama approached the House of Representatives asking for another increase in the debt ceiling. At the time, the House was willing to have talks with the President about the increase, but informed the president that if there was an increase in the debt ceiling, there must also be spending cuts equal to the amount of the increase in the debt ceiling.
In simple terms, if the president wanted 2 trillion in debt ceiling increase, then he would have to agree to 2 trillion in spending cuts.
In a recent interview with Voxxi News, U.S. Congressman Bill Flores (R-TX), a member of the House Budget Committee, informed us that the president understood these terms and agreed to them, which ultimately became part of the Budget Control Act.
“The way it was supposed to work, is that congress and the president agreed on about $900 Billion dollars in cuts pretty easily,” said Flores, “but then it left $1.2 trillion dollars in cuts to be determined by the select committee on deficit reduction.”
Also known as the “Super Committee,” it consisted of 3 Democrats and 3 Republicans from the House, as well as 3 Democrats and 3 Republicans from the Senate. It was intended to be a bi-partisan approach to quickly find the 1.2 trillion dollars to cut, rather than going through the process of regular order, where committees do their work and produce bills to be voted on and hopefully get signed by the president.
“Unfortunately, the super committee failed,” said Flores, who truly felt they would come up with the cuts themselves. “But the Democrats wanted to have tax increases, we wanted to have spending cuts and entitlement reform, and because of the differences in vision for how you obtain the cuts, the super committee broke down,” added Flores.
The Sequester – the “nuclear option”
Prior to entering into negotiations with the President, terms were agreed to by both parties, that if an agreement was not made on which cuts to make, automatic cuts would then ensue. Since everything in Washington is a compromise, the cuts would be distributed in a way that each party felt a loss.
For example, Republicans would have to absorb about half the cuts from the Defense budget, which are “sacred to the Republicans and half the cuts would come from things that were sacred to the Democrats,” explained Flores.
The idea was, since there were such cuts looming as a consequence of failing to find cuts on their own, congress would ensure they would agree on cuts rather than be forced to cut via sequestration. As we all know, an agreement on which cuts to make never happened, and now the already agreed to terms (sequestration) will come to fruition.
“We made a deal with the president,” Flores emphasized,”that is, if you want your 2 trillion dollar debt ceiling increase, we need to have 2 trillion dollars in cuts, and we’ve got to get the federal government on a path to balance.” Sticking to the sequester, Flores believes it’s the proper thing to do, since we can’t seem to find any other way to balance the budget, adding that we’re only talking about 2.3% of a 3.7 trillion dollar budget.
While many of us think the Obama spending spree is unstoppable, Flores thinks otherwise. He provides 2 scenarios in which the train can be stopped.
“The first is that the people who finance us, like the Chinese, will one day say, we don’t feel the federal government is a trustworthy borrower anymore, and therefore, we will no longer loan money to the United States government. When that happens, the train will come to an abrupt stop,” Flores explained.
Essentially, every payment in the country would be cut somewhere around 40%. Flores continued describing the catastrophic results of losing our funding, “So if you’re getting a $ 1,000 social security check this year, that will drop to about $600 dollars. The defense budget would go from $500 Billion dollars this year, to $300 billion this year.”
According to Flores, the second option to stop the runaway train is to develop a plan to show the creditors of the federal government, that we are going to balance the budget, and do it in a reasonably short time frame. “When we do that, then our creditors can look at us and say, OK…we think this is credible, we believe you, and we will continue to loan to you while you get your fiscal house in order,” Flores stated.
It’s hard to imagine the financial dilemma we face, while president Obama continues to play politics. It’s as if he doesn’t understand what’s at stake. Unemployment rates are still high. Gas prices are shooting up again, and all his administration can do is use scare tactics and fear to mislead the American people?
What this president has done, is put America into Consumer Credit Counseling. We’ve already had our credit rating lowered once. Now, we have to hope China doesn’t shut down their funding, or we’ll truly see economic chaos, not the fabricated kind Obama keeps pushing.