Sequester exposes priorities
This Friday, the cuts will take effect. About half of the $85 billion will come from
national defense. Besides reductions to military benefits, there will
be additional reductions to airport security, border security and
military research. Furloughs are expected to be delivered to 800,000
civilian members of the Defense Department. Secretary of Defense Leon
Panetta has been preparing his work force for these furloughs and what
they would possibly look like. For now, it appears that each worker
would stay home 1 day per week without pay.
Since the Sequester cuts take effect on Friday, and there has been little
conversation yet, then it appears that this scenario is likely to take
place. So here’s the question. If there’s been little attempt to work
together, then should we assume it’s simply not important enough? In
other words, if America can really live without 800,000 man days a week,
and higher levels of security, perhaps Congress should let the deadline
pass and then we can tighten our belts. Being in dire financial straits
just may require Congress to spend money more wisely. That’s what takes
place in families and corporations.
There is no argument that we can become more efficient. It sounds like a broken
record, but in the absence of conversation, perhaps the best alternative
is ‘finance by force’.
Mark Schuster, Partner
February 24, 2013