The PJ Tatler

Sequestration Hysteria Proves that Washington Does Too Much

The Washington Post has published a chart depicting how the sequestration cuts will impact local funding for various government activities in the 50 states. Chris Cilizza calls the chart “amazing.” It is amazing, but also something else: Disheartening.

You can start here and see that each state is dependent on the federal government for millions of dollars annually in local education budgets. Or go here and see how many students in your state may lose their work-study jobs. Head Start, which has never been proven to work, job-search assistance, child care, children’s vaccines, local law enforcement, nutrition assistance for seniors, and more — it’s all listed and broken out to the dollar amount or number of people impacted, sortable state by state.

The sum total of all of it is about $22 billion this year and $85 billion overall. They’re not actual cuts, of course, but cuts in the rate of growth of spending. Not a full stop, just a tap on the brakes. Yet the president is selling the cuts as Armageddon.

Sequestration will not be Armageddon. Not even close. It may hurt, a little, but we would be wise to trade a little pain now for massive pain later.

But the fact that we’re having this heated and repeated battle over such tiny cuts shows that Washington is addicted to spending, and it’s far too involved in our daily lives. Washington has no business funding so many local initiatives. The national federal government should not be funding local teachers, cops, and job training and child care programs. All that does is create dependency, across state and local governments right down to the individual. We’re in the shape we’re in now because the federal government does too much and spends too much.

The states didn’t create the federal government so that it could turn around and blackmail them with their own money. But that’s what’s happening now with the sequestration fracas. We’re being blackmailed with money we send to a federal government that has gotten gotten out of control. Republicans should allow sequestration to happen, show that the sky hasn’t fallen, and then push for more spending cuts. The federal monster needs to be put back in its cage. If that doesn’t start happening now, it’s not likely to until we go bankrupt.