The PJ Tatler

Is Sequestration Really About Dismantling American Pride?

Vice President Joe Biden made news for spending more than $1 million during two nights on a recent trip to Europe. The IRS spent at least $60,000 on a stupid video. Sequestration doesn’t seem to be touching unpopular things. Word is that the Obama daughters are spending a serious amount of money on a spring break trip to the Bahamas this week. Their security is provided by the US taxpayer. This spending isn’t popular, but even with seq

Meanwhile, the US Air Force has made two moves to cut spending, both of them high profile. In Colorado Springs, the Air Force Academy has cut its Independence Day celebration. Savings: about $80,000. The heart of America’s most high tech military force will not celebrate our nation’s birthday.

The Air Force has also cut out the Thunderbirds. Starting on April Fool’s Day, the Thunderbirds’ shows are canceled. All of them. Savings: somewhere south of $10 million, as that’s the total annual cost of operating the Thunderbirds. The Thunderbirds represent the bleeding edge of what our pilots are capable of. Americans swell with pride when we see them fly. Now, they’re grounded.

NASA has reportedly canceled public outreach due to the sequester. NASA public outreach showcases one of the few things government does that is nearly universally popular. NASA accomplishes one of the few things that remains almost universally popular. Until the Obama years, it was also earth’s entrypoint into space. Now we cannot put our own astronauts in space without help, and the agency that explores space isn’t being allowed to tell the public about it, at least without going through an onerous review process first.

While all of these high profile cuts are being made, though, government is still spending our money in dubious ways.

Our foreign aid spending continues with no sign of slowing down. The US taxpayer is still, for instanced, sending $250 million and weapons to Egypt. Egypt is sliding more and more into Islamist revolution territory, yet we’re paying them 25 times the annual Thunderbird budget?

The Department of Homeland Security is still buying bullets and heavy, military-style vehicles, and isn’t answering why when Congress asks.

If the sequestration cut unpopular things, the American people would cheer. So the unpopular spending stays, while the popular spending that makes negative headlines goes.

Most Americans really aren’t buying Obama’s sequestration doomsday talk. His numbers are sliding and most know that the government just spends too much. Entitlement spending has exploded in the past few years, but that isn’t being curtailed. Through sequestration, though, Obama’s administration is taking down several symbols of American pride. I’m just spitballing here, but he did say that he wanted to “fundamentally transform” America. In order to fundamentally transform something, don’t you have to tear it down first?

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