, Newburyport, MA

February 25, 2013

Sequester and the president

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

The last couple of days all I’ve been hearing about in the news is “sequester.” What is sequester? According to my online dictionary, “to sequester is to isolate or take away something.” For example, if I take away a piece of candy from someone and hide it. I am sequestering that person from the candy or vice versa, depending on your view of things.

Federal sequester was agreed to by the president and Congress three years ago, because they couldn’t agree on a federal budget and how they were going to pay their bills. The agreement stated that by a certain amount of time, if a budget wasn’t agreed to, the government would go into automatic sequester, causing a decrease in federal spending on federally controlled agencies and programs such as the NEA, Pentagon, DEA, FBI, Border Patrol, etc.

President Obama and his supporters would have us think that to sequester government agencies and programs would cause the ceasing of operations and mass layoffs of government agencies and turn the federal government into chaos.

In actuality, all sequester does is limit the amount of federal spending on government agencies and programs. In other words, hypothetically, if The NEA (National Education Association) wants a 10 percent increase in spending for next year, but only gets 5 percent, those and their supporters at the NEA will consider that a cut in their budget, even though they’re getting a 5 percent increase.

In January of this year the president and Congress signed a bill to temporarily forestall sequester for two months by agreeing to raising the taxes on the wealthiest Americans and balancing the federal budget by March of this year. However, two months have passed and no budget has been signed. Thus the threat of sequester is looming again.

The president is threatening mass chaos if he doesn’t get an increase in government spending and a tax increase on the wealthiest Americans again.

In my opinion I really don’t think that much will happen if the government were to be allowed to go into sequester for a few years and allow our spending to get under control.