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Blog: Sequestration Update

Mar 06, 2013 | By Marge Clark, BVM

Sequestration has gone into effect! It is a reality. What does it mean, and why did it become necessary?

The simple answer to the last question is that in August 2011 a deal was made, allowing the federal government to borrow money to continue paying the bills it had already accrued.  The Budget Control Act (BCA) was put into place. It did two BIG things:

  • Set spending caps for discretionary spending area for ten years
  • Required Congress to find ways to save an additional $2.5 trillion over the same period. If it didn’t, there would be dire consequences – known as “sequestration.” Funds would be sequestered from (almost) all spending areas, across the board, with no attention to what is most necessary, what preserves life and dignity of persons. 

Congress did not do the job so the dire consequences are with us.  Most of us have yet to feel them, but that will come.

But, how did we get to the point of needing to make such cuts?  A better, more interesting explanation than what I would give is found here. Take a look. Think about and evaluate what you hear on the news, or see in papers. Is it true, what some members of Congress say, that we spend too much on non-defense programs, which help people? The non-defense discretionary spending has gone from a mere 16% of the federal budget to an even smaller 14% over the last five years.

At NETWORK, we keep saying:

  • We need increased revenues.
  • We need to protect those at the margins.
  • We need to reduce out-of-control spending by the Pentagon, remembering that 41% of all weapons spending in the world is by the United States.

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