The term sequester became commonly spoken beginning in 2011. Congress, with noble-seeming ideas to reduce the budget through spending cuts and increased taxes, set a standard for themselves. Either reduce the deficit by $4 trillion, or face $1 trillion in arbitrary cuts which would start in 2013. As time went the reduction never came, and in March of 2013 the first set of cuts hit.
According to whitehouse.gov, the effects of sequestration would hit all aspects of governmental support. It would cut or reduce after school programs which are used by 1.2 million children, remove in excess of four million means for elderly, eliminate teaching jobs for 30,000, and cut funding for first responders across the nation.
While these initial claims may be true, these did not effectively resonate with the vast majority of Congressional leaders. Recently though, something did catch their attention: when the military announced the cutting of 40,000 soldiers across the force. Hitting right where it hurt, Georgia lost 3,402 soldiers and Alaska lost 2,700 soldiers from their posts. As inconsequential as these numbers may appear in the grand scheme of more than 400,000 soldiers – consider the financial losses that the cities and states face in light of these cuts.
Millions of dollars that were going towards local housing markets, stores, rentals, vehicle purchases and more are being lost. Think of the value that people lose on their houses when the demand for housing drops and it becomes a buyer’s market instead of a seller’s market. Think of the industry that does not come to the region because of the lack of market strength for purchasers. The reality is that the loss of 40,000 soldiers does not just impact the service member, but also the businesses, restaurants, infrastructure, and economy of the state as a whole. It is therefore a moment of truth for Congressional leaders.
On the one hand they can continue to display the status quo – recognized through their own statistics. The 2014 Congress demonstrated the least productive Congress since 1976. In 2014 they introduced the least bills since before 1947, passed the least bills since before 1947, recorded the least votes since 1956, and spent the least amount of time in session since before 1947. So, Congress has continued to work at a level that is below standards by any stretch of the imagination. Congress’ fundamental role has been to manage the purse strings, or in other words, balance the budget. By failing to do so, they are simply letting their inaction force a budgetary reduction.
On the other hand, they can overcome their ideological differences based on party affiliation and accomplish the task that they were put into office to perform in the first place. Balance the budget. There will surely be tough decisions to make in the future and no one will walk away unscathed. Fortunately, that is what leaders do – make the tough decisions.
It is time for Congress to step up and recognize that blanket cuts affect us all, and that it is time to perform their civic responsibilities as an appointed member of Congress. To do any less would be an insult to the position, and the constituency for which they represent.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.