The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of Sequestration

The Politics of Sequestration

Americans are bracing themselves for the impact of  impending government spending cuts, also known as the sequester.  The $85 Billion cuts are set to begin on March 1, barring congressional action to avert them.  According to Linda Feldman in an article for The Christian Science Monitor, the old saying about fearing what you don’t understand is rather poignant.  The article cites a poll which found that only 36 percent of voters actually know what the sequester is, another 38 percent said they knew but then picked the wrong answer.  Though disappointing, this lack of clarity is understandable. Since this whole fiasco began we have seen a concerted effort on the part of power players in Washington to shift blame.  Perhaps one of the more well-known if not effective strategies has been the roll-out of the phonetically awkward phrase “Obamaquester.”  Feldman attempts to explain the origins of the  sequester plan (The 2011 Budget Control Act) as well as determine which side of the aisle is to blame, spoiler alert… both sides. [CSM]

The “Average Joes” out there aren’t alone in their confusion.  Conservative political commentator Byron York questions whether or not the GOP leadership can formulate a coherent stance on the sequester.  York is admittedly perplexed by the Speaker of the House’s insistence that the sequester represents a threat to our national security but still seems to, at least tacitly, support them. [WE]

Though uniformed personnel are not subject to unpaid leave,  the Defense Department officially notified 800,000 civilian employees of likely furloughs beginning March 1.  The Pentagon is facing $46 Billion in budget cuts resulting from the sequester.  With no solution in sight, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was compelled by law to warn Congress of possible furloughs. [WP]

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