5 Sequester Facts to Know Before Committing Suicide

To hear President Barack Obama tell it, the impending $85 billion in spending cuts to the federal budget known as the sequester are the worst disaster since Seth MacFarlane hosted the Academy Awards.

But before you dive deep into depression, here are five facts that should take the sting out of the sequester.

1. The Cuts Are Tiny!

The actual cuts in fiscal year 2013 are only $44 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The rest don’t even take place until 2014 or later. Whether you use $44 billion or $85 billion we’re talking about 1 or 2 percent of total government spending.

2. Spending is Still Going Up!

Even with the sequester, the federal government is expected to spend more this year than it did last year. The government spent $3.5 trillion in 2012 and i expected to spend $3.6 trillion in 2013 (see Summary Table 1).

3. The Pentagon Won't Starve!

The largest chunk of cuts will come out of the defense budget, which has doubled over the past decade. The Pentagon will still have about $500 billion at its disposal, not counting war-related and emergency appropriations.

4. You Can't Cut Nonexistent Programs!

The White House’s Office of Management and Budget says the sequester will cut a whopping $2 million from the $20 million budget for the National Drug Intelligence Center. That sounds pretty bad - until you realize the Drug Intelligence Center closed its door in June 2012.

5. It Was All Obama's Idea!

The whole damn sequester was the Obama administration’s idea. As the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward has reported, despite Obama’s denials to the contrary, “the automatic spending cuts were initiated by the White House” as part of the deal to raise the debt limit back in August 2011.

So as members of the president’s cabinet and party rail against the draconian nature of the sequester and the unfairness of it all, it’s worth keeping in mind that these cuts are genuinely puny.

And that the president has nobody to blame but himself.

About 2 minutes.

Produced by Meredith Bragg and Nick Gillespie, who also narrates.

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  • Rich||

    "These cuts will set back medical science for a generation."

    That is one of the most beautiful examples of Obamaese I have heard recently.

  • Pro Libertate||

    No, but Obamacare very well might slow the progress of medical science. And technology. Thanks!

  • Sudden||

    Now you see. Let some small thing happen that you actually initiated back in 2011, but campaigned against as it was finally coming to fruition in 2013. Blame the GOP for it happening, and then blame all of the subsequent bad consequences of all your other shitty policies on this extremely small to the point of being nearly non-existent cut in the rate of growth of spending.

    It is idiocy in action. But politically, it's almost brilliant.

  • 34lbs||

    This is fucking idiotic... people are acting like it's fucking anarchy (not that that would be bad), read this and cringe "http:// www.huffing tonpost.com/2013/02/20/ sequester-cuts-threatening-average- americans_n_2724976.html"... (fix the spaces)

    Quoting some sense from a dude here called "Bill Corrigan"

    "There's NO way such a tiny amount of cutting can produce such Draconian results as cited in this article.

    2013 sequester cuts = $85B
    2013 Budget = $3.8T
    2013 non-discretionary (soc sec, medicare, defense) = 60% or about $2.3T
    2013 discretionary spending is about $1.5T"

    He just unleashed a shitstorm of fury on himself.. like "Since it is such a TINY amount, why not just raise taxes that TINY amount and then the poor, elderly and injured won't have to be harmed? I like that plan." I thought... taxes are going to be raised in the US.. Me dumb libertarian so confuse.

  • Terry87df||

    my friend's step-mother makes $73 every hour on the internet. She has been laid off for 7 months but last month her pay was $15173 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on this web site... http://www.snag4.com

  • Terry87df||

    my friend's step-mother makes $73 every hour on the internet. She has been laid off for 7 months but last month her pay was $15173 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on this web site... http://www.snag4.com

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    THESE CUTS DON'T HAVE TO HAPPEN.

  • wareagle||

    still curious about the 18 mil NOT cut from Drug Intel Center, since the Center itself doesn't need it.

  • ||

    I only need one:

    Obama, and his supporters and sycophants, is a lying sack of shit.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Even with the sequester, the federal government is expected to spend more this year than it did last year. The government spent $3.5 trillion in 2012 and i expected to spend $3.6 trillion in 2013 (see Summary Table 1).

    Actually, it was more than that--$3.795 trillion in FY12.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2.....ral_budget

  • Gladstone||

    the worst disaster since Seth MacFarlane hosted the Academy Awards.

    Never would have expected Nick to make that joke. Also Seth already made that joke with Kirk.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    WTF? I thought MacFarlane was pretty funny.

  • Hollywood||

    The Jacket disagrees with you.

  • Sudden||

    The Jacket is fondly pining for Billy Krystal to make it back. At least he's pretending he is so that the govt will think he is SS eligible.

  • silent v||

    It might have been a joke. The Jacket might not really think the American Electorate is History's Greatest Monster either.

  • Sevo||

    OT:
    Oyster company gets judge to disagree with the Interior Department:
    "Drakes Bay Oyster Co. gets reprieve"
    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/.....307858.php
    But it is the 9th, so there's a good chance the ruling will be overturned.

  • Libertarius||

    Bernanke loves me yes I know
    For Obummer tells me so
    State grants are what we will pluck
    Dependent on fiat bucks

    No such thing as production,
    All we need is consume
    And capitalism's freedom is what we will impugn

    No such thing as inflation,
    It's never happened yet
    All a man need produce is a sea of fiat debt

  • Sudden||

    There once was a man named Bernanke,
    Whose inverted yield curve sent economies tanking,
    When his inflated bubble went screwy,
    He initiated successive rounds of QE,
    And now those of us who build wheelbarrows are thanking.

  • Libertarius||

    The commoners at once did give thanks,
    For a man they referred as "Bernanks"
    Only a fool would own gold
    That's what they were told
    Whilst he scrapped out his fiat ink tanks

  • Sevo||

    OK, more OT:
    The sequestration is very important! It is so important it'll cause the women and children to eat the minorities and elderly in the streets! And STUFF!
    And it's so IMPORTANT (!) that the lawmakers really can't focus on anything else! Except really, really IMPORTANT STUFF!

    "Demand: disavow MacFarlane
    Lawmakers seek action after 'Boobs' song, other jokes."
    (actually it's only the boobs in the CA legislature, but still...)
    http://blog.sfgate.com/nov05el.....men-video/

  • ||

    No politician will voluntarily agree to a spending cut in their district. Only a Czar can take away the useless goodies.

  • ||

    I find myself wondering which black operation is getting the $20 million the National Drug Intelligence Center used to get?

    That's the only reason I can think of for a program that doesn't exist any more losing 10% of its funding to be a reason to be against the sequester.

  • ||

    Deficit schmeficit, we've got bigger fish to fry guys

    http://news.yahoo.com/why-debt.....19004.html

  • Jon Lester||

    If no one on either side has the courage to even stand up to corn subsidies, then there's probably little hope indeed that anyone would seriously challenge all the vested interests in our hundreds of overseas military bases, despite the strategic incongruity of their very existence.

  • jessie||

    Reason, your coverage during this debacle has been nearly useless.

  • BeevaloBill||

    The Obama Administration's hyperbole that surrounds the Sequester is epic. If government cannot find a way to deal with a reduction in the rate of growth of spending, we are beyond hope.

  • ||

    Sigh...

    I Have a Dream. That one day little white children and little black children will be able to look at a government run by people who know their [horse-like animal] from hole in the ground about economics. People who weren't trained as professional [natural fertilizer] artists but as experts in how a society works. People who can read research on a controversial topic and come to a conclusion about which side is right and which is wrong AFTER understanding the arguments on boith sides, rather than before...

    Sigh... reality sucks.

  • Will Nonya||

    There’s also that pesky little detail about whose name is on the line signing this into law. Congress shouldn’t pass bad bills to try and force "good" ones and Presidents shouldn’t sign them into law.

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