Paul: Sequester is a 5% Cut on a 17% Increase
U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) shines a spotlight on the true impact of today’s sequester cuts:
If the sequester were to take effect, our spending would only be cut by 2.3%. Let me repeat that — these “eviscerating” cuts will leave our country with 97.7% of our current spending, cutting a mere $85 billion from this year’s $3.6 trillion budget.
The sequester barely begins to skim the surface of the problem. Since taking office, President Obama has increased federal domestic agencies’ budget by 17%. This 17% increase since 2008 will have to endure a 5% cut.
Even with the sequester, the federal government will spend more in 2013 than it did in 2012 — or more than $15 billion.
An editorial in Investor’s Business Daily spells out in greater detail just how much federal spending has grown during the Obama Administration:
…here are some examples — using the OMB’s data and projections — showing the growth in spending for various federal functions since 2008 (percentage increases are inflation-adjusted):
• Transportation: up $36.6 billion, an increase of 37.5%.
• Education: up $30.8 billion, or 25%.
• Housing assistance: up $16.4 billion, or 31.4%.
• Community and regional development: up $11 billion, or 36.5%.
• Natural resources and environment: up $9.5 billion, or 21.3%.
• Farm income stabilization: up $6.8 billion, or 39.5%.
• General government: up $5.9 billion, up 26.6%.
This doesn’t exhaust the list of nondefense discretionary spending; it leaves out energy boondoggles and the burgeoning food stamp program, among others.
Other important budget items immune from sequester are federal entitlements like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, to name just the most recognizable three.
While any budgets cuts are going to be painful, the $85 billion on the chopping block now is, to use Paul’s word, a “pittance” when one considers that for the fifth year in a row the federal budget is likely to carry a $1 trillion deficit.