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Sequestration budget cuts won’t be cuts at all

Posted: November 25, 2011 at 8:30 am   /   by

Houston, we have a problem. The problem is a beast called mandatory spending. Mandatory spending is spending on entitlements (welfare, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare) and interest on the debt. All of our talk so far about cutting spending is just playing on the margins. Or if you prefer—rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

America can fix this, but we’re going to have to start addressing the real problem.

From the irreplaceable Dan Mitchell:

They tell as that a sequester would mean “savage” and “draconian” budget cuts. The only “responsible” approach, we are told, is to go along with a tax increase.

This is hogwash. The automatic spending cuts are only “cuts” using Washington’s dishonest budget math. Here’s a chart showing how much spending will grow over the next 10 years, and the relatively tiny reduction in budgetary growth that will be caused if there is a sequester.

We’ve actually been down this path before. There was a small sequester back in the mid-1980s, shortly after the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings law was enacted. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth, but the sequestration helped restrain the growth of spending and helped bring about a record amount of deficit reduction in 1987.

That huge blue bar that keeps getting bigger is driven by entitlements. Defense and other discretionary programs could be eliminated entirely, and the budget would still grow due to mandatory spending.

Christopher Cook

Christopher Cook

Managing Editor at Western Free Press
Christopher Cook is a writer, editor, and political commentator. He is the president of Castleraine, Inc., a consulting firm providing a diverse array of services to corporate, public policy, and not-for-profit clients.

Ardently devoted to the cause of human freedom, he has worked at the confluence of politics, activism, and public policy for more than a decade. He co-wrote a ten-part series of video shorts on economics, and has film credits as a researcher on 11 political documentaries, including Citizens United's notorious film on Hillary Clinton that became the subject of a landmark Supreme Court decision. He is the founder of several activist endeavors, including (now a part of Western Free Press) and He is currently the managing editor of and principal contributor to
Christopher Cook

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Sequestration budget cuts won't be cuts at all