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Elections, Features, Politics, Top Stories

Sequester Cuts Fall Mostly on National Defense

Posted: February 22, 2013 at 3:00 am   /   by

From Heritage:

“Sequestration” is a series of automatic budget cuts totaling $1.2 trillion, including interest savings, which will go into effect soon. These cuts will impose 50 percent of reductions on defense, which represents only 17 percent of federal spending in 2013. In contrast, mandatory spending accounts for 64 percent of the budget in 2013… but receives only 15 percent of the sequestration cuts.

See the chart below.

The sequester is another one of Obama’s red herrings:

  • First, it was Obama’s idea, and now he is trying to blame others for not fixing it.
  • Second, it isn’t designed to fix anything anyway.

It is reasonable to say that there is some waste and room for trimming at the Pentagon. But it is folly for the Pentagon to take the brunt of the cuts, when the biggest waste in our government is found in non-defense discretionary spending, and when the actual existential economic threat is coming from mandatory spending.

The sequester was never designed to fix the problem. The sequester, like everything else Obama is doing now, was designed to be a land mine for the Republicans. They made the cuts unbalanced so that the Republicans would be compelled to . . .

A) seek to protect our national defense and

B) likely to decry the whole arrangement as being unfair

. . . whereupon Obama can call them obstructionists. Obama is simply spinning a series of propeller blades, hoping the GOP will walk into them. This isn’t about helping the country. This is all about 2014.


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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Sequester Cuts Fall Mostly on National Defense