The Sequester: What is Truth?

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Air Date: February 21, 2013

Host: Jim Schneider

Guest: Bill Wilson

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Bill Wilson is the president of Americans for Limited Government. Their organization identifies, exposes and works with Congress and state legislatures to prevent the continued expansion of government.

From the beginning of the U.S. to the year 2000, we amassed a debt of about 5.5 trillion dollars. In the 8 years from 2001-2009, President Bush nearly doubled the debt and in the last 4 years under President Obama, we’ve gone from 10 trillion to 16 trillion in debt.

Back in August of 2011, Congress was debating over whether to raise the debt ceiling. President Obama asked for an additional 2.1 trillion in spending authority which created considerable opposition. The impasse was broken by a three-step plan that the president signed into law called the “sequester.” It was decided that a couple of months would be taken to work out a deal and if one couldn’t be worked out, on January 1 of 2013, there would be automatic spending cuts that would total 1.2 trillion over 10 years. (The sequester has been given a 2 month reprieve with across-the-board cuts set to begin March 1.) Half would be in defense and the other half in non-defense parts of government. Under this plan, Social Security and Medicaid were given an exemption but not Medicare for senior citizens.

According to Bill, the thought was that the cuts would seem so Draconian that the politicians would eventually agree to a deal. Unfortunately they’ve been unable to find a middle-ground position on how to deal with the out-of-control spending and the result is that the sequester is still a near future reality.

Should the sequester be allowed to take place, will the sky fall down around us? Does Congress have the courage to make the cuts necessary to get our nation’s financial balance sheet in order? Let Bill and Jim sort out the details for you when you review this edition of Crosstalk.

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