Fmr. Sen. Phil Gramm: Nation Survived '86 Sequester, Will Survive Again

Tuesday, 26 Feb 2013 11:09 PM

By Paul Scicchitano

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Former Sen. Phil Gramm, who authored legislation that triggered a 1986 sequester, insists that “the predicted disaster never came.”

In an op-ed that was published Tuesday by The Wall Street Journal, the former Texas senator insisted that “the nation survived then. It will now.”

The Republican said that President Obama’s “scare tactics” are simply unfounded.

“The president's response to the sequester demonstrates how out of touch he is with the real world of working families,” according to Gramm, who authored the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act that triggered the earlier sequester.

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“Even after the sequester, the federal government will spend $15 billion more than it did last year, and 30 percent more than it spent in 2007,” he said. “Government spending on nondefense discretionary programs will be 19.2 percent higher and spending on defense will be 13.8 percent higher than it was in 2007.”

He said the “anguished cries and dark predictions coming out of the white house” should not elicit sympathy — but “revulsion,” particularly since the typical American family earns less than it did before Obama took office.

“While Mr. Obama may choose to make the cuts ordered by the sequester in the most painful way possible, the best alternative — which is practiced every year to some extent — is allowing federal agencies to transfer funds among individual programs with congressional approval or by rearranging priorities as part of the March 27 resolution to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year,” he penned.

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