Sequester warnings continue to be broadcast by the Chicken Little administration, excuse me, the Obama administration. Now we learn that a 2 percent reduction in the growth of spending will mean 5,000 Border Patrol agents will be laid off. This is in addition to TSA layoffs already announced that are designed to bring air travel to a halt.
All this tells me is that Obama’s sequester policy is identical to his immigration policy: no priority for border security and no one can be sent home either.
Currently the president is flying about the country on his nationwide "Fear Factor Tour" in an effort to make everyday Americans as hysterical regarding the sequester as the governing class. He told a meeting of the National Governor’s Association at the White House, "At some point, we've got to do some governing. And, certainly, we can't keep careening from manufactured crisis to manufactured crisis."
To which I add a hearty “Amen.” It is time the president stopped his campaign tour (there’s a savings right there, it costs $179,750 per hour to operate Air Force One) and started acting like the man elected to the Oval Office.
Does President Obama truly believe that if he brought a proposal for $85 billion in targeted cuts, to government programs we can no longer afford, to the Republican-controlled House, that it would not pass in an instant, thereby avoiding the sequester altogether?
What’s more, finding places to cut is not that hard. According to Bloomberg news, each year taxpayers subsidize mega-banks like JPMorgan, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and Goldman Sachs to the tune of $83 billion. These banks have almost $9 trillion in assets, yet they are still getting handouts from the middle class.
Instead of punishing taxpayers by making security lines three hours long at the airport, why not end subsidies for rural airports that are used only by migrating ducks? The Washington Post writes of an airport near Ardmore, Okla., that might be used four times a month by pilots needing to go to the bathroom.
Yet the airport is kept open because Uncle Sam sends the state $150,000 each year. (In a typical example of government math, the state of Oklahoma spends $750,000 each year on maintenance and salaries to maintain the airport so it can get $150,000 from the feds, but that’s a problem the Okies will have to solve.)
This airport is one of 80 across the country with no paying customers (unless you count taxpayers) and no aircraft based at the field. Its only purpose is to flag down passing federal dollars.
Meanwhile, as one part of the federal government wastes money on vacant airports, the Navy says it does not have the money to refuel aircraft carriers. Yet the Pentagon allows senators and congressmen to use luxury military jets to fly overseas on “fact finding” junkets at no charge.
The reason the public is not alarmed by the looming sequester is that a majority has decided that the sequester is indeed a ham-handed policy, but it is the only way the political class is going to be forced to cut any spending.
The politicians in Washington were elected to lead and it’s high time they stopped threatening the people who pay their salaries and started leading the country toward sensible, effective budget cuts.
Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan. He is the founder and chairman of The Reagan Group and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Click Here Now.
© Mike Reagan