Skyfall. It’s not just a James Bond movie, it’s the continued storyline being pushed by President Obama when it comes to the sequester he created.
And, reading news reports, you’d think the sky is about to fall in this latest manufactured crisis.
The Great Falls Tribune has been detailing the sequester concerns here in Montana.
In Montana, the cuts mean the loss of 981 defense jobs and 4,064 non-defense jobs for a total loss of 5,045 jobs, according to a state-by-state analysis of the Budget Control Act of 2011 by George Mason University in Virginia.
The military will furlough civilian employees up to 22 days for the remainder of the fiscal year. In Montana, 831 civilian defense personnel could be furloughed. That breaks down to 539 at Malmstrom Air Force Base, 286 at the Montana Air National Guard, five in Helena and one in Butte, according to the Air Force. The total potential of lost wages because of furloughs is $6.5 million, or about $7,784 per employee in the next six months. Nearly $2 million in projects at Malmstrom also have been deferred. The 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom falls under AF Global Strike Command, headquartered in Louisiana. There are other tenant units on base that fall under other AF Materiel Command.
The Trib also notes that the local police department is concerned that sequester will affect their grant money.
The Department of Justice sent an email Friday to localities receiving grant funding through its Office of Justice Programs.
Some of those grants have helped the Great Falls Police Department hire new police officers and buy new equipment.
If sequestration goes into effect Friday, the DOJ will cut more than $1.6 billion from the current fiscal year’s budget. The federal fiscal year ends Sept. 30. About $107 million will be cut from the OJP grants.
Meanwhile, KTVQ has noted the White House’ claims that education will be impacted by the sequester with a piece headlined, “White House report details sequestration impact on Montana.”
However, it appears the skyfall theme from the administration is starting to experience some fallout. Reason.com notes that the Obama Administration is warning of severe cuts to an agency that no longer exists (h/t Heritage Foundation), while Politico asks the question, “is Obama telling the truth about sequestration?
But a closer read of the detailed reports shows that some of the scariest stuff is going to happen in slow motion — if it happens at all.
Some of the most dire White House predictions are about education funding — like the deep cuts in aid for disadvantaged kids that could hurt 2,700 schools and 1.2 million students. And states could face the loss of federal special-education funding for 7,200 teachers and staff members who teach children with disabilities, according to the reports.
There’s just one thing the White House doesn’t mention: Those cuts wouldn’t actually kick in until the next school year.
KTVQ-TV is now linking to a CBS piece headlined, “Will sequestration really be that bad?”
The Montana Policy Institute’s Carl Graham is also weighing in.
I won’t go line by line because I’ve got better things to do than dissect a fictional frog, but here’s the bottom line: If the cuts will really result in fewer teachers, less spending on police and security, fewer vaccinations, increased violence against women, and all of the other catastrophic outcomes despite spending levels that are still well above even those of just a few years ago, then the administration has pretty messed up priorities.
They prefer to spend hundreds of billions of dollars subsidizing solar panels and windmills while children go hungry, untaught and unvaccinated? The President spends nearly $1 million dollars to go golfing with Tiger Woods but he’s going to put our lives in jeopardy over local police funding? It seems that they’re taking the most important, and in many cases even constitutionally valid, federal programs and making them the last priority by cutting them first. Couldn’t they at least cancel a couple of GSA Las Vegas conventions and provide a few more student loans? Oh the humanity!
Graham also shared George Will’s Washington Post column:
Batten down the hatches — the sequester will cut $85 billion from this year’s $3.6 trillion budget! Or: Head for the storm cellar — spending will be cut 2.3 percent! Or: Washington chain-saw massacre — we must scrape by on 97.7 percent of current spending! Or: Chaos is coming because the sequester will cut a sum $25 billion larger than was just shoveled out the door (supposedly, but not actually) for victims of Hurricane Sandy! Or: Heaven forfend, the sequester will cut 47 percent as much as was spent on the AIG bailout! Or: Famine, pestilence and locusts will come when the sequester causes federal spending over 10 years to plummet from $46 trillion all the way down to $44.8 trillion! Or: Grass will grow in the streets of America’s cities if the domestic agencies whose budgets have increased 17 percent under President Obama must endure a 5 percent cut!
Today, while Obama prepares a governmental power grab to combat global warming, sensible Americans, tuckered out with apocalypse fatigue, are yawning through the catastrophe du jour, the sequester. They say: Cry “Havoc!” and let slip the hamsters of sequestration.
Now that President Obama has turned against sequestration, he is suggesting that spending cuts to federal agencies must result in dire consequences. Firefighters, emergency responders, and teachers will all be cut, he claims. Media outlets have played up these sob stories, copying White House releases in their local news stories and soliciting sad testimonials from people who supposedly would be affected by these cuts.
But the question remains: Why would federal agencies cut their most vital assets instead of trimming around the edges? After all, the sequestration cuts are only 2.4 percent of federal spending.
Heritage also linked to a Reason.com piece revealing the fact that a White House report claims sequestration will affect a federal department that no longer exists.
If you want a thorough agency-by-agency rundown of the budget cuts sequestration would deliver, the Office of Management and Budget has you covered. In compliance with The Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012, the OMB sent a detailed report to Congress in September 2012. But there’s a small problem with the report: One of the cuts it warns against would affect an agency that no longer exists–and didn’t exist when the OMB sent its report to congress.
In case you missed it, Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) delivered the weekly GOP response to the President’s radio address.
Here’s an excerpt from SayAnythingBlog.com out of Minot:
For the better part of the week, President Obama has been traveling and giving interviewson the consequences of the Sequester, which is an across-the-board cut in federaldiscretionary spending.He blames Congress for the Sequester, but Bob Woodward, in his book, “The Price of Politics,” sets the record straight. Woodward says it was President Obama who proposed – and promoted – the Sequester.