If you can identify wasteful government spending, you can responsibly target it. But if you arbitrarily cut government spending across the board, you irresponsibly create turmoil. It's like deciding someone must lose 10 pounds by a certain date, and if they don't, then they will have their right leg cut off at the knee to meet the weight loss requirement. They may weigh less, but are they better off for it now?
Although Jan 2, 2013, is when sequestration takes effect, the turmoil and uncertainty has already started. Government agencies are responsibly planning ahead for sequestration. With an automatic budget reduction coming up, they have to because all of the government functions and services we rely on will be affected.
For example, in a letter to 45 Illinois bar associations, Chief Judge James Holderman, Northern District of Illinois, is asking for feedback on his proposal to close the court every Wednesday from January through September of 2013. Sequestration will affect all 95 US District Courts in this manner. What would you do if you knew you would lose personnel and funds but keep the same, if not increasing, workload? This affects funds for paying juries, providing federal defenders, supervising offenders, and the timely prosecution and administration of criminal and civil cases.
Now apply that to getting a passport, border control, disease prevention, law enforcement, criminal investigations, disaster response and relief, consumer protection, and more. Chopping each agency off at one knee may fulfill the reduction requirement, but what good is the agency after that?
Again, this is a disaster of our legislators own making. The unwavering anti-tax stance by the House Republicans continues. The Bush tax cuts, the greatest contributor to our country's deficit, are set to expire this December and they don't want that to happen. Our legislators built the cliff and they drive the bus that's headed over it.
Enjoy the ride.