by Karen Kwiatkowski: The
Time for Predictions Is Over
government is now faced with a small reduction in its rate of growth
over the next ten years. The "sequester" is nothing more
than $880 billion dollars in "on paper" reductions from
projected spending in the next decade. As Forbes Magazine recently
pointed out, the sequester deal put forth by Obama and accepted
by the Republican majority in the House is actually a $110 Billion
Silly us. We
complain that the Republicans donít work with the Democrats, and
the President never compromises. Pay no attention to the whines
and moans coming from Congressmen, Senators, Presidents and bureaucrats
in Washington, D.C. These fat cats are smiling, chubby and Cheshire-style.
I had breakfast
yesterday with several retired military people, like myself. Between
the three of us, we came up with a handful of spending cuts the
military could take right now that would save hundreds of millions
of dollars, and we never even got to the antiquated weapons system
lines, the unnecessary overseas bases, or the troubled and "too
big to fail" F-35 fighter aircraft. By the way, the F-35 multi-role
fighter aircraft is seven years behind schedule, 70% over budget,
and is already the most expensive weapons system in US history.
But what are
we hearing from Washington? Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, coming
fresh from the bloated CIA where he expanded the mission there,
said that the sequester will make us "less safe," "badly
damage our national defense" and "undermine the people
in the military."
I spent 20
years in the military, working communications, acquisition and military
political affairs. I can unequivocally say that Leon Panetta is
either a bald-faced liar and an idiot. Take your choice.
Let me explain
my assumptions here. First, I am assuming that Leon Panetta actually
cares about this countryís defense, and he actually cares about
the people in the military Ė and will determine what programs to
grow less fast wisely. Iím also assuming that Mr. Panetta knows
something about managing large organizations, and he knows which
unproductive and antiquated programs deserve a slower rate of growth
in the next decade.
Not that there
is any real cutting going on. Government grows, and the Pentagon
grows, largely unimpeded. Money the government spends is money that
has been extracted by force from the private sector or borrowed
without our permission from foreign speculators and from our unsuspecting
children and grandchildren.
spending is always at the expense of something else. Government
created and administered jobs are 30-40% more expensive than private
sector jobs Ė higher pay and benefits, and a higher overhead and
So what is
sequester hysteria really about? Well, itís a lot like pregnancy
hysteria. No real pregnancy exists. But an overpowering hope for
pregnancy in some cases results in actual symptoms.
and treatment is available for the victims of hysterical pregnancy,
we have no such options to deal with victims of hysterical sequesterism.
we need to stand firm as our Congressman and our Senators cry and
moan about the "senseless cuts." We need to hold our ground
when professional bureaucrats explain to the rubes in the provinces
how they cannot manage their business unless we guarantee them predictable
and generous budget increases every year.
We need to
look these creatures in the eye and be brave as they threaten us
with the dire straits of a government that grows less rapidly then
need to introduce a new sequester program every month until we have
government that is grateful for the money we allow them to spend
and borrow each year, careful and courteous in its expenditures,
and mindful of its constitutional role as servant to the people,
not master of the serfs.
from the Augusta Free
Press with permission from the author.
columnist Karen Kwiatkowski, Ph.D. [send
her mail], a
retired USAF lieutenant colonel, blogs occasionally at Liberty
and Power and The
Beacon. To receive automatic announcements of new articles,
here or join her Facebook page. She
ran for Congress in Virginia's 6th district in 2012.
2013 Karen Kwiatkowski
Best of Karen Kwiatkowski