dollarsignLately, you might have heard the term, “sequestration” in the news.  You might also be asking yourself, “What is sequestration?”  Sounds like a serious term.  It is a serious term and the act itself will have serious consequences on the nation’s economy.  In simple terms, sequestration is the act of instituting automatic spending cuts to the nation’s budget.
Sequestration takes places when a Congressional spending cap has already been reached.  Once the budget cap is surpassed, then sequestration is implemented.  The problem?  Congress has avoided sequestration by constantly raising the budget caps that they already put into place.  This is not how you are supposed to avoid sequestration.  If Congress would stop the rate of spending, then they would not have to implement automatic budget cuts. Avoiding sequestration in this fashion only causes more of a spending problem in the United States, and also adds more to the nation’s debt.
If you were in Congress and sequestration was put into place, what program, either foreign or domestic, would you automatically cut from the nation’s budget?

30 responses to “Sequestration

  1. I think the fact that congress constantly raises the nation debt with out the peoples permission is absurd. Anything that is not necessary in domestic or foreign policies I would get rid of. More specifically anything that is not for the people like social services, such as wars or vital programs I would end.

  2. This is a hard one to answer. Many of the government programs are very helpful to Americans such as housing assistance, food assistance, healthcare assistance, educational assistnace, business assistance and retirement assistance. If I had to choose one to cut, I would choose educational assitance because the others seem essential to survival. By cutting education assistance, I would still provide grants to schools. The area that I would cut would be subsidized loans that give students interest-free loans. I would cut assistance for college students, not elementary and secondary school assistance. I know this may sound harsh, but it sounds like the best alternative given the other options of housing, food, and healthcare.

  3. By adding a larger cap on the budget the government has created many problems. There is no point in having sequestration if the government is not going to follow the cap that they have placed. It would be extremely hard to cut a government program altogether, because the programs are there to help people and some programs are needed. If I was in congress and asked the question what would I cut back on I would say everything. I would suggest that we lower our budgets in all programs; however, the government should keep all of the programs and try to avoid cutting one whole program out altogether. This way the government could reduce spending, but still provide aid to US citizens. It would also encourage people to be more independent and not to rely so heavily on the government.

  4. Shannon Siaperas

    If I was in congress and had to choose what program to cut, I would try to cut back spending on all programs. Why take out just one program when it is possible to cut back on all programs. However, if I had to choose one, it would be food and housing assistance. I think by slowly reducing funds that go to food and housing programs, would make people go out and get a job, instead of being so dependent on the government.

  5. To address a large debt , serious cuts would have to be made. I would start by cutting the military budget. The US military budget is more than the next 10 countries combined. Second I would cut foreign aid. Even though foreign aid is a small fraction of the problem that money is better served at home.

  6. Raising the spending cap once it has been reached is very counterproductive in preventing debt. It is sad to see the ceiling raised each time it seems to grow too small. Acts like that are a short term cure that end up causing more problems long term. Although my knowledge of federal spending is limited, the first thing I would cut is the military budget, not allowing new enlistees until there are going to be too few. American military presence is important because America seems to be the only country decisive enough to help prevent tragedies in other countries.

    One thing that seems to be hard to avoid is the thought “Hey look at this, we just cut that program over there and this money came out of nowhere! Let’s put it into x program!” That sort of thinking does not help to pay off the national debt.

  7. I work for a small federal agency and we have a copy of the 2011 Wastebook by Senator Tom Coburn. It is amazing the millions that the federal government has spent on on low priority and unnecessary projects. A few are video game preservation, remake of “Sesame Street” for Pakistan, and a magic museum. These are definitely the types of programs I would cut from our federal spending.

  8. I find it crazy to think that our government knows it is in debt and still keeps raising the cap. If the sequestration was put into place the best solution would be to cut back on every program. To eliminate just one program would cause an uproar.

  9. Every program does need significant cuts, and some programs should definitely be removed entirely like Julie said, but I have to agree with Alex and Jim. DOD spends $711 billion every year which is close to the equivalent of every other world power combined in regaurds to defense. Specifically, I don’t beleive we shouldn’t be spending as much on weapons technology or military operations, seeing as how those are two of the more bloated spending areas in DOD. The department overall, although, should be downsized dramtically. One prevelant factor for my oppinion is the fact that in times of peace we have a massive standing army with no objective other than to be prepared. Afterall, even Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied commander in WWII and former President, warned the country in his farewell adress to the nation about the dangers of the military industrial complex.

  10. I think that how congress is handling this budget situation is totally backwards. It defeats the purpose of having a sequestration in the first place. If you’re going to constantly raise the budget cap just don’t have one right? If I where in congress I would cut spending of weapons. We could use that money on something postive like eduacation. We can’t afford to send everyone to college but we can afford to buy billions of dollars worth of guns and bullets.

  11. I think that what Congress is doing by raising the budget caps is completely ridiculous.!! Whats the point of the sequestration in the first place. Now I may not be well educated on politics or things they do in congress but even I know that this defeats the purpose of trying to lower the debt. It is true that Congress implemented many vital programs that help people with housing assistance, food, and education. If I was in office I would cut back down a little on everyone rather than eliminating something so important to people. Also If it was up to me I would have mandatory drug tests for those people who receive and housing or food assistance from the government.

  12. I dont think that there is just one program that the government can fully cut all their spending on. Obviously they need to stop spending more than they take in, it is very basic. Everyone else in the country has a budget and they have to learn to live inside that budget. There really is no excuse for the government to be any different than its people. This is harder than most think but i do think they have to start with atleast cutting some from all programs. Imagine if they just 1 or 2 million from each program, that would really help in starting to see which programs act better when money is taken away and it shows who can perform when times are tough. I dont believe you can just eliminate one program because then all the money you have already spent on it was a waste. This is a hard thing to do but it is neccessary if the United States wants to grow and still be successful in future years.

  13. I believe the fact that Congress ignores the sequestrations, the rule they put into action to begin with, is by far the biggest problem our government has in regards to national debt. I would probably begin cutting budgets on war. I feel like we are sending people over seas for no legit reason. That money could be put towards health care or education.

  14. If I were in Congress and faces sequestration, I would lobby for small cuts of a variety of government programs. With small cuts to programs all across the board, less people would be upset because their program was cut or is not longer going to be funded. Also, the people who benefit from the use of the programs will face less drastic consequences than if a program was cut in total, or spending was majorly cut. More people would continue to be benefited by all of the programs the government offers with small funding cuts everywhere.

  15. Charlene-Grace S. Crisostomo

    If I were in Congress and sequestration was put into place, choosing and determining which program’s budget I would cut back would not be easy. Healthcare, defense, welfare, and education, these are just some of the nation’s spending and they are all essential. But if I have to choose one, I would cut back the defense budget. Last year, the United States spent $0.9 trillion in defense. That is accounting for 14% of the government’s national spending. $0.9 TRILLION. That is a little bit too much that could have been used for other more important things like education.

  16. The General of the Illinois National Guard recently sent out a letter to all it’s members and their families requesting everyone to be patient and wait out congress. He stated that every year that the same budget cuts are mentioned, whether it is school programs, military spending, or health care but what they should look at is spending in Congress and other Government agencies.

  17. I’m not sure what specifically I would cut from the Nation’s budget. I know for sure I would cut those things that are small and unnecessary to focus on. I would only want to tackle the things that only makes our economy stronger.

  18. There has never been a true budget cut in Congress. What has either been bragged about or decried, depending on your ideology, as a “budget cut” is merely a slowing in the rate of increase in spending for that particular program or area of spending (e.g. military). It is a shame that after years of walking on the edge of the financial cliff, our government has not gained the discipline not to exceed their resources year after year. This is probably due to the fear job loss if they ever implemented an actual spending cut (e.g. less money spent than the prior year) on any government spending, whether social programs or military spending. On a personal note, I find that the public tightrope walking that Congress does over the financial cliff, year after year, gives them more acrobatic experience than any of the Flying Wallendas (and with less falls.)

  19. It seems like Congress and the President continue to take a shortcut when it comes to deailng with spending and budget issues. It just doesn’t make sense to me that they cannot come up with an agreement and we will be dealing with this issue long after they (President and some members of Congress) are out of the office. When Congress continues to raise their budget caps to avoid sequestration, that is like giving someone a credit card with no limit on it and allowing them to continue to spend with no recourse. It is hard to say what program I would cut, but I know that I would absolutely NOT cut the defense budget. We cannot allow ourselves to be vulnerable or perceived as weak when there are so many countries out there just waiting to see when we are down so they can attack. I would take a serious look at ALL government agencies/programs and make a determination on which ones could take a budget cut.

  20. If I was in congress, there would be some things cut foreign and domestic. For one, I would cut Social Security because that program was suppose to be only a temporarily fix not a long term thing. I would also make the minimum wage because if people have more money, they will spend more and if people spend more, there are more taxes coming in. In the foreign policy, I would take out about 95% of the troops out of Middle East. This would cut the spending dramatically.

  21. It is not very smart to raise the budget caps to avoid sequestration. It cures the problem for today but it creates higher national debt and serious problems for the future. If I would be in congress I would try to cut foreign spending. We have to make sure that we are strong country and that we take care of our problems first before we go and spend tons of money somewhere else.

  22. Government assistance programs shouldn’t be cut. They should be monitor better, since a lot of people are abusing the system, and the government doesn’t do anything about it. I think that people that apply for house assistance should be checked more. Unexpected visits should be order, to check who really lives in that house. It makes me angry that people lie to the government to receive any types of benefits, and they really don’t need them. People like me, are paying for that. I would rather put my money somewhere else. Instead of support liars, I would send that money to the third world country, where they really need it. I know that some people needs the assistance and I am ok with that. Nothing should be cut, just controlled better. Everybody is paying for liars who are abusing the government. They should be caught and punish.

  23. I believe that it’s very hard to pick a program to end, most of the programs that the united States have are very helpful to the people. Each program is highly important for the survival of some people living in the US, for example educational assistance if the government cut down grants and stopped helping students finish their education they would be left with no education and they are not going to find any decent jobs to support their families, and eventually they are going to ask for help from the government. However, I would end any war that the US is spending so much money on for providing the military with weapons and all the equipment they need.

  24. Sequestration is unfortunately necessary to maintain financial stability in the U.S. But I do agree that by raising the spending caps multiple times is only putting the U.S. in more debt and causing tax payers to suffer. The fact of the matter is we are continuously raising the debt limit to appease the American people. We have so many programs for our citizens to cover financial burdens such as unemployment insurance and federal medical care. Some of the programs are necessary, though. If it’s going to take pulling government funds to put money in people’s pockets to spend and eventually go back to the government as tax investment dividens, then so be it. But there are smarter ways to fix the economy and reduce the debt in our nation then to keep borrowing money from other nations. We’re already making necessary budget cuts by reducing our foot print in places like Afghanistan. We already reduced our presence in Iraq which saves us quite a bit of money. I really could not tell the U.S. Government what else should be cut but I can that we should keep our concentration on maintaining funding for better education and awareness programs to reduce crime. Too many unemployed people in the U.S. exist because of a lack of education. And it all starts with parenting. I’m not saying that the U.S. should start telling people how to raise their children in order to induce a more profitably economy with enabled workers but concentration should be on attracting the youth of today with educational and vocational training. At some point the money that is spent in aiding foreign nations will have to be cut.

  25. Francisca Castro

    If sequestration had to be put in place it would become a hard task to choose what program to cut. Under the country’s current economic situation the American people depend on so many in order to survive and meet their necessities. So if I had to choose one in would be the military funding. I think that we need to concentrate on helping the country get out of the economic situation we are in so we can not eliminate the programs that are actually helping our nation survive.

  26. Paulius suckelis

    In my opinion, the us government raising the national debt everytime they are in trouble or need to get away with something is absolutely rediculous. Having sequestration is just pointless if the government isn’t going to follow the salary cap, plus it would be really difficult getting rid of some government program because even though sometimes it’s not good for the us budget, but at the end all those programs help us in someway and helps our country, and the people of our country.

  27. First off, I don’t think raising the budget is logical or healthy for our country’s economy. Secondly, If I were in congress and had to cut something from the budget, I would be extremely torn over what to cut. We have these budgets and programs for good reasons, so choosing one to cut seems impossible. I would like the notion to shrink all government spending, but that being pretty much impossible, I would like to cut the spending that goes to free birth control and government assistance to people. I understand people need help, and jobs aren’t readily available to everyone, but I don’t think that its impossible for those people to get jobs. Maybe the spending to that could be cut by only giving them a year or two worth of assistance. Lastly, I would cut from the military budget. I feel if we took some of that money then maybe it would fuel pulling out of this war faster and easier. We need to concentrate on helping our own country and people before we can try to help everybody else survive.

  28. patryk bryniarski

    If sequestration was to be put into place and I were to choose a program to be cut I believe it would be very difficult because there are so many different programs that are reliable and helpfull to our people. For example, military its a endless money pit that is supposed to help people but it really impacts them because all that money that goes towards it from our pricey taxes. People pay alot of money for taxes and everything else involving the government which spends soo much money, our money.

  29. Cristina Calderon

    I learned that sequestration was intended to do what several people have suggested—cut back on all programs. It was created to cut back the same percentage of all programs except some programs are exempt from it. In fact, the most commonly recognized programs—Social Security, Military Programs, Low-income Programs—are exempt from sequestration.

    Because so many programs are now exempt, to put sequestration into effect would be too damaging to the programs that aren’t exempt because much less programs are sharing the cutbacks. I’m an idealist so I choose to believe that if it were possible to remove all exemptions and enforce the sequestration that the government would do it.

    I was not familiar with many government programs except for those often mentioned on TV such as Military/Defense, Social Security, and Low-Income Programs. To better answer this question, I looked up a list of U.S. Federal Government Funding Programs. I found a list with approximately 1,600 programs on it. I was sure I’d find programs that are ridiculous and worthless and that the U.S. is spending way too much money on.

    As I browsed through the list, I couldn’t in good conscience pick anything. Abandoned Infants, Adoption, Agriculture, Aids Education, Arts in Education, Research for every disease—I started to pick some but then when I read what they did I realized they all served a purpose for some community, a group of people affected by something that the program was designed to help. Some surely didn’t help me directly but that doesn’t make them unimportant.

    These programs are somebody’s life’s work. They all have a purpose which is why they were created and why they were funded to begin with.
    My answer to this question is that I am glad that I don’t have the direct task of cutting back any program but that in an ideal world I would cut every program a tiny bit with none being exempt and none being eradicated.

  30. By putting a larger cap on the budget the government has created many problems. Theres alot of programs that are useful and helpful to people. It would be very hard to pick a program to end.

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